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Mozilla Education Status Meeting - May 26, 2009

Teleconference System Info

  • Tuesday May 26, 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)

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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.


  • Review the recently-concluded Mozilla/Creative Commons Open|Web|Content|Education online course for educators: what worked, what didn't work, whether and how we might offer such a course again, and so on.


  • Philipp Schmidt (course organizer)
  • Frank Hecker
  • Dave Humphrey
  • Mark Surman
  • James Boston


Comments from Mark Surman prior to the call:

  1. Framing of the course was compelling and brought interesting people.
  2. Delivery was chaotic (in good first course way), with good content in bits but I think a bit hard to follow as overall narrative.
  3. Would do something with this mix of topics again, but worth thinking through how to deliver better. Probably: simplify, simplify, simplify.
  4. Joi Ito has indicated interest in doing mix of course / unconferences that people can run locally on similar mix of topics to our course --> not just for education, but on open web, content, methodology.
  5. Interested to know if FLACSO people plan to do a spanish version of the course based on what we've done so far.
  6. Would be good to get a survey of what blueprint threads we still need to follow up.

Summary of discussion on Educourse:

  • general thoughts
    • people say general outline of course excellent
    • combination of open content licensing, open web technologies and open teaching methods attracted a lot of people
    • want to keep Creative Commons participation in the future
  • need to integrate themes more; blocks separate but could have had better connections; how?
    • teach around one or two example projects?
    • use case studies to discuss ideas
    • hard to balance between telling presenters what to talk about and letting them speak about what they find interesting
    • can't really tell presenters who are well known experts in a field what to talk about
    • presenters didn't think applications to tool and tool to applications was exciting idea
    • some way of getting people together in group ahead of time to see how presentation fit together?
    • maybe get a unified set of presenters who aren't the experts but people who had worked with those people
    • maybe have Q&A with experts
      • interviews with experts worked well
      • less effort than synchronous conversations
      • people better prepared for those sessions because they could prepare on own time
  • recruiting successful?
    • if we had more time we could have put the barrier higher to participation
    • we could set the bar higher for participation
  • how much lead time necessary next time?
    • 2 weeks open for applications, 1 week to evaluate applications, 2 or 3 weeks until course starts
    • too much lead time people put it off
  • passive versus intensive course?
    • harder to get people to do one week intensive thing
    • if we do more classes consider doing intensive course for most promising candidates with travel sponsorship perhaps
  • do course in context of one-day bar camp?
    • provide course people could use to do things on their own?
    • conern that bar camp would be too much talk without producing something real
    • organization in Netherlands that does source camps more useful model? (Tactical Technology Collective)
      • half tech people, half social justice people; perfected facillitation; 8 days; interesting projects implemented during camp
      • more intense, more facilitated
      • people come to event with real problems to solve
      • long curation process of who should come to event; travel sponsorship; people had to submit essays for application
      • huge amount of time dedicated to making sure people who need to talk do
  • consider online program as feeder for something more intensive?
    • select a few people for more intensive
    • might motivate people to participate and put forth ideas and come up with ideas, plans
  • couple days face to face but do it more local and self-organizing, not as high cost?
    • if we want to encourage people to put on own events need to do upfront work to build template people could use
  • is this something that is worth doing again?
    • if we use interest from people as answer, yes
    • need to be critical, things that could have been done better
    • perhaps didn't manage to make link between education tech community and what's happening in Mozilla
    • Mozilla value perspective: weren't able to do what last course did
      • for Mozilla to make it more relevant with us need to go in with more specific goal (eg. a model for teaching in Mozilla context)
      • people coming up with own personal projects that may not have anything with Mozilla
        • becomes a constraint on getting Mozilla people to want to help
      • crisp challenge of some problem that people that would come to table to help solve
  • how to create "innovation funnels" (channeling innovation from the course to the Mozilla community
    • much easier with a homogeneous group and specifying one target
    • needs hand holding and ongoing support
    • would have to more work to get to that
  • crisp goal; homogenous group of tech educators; see what happens?
  • be a bit selfish because that's where we provide the value and get Mozilla people interested and involved
  • technical choices
    • frustration being able to participate because of technical issues
    • asynchronous approach needed? recorded resources needed like audio or video
    • ditch the web conference stuff and go to straight teleconference; more reliable
    • combine teleconference with chat
    • adopt technologies that Mozilla uses
      • would get Mozilla people more involved
      • would give people authentic open collaboration experience
  • proposal to have Philipp (or similar) blog and feed into Planet Mozilla
    • because of some of the tech choices and high bandwidth of list it became sizeable commitment to follow it and not easy to follow from afar
  • propose James Boston make landing page with backward narrative of the course for people to go
  • one goal of promoting ideals of open participation
    • relevance to us not just promoting Mozilla way to educators but there are also problems we need to solve
    • trying to solve problem of educating people about Mozilla
  • need to have discussion about broader skills for an open web
    • fork EdMo calls from open web skills
    • who will own those threads on next conversation?
      • David Humphrey volunteers to lead a discussion
    • think not in terms of values to promote but competantcies or skills that people in those industries need to work
      • if people bring that into their careers then we are successful even if people don't contribute to Mozilla
  • propose Frank Hecker be in charge of scheduling 3 calls and write up upcoming topics:
    1. Mozilla technology
    2. open skills (led by Mark Surman)
    3. open pedagogy if it seems not to be covered in previous calls