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Stonesoup.jpg StoneSoup Project Page
Owner: Enric, Laia, Alina, Maria, Toni Updated: 2011-07-5
Share your activity source code (towards an Open Web learning video-toolkit)

What's the StoneSoup concept?

Detailed steps for new Open Web learning activities


HowTo in video format (using popcorn.js for loading details) 


Platform for sharing tested activities that work and engage

Five dance steps

  1. Identify cool Open Web tools (fresh and stable)
  2. Design new learning activities with them (the open source way)
  3. Test and document sessions (releasing early & often)
  4. Publish online (video and documentation on the background)
  5. Spread the word, invite to test, integrate feedback

Initial questions

  • What is happening or can be done in informal learning scenarios when it comes to mixing youth and digital tools with Open Web resources and philosophy?
  • Which type of activities (in terms of new practices) can be shared, tested and defined among different institutions and actors locally, but also worldwide?
  • How can youth engage with digital resources and collaborative methodologies in order to have fun, learn and be creative at the same time?
  • When and how can formal learning institutions adopt innovative approaches with ICT in scalable ways, especially secondary schools?
  • How can we consolidate and define the benefits of computational, connective and social thinking, as strengthened by the Open Web?
  • How to apply in terms of T2T (teacher to teacher) the best philosophies of open source collaboration? (Release early and often, distributed debugging, commenting code, etc).

All of these questions point to a certain lack of shared practices among education-oriented institutions when it comes to taking full benefit from significant learning contexts and exploring the possibilities offered by networked tools and web-inspired open methodologies.

Addressing this gap requires a well defined strategy and map of alliances, as well as a practical/open toolkit of learning activities (which could be used at any time by anyone) and a rigorous process of observation and independent evaluation (in order to improve design and effectiveness).

A modest, initial prototype for such a strategic toolkit was created and tested during the last November 2010 OpenRaval meeting, which took place right after the 1st Drumbeat Festival in Barcelona. We consider this an important starting point for the development of a series of shared practices with similar goals.

Intended audience for these materials is both formal and informal learning practitioners with an interest in using open web technologies to teach Open Web values. These shared practices would represent a collection of curricular modules that could be used singly or together to reinforce both Open Web skills and values by learning practitioners.

Core ideas

  • Internationally-recognized Open Web educational video-repository for instructors.
  • Let's share the idea, steps, instructions, performance, output and feedback (aka "source code") of innovative learning activities connected to the Open Web. Repository would also act as separate, but connected, node of larger Drumbeat social network.
  • "Connected to the Open Web" means using it as a tool for learning: as a primary resource, mechanism of communication and/or final output. Repository would encourage open-source approach to modules with clear path of additions, remixes to originals.
  • Initial visual learning emphasis to reinforce synergy with other video-based Drumbeat Projects
  • Rather than long text with lots of stuff we use visual language, connecting it to deeper layers of information when needed. Video acts then as a first, easy approach to the activity values.
  • Each activity has to be tested, videorecorded and published online in order to be a part of this modular system of video HowTos.
  • Rather than on high quality, each video focuses in the same sequence of explanations in order to become a standard. Lowcost equipments should be consider: a handycam, a mic and a easy free software for video editing...
  • Builds on notion of YouTube-type instructional videos, but organized for open source instruction.
  • For formal education it's really important to connect these activities with the different subjects curricula (eg: basic competences in secondary schools).

First modules to share

These are the first series of modules for a broader curriculum of "Open Web" basic skills. They should work independently or be replicated in an structured order of sessions, where are complemented with either code "jams" or other type of instructional sessions.


  1. Write With a Satellite (using the Cartographic Typewriter and Pixlr Grabber) | Catalan version
  2. Virtual walkshop (using Google Street View and Pixlr Grabber)


  1. Scratch hacking (using Scratch )
  2. HTML hacking (using Hackasaurus tools)


  1. Digital gymcana (using QR codes)
  2. Wikipedia loves monuments (using Wikimedia Commons)

Digital narratives

  1. Your_vision (using Vision tools and Universal Subtitles)
  2. Microbook creation (using Open Web Publishing)


  1. StoneSoup HowTo
  2. Course at the P2PU about this type of activities' implementation?

Other possibilities

  • Find the Shortest Path (with Wikipedia)
  • Be a Goodwill Reporter (video reporters)
  • Contribute to Frikipedia (funny commons)
  • Print Hard Things (with 3d printers)
  • Teach the Teacher (video presenting/editing)

Additional details here

ToDo list of the project

  • Present project at the II Simposi d’Innovació Educativa INNED2 (september) http://inned2.wordpress.com/inscripcions/
  • Define partners at local and international levels, mid and long term.
  • Initial description of the other activities to document as an "Open Web basic skills" curriculum here.
  • Tools for facilitating the communication (eg. social media but also regular meet-ups/jams) and community facilitators (people from other communities - dynamizers).
  • Translate wiki contents and subtitles to Catalan and Spanish
  • Get a nice logo for the project: a soup pot of code/tags?
  • Plug-and-play approach: as a repository should have sections for complete newbie teachers anywhere in the world (project of translation as well as dissemination), as well as general instructable for facilitating, etc.
  • Integrate this project also in the Drumbeat platform.
  • Work on outreach metaphors like "steal this code" or differences between shoelaces and velcro.
  • Add layers of theory and good reasons like Manovich or Papert
  • Guiding Open Web Values, connect it to the Mozilla Manifesto and be plugged into that as much as possible.
  • Engage local/global communities of teachers/facilitators, like the ones form http://digitalorchard.wordpress.com/ or http://www.educat1x1.cat/
  • Get to use a open online chromakey.
  • Better embed experience with videos with subtitles in popcorn.js (now language selection needs scroll)
  • Get minimum resources for a first set of 10 activities (design, facilitation, documentation and web publishing)
  • Identify venues, groups of learners, facilitators for upcoming activities
  • Identify what's under development like now. Tools like popcorn.js, Booki, Universal Subtitles, Hackasaurus, Google Maps typewriter, etc. What's being cooked at the moment?
  • Help solving the popcorn-js bug with anchors #.
  • Define 5 dance steps for the project, in order to communicate it easier from the Drumbeat/Mozilla POW.
  • Define budget and distribute resources for sessions in a scalable way (considering preparation, facilitation, video production and final documentation/implementation).
  • Create a pilot with video and instructable details in the background
  • Test, present it at DML conference
  • Engage with other communities of practice to generate both tools and ideas for the activities design: Vision, Wikipedia, Scratch, Booki, Hackasaurus have been contacted and may join in sharing.

For each module specific ToDo list please check inside the links at the section above.


  • February/March 2011: Documentation demo, partners identification
  • April/May 2011: Activity designs and preparations
  • May/June 2011: Activity testing, observation and recording
  • June/July 2011: Postproduction and online documentation
  • September/November 2011: Results study, paper/article, output presentations

Orientative sequence

To be defined in the first video pilots

The time average for each video is 5 minutes, used for ensuring the concrete recording of the following parts (some from facilitator to camera, some taken live from the activity itself when performed).

  1. Activity presentation
  2. Main goals
  3. Eliciting/Questions
  4. Instructions
  5. Performance overview
  6. Output presentations
  7. Final feedback


Ideally activity designers themselves, otherwise teaching staff from Citilab or other partners.

  • Enric (StoneSoup)
  • Maria (Citilab)
  • Laia (Amical Viquipèdia)
  • Alina M. (Mozilla / Softcatalà)
  • Toni H. (Mozilla.cat and Softcatalà)
  • ...

Process for each video

Aka stones, aka modules :)

  1. Activity draft (new or already useful designs)
  2. Validation from experts (ideally academic partners)
  3. Online publishing of main text elements (idea, instructions, etc)
  4. Scheduling with learners and partners (looking for diversity)
  5. Record session planning (ensuring both learning activity and good video production)
  6. Activity execution and recording (with facilitator-only shots apart)
  7. Video postproduction (remixing and cutting)
  8. Output materials publishing (in order to get URLs)
  9. Module subtitulation, linking and publishing (in blog, with Univ. subtitles and popcorn.js)
  10. Spread and community sharing (via Social Media)

Resources needed


  • Website/blog (for publishing videos, news and link Social Media)
    • www.mozilla.cat/drumbeat ; also, a project page on www.drumbeat.org;
  • Drumbeat and Mozilla wiki page (for activities drafts and modules)
  • Discussion group (A Google one would do)
    • the current drumbeat-barcelona list, but indeed a google group would be better;
  • IRC Discussion Channel
    • irc.mozilla.org - #drumbeat-barcelona ;


  • Laptops
  • Portable screen(s)
  • Handy camera
  • Mic(s)
  • Portable chroma set


  • Open tool for video postproduction
  • Universal subtitles
  • Popcorn.js

Previous related experiences


Some listed here from OpenRaval need to be reconfirmed

  • Mozilla Foundation
  • Citilab-Cornellà
  • Vision (hub of European partners)
  • Casa Golferichs
  • UOC's eLearn Center
  • STSI - Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Booki
  • Amical Viquipèdia
  • CCCB Lab
  • New Youth City Learning Network