From MozillaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Mozilla Education Status Meeting - May 19, 2009

Teleconference System Info

  • Tuesday May 19, 2009 11:00 am EDT, 8:00 Pacific, 1500 UTC (other time zones here)
  • +1 650 903 0800 extension 92, conference # 7600 (US/International)
  • +1 416 848 3114 extension 92, conference # 7600 (Canada)
  • +1 800 707 2533 (password 369), conference # 7600 (US/Canada Toll Free)

Pressing *1 will mute or unmute your line. If you're having trouble hearing other people, pressing *6 will make the conference louder to you (*4 makes it quieter). If other people are having trouble hearing you, pressing *9 will make you louder to everyone else (*7 reverses this).

IRC Backchannel

During the call you can also join the #education channel. If you don't have an irc client installed, you can use Mibbit to connect directly in your browser (enter a nickname and click Go). Whatever you type will be sent to the rest of the group in real time.


  • Gregorio Robles (URJC, Spain)
  • Gen Kanai (Mozilla Japan)
  • Satoko Takita Yamaguchi (Mozilla Japan)
  • Ralph Morelli (Trinity College)
  • Trishan de Lanerolle (Trinity College)
  • Ignac Kolenko (Conestoga)
  • Carlo Sgro (Conestoga)
  • Ciera Jaspan (CMU)
  • Rob Cameron (SFU)
  • Didier Courtaud (Evry, France)
  • Luca Greco (Italy)
  • Guy Pyrzak (see
  • C N Ravikumar (Sri Jayachamarajendra, India)
  • Srirang G Doddihal (Sri Jayachamarajendra, India)
  • Heidi Ellis (Trinity College)
  • Greg Hislop (Drexel)
  • David Bolter (University of Toronto)
  • Andy Cobley (University of Dundee)


  • Connecting: professors and others who are working with Mozilla, or planning to do so
    • Hybrid approach, involving Mozilla, universities, colleges, and high schools
    • Direct involvement with real Mozilla projects, products
    • Opportunity to focus (e.g., HCI, automated testing, XML, JavaScript) within the context of a larger community
    • Bootstrapping professors, teachers, and their students into large scale open source work
    • We've been doing this for the past 4 years, and it can be done
  • Question: Could we collaborate on an inter-institutional virtual course that takes students inside the process of building the open web?
    • We teach and work in different contexts, each with a different focus
    • Our students have different strengths and abilities
    • We all want to see our students have real world experiences and the chance to collaborate on a global scale
  • Idea: Form a community within Mozilla of professors, teachers, and students working on Mozilla in an educational context
    • Begin in Fall 2009,
    • Provide virtual support and resources
    • Combine our students into a common on-line community of Mozilla contributors, supporting one another
    • Connect this education community to Mozilla in order to find mentors, real projects, and knowledge
  • Discussion:
    • What is your context and interest?
    • What are your ideas?
    • What needs to be in place for you to get involved with something like this?


Virtual Course

  • what is meant by virtual?
    • professors and students interact with developers and each other
    • professors can support other professors
    • a space which is not the school and not Mozilla but hybrid is available for a professor to go to and get knowledge
  • what is meant by collaboration on virtual course?
    • does it make sense to do an integrated course?
    • virtual course is not just way it offered
    • hybrid approach - different school will have different areas of interest
    • virtual course will not be one thing but a pooling resources and attention so that all have visibility of others
    • not trying to jam everyone into the same virtual lectures
  • are their courses that can be retrofitted?
  • need to start to recognize in each other a chance to work together
  • expected that at each school there is one or two professors who will be involved
    • project grows by connecting those people
    • critical mass builds on-line

Institutional and logistical problems

  • how can we work together and not in silos?
  • issues of accreditation and institutional boundaries need to be solved
  • school years don't match up in terms of dates
  • challenges to pooling efforts in different time zones
  • some of these problems have been solved by how Mozilla operates as it is a global operation

Teacher professional development

  • teachers need to have some willingness to get into Mozilla's codebase to be effective
  • what can Mozilla do to get faculty in shape for this work?
  • is there a way to do this that would be effective? what would make transition easier?

Student skill levels

  • courses only for undergrads, postgrads or other levels?
    • possible to mix different levels of students; good to mix
  • Mozilla has different levels
    • students have worked on different levels (eg. some students have only done only done unit testing)
  • takes students 120 hours to achieve professional competence in terms of getting a big picture view of a project
    • courses can zero on a more limited set of knowledge (eg. only unit testing)

Finding student projects

  • projects good for students are often one step removed from what will ship soon
    • not blocking but may get picked up for next release
    • need to balance what is valuable to Mozilla with finding projects not so central that there is room to develop
    • there are project that Mozilla won't do, but are interesting experiments that may fit with a school's area of expertise and would attract the attention of Mozilla (eg. re-writing XSLT parsing)
  • for beginning students a project would work if developers needed a user community to test work
    • Mozilla is large enough to find a variety of projects

Connecting students with the Mozilla community

  • when taking students into open source development it is most effective to direct them to the same project (eg. Mozilla)
    • critical mass among students
    • Mozilla takes notice because you are large enough to attract attention


  • how are students evaluated?
  • can professors use a mentor's feedback to mark student work?
  • can Bugzilla and IRC be mined to come up with automated evalution component to feed into overall marking?
  • courses should have a level of interaction student and faculty such that evaluation is not a problem
  • for beginning students using sourceforge and similar tools to track contributions
  • functionality on Mozilla Education site for a standard evaluation tool proposed
  • programs such as Capstone have certain requirements for students doing their own work that are part of definition of the course
  • work placement could be open source development projects

Issues for research oriented school

  • faculty needs to see open source development in terms of academic contribution
  • faculty has a traditional view of scholarly contribution that may not include open source development
  • sometimes hard to get university excitement about non-research aspects of open source
  • from research point of view challenge of making connection to open source communities
  • are there model policies that institutions can use to get things going?

Support from Mozilla Foundation

  • it would very helpful to get letters of support from Mozilla for grant proposals and for consideration by policy makers
  • Frank Hecker can arrange letters of support