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Mozilla Education Status Meeting - June 8, 2009

Teleconference System Info

  • Monday, June 8, 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

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  • Continue discussion of the recently-concluded Mozilla/Creative Commons Open|Web|Content|Education online course for educators and discuss whether we want to do another course in cooperation with Creative Commons, perhaps focused on teaching "open skills" (as suggested by Mark). See the notes from the May 26 call for more background.


Proposed participants:

  • Philipp Schmidt (course organizer)
  • Ahrash Bissell (Creative Commons)
  • Lila Bailey (Creative Commons)
  • Frank Hecker
  • Dave Humphrey
  • Mark Surman
  • James Boston


Survey response

  • 8-9 responses
  • responses similar to what was discussed in last education call
  • people said open web and education was a good idea and interesting
  • people struggled with tools we used
  • too many tools added tools as people brought them up
  • it's good to add tools that people suggest but need to be clear what tools are for
  • value in limited tools
  • people had quite different opinions on seminars


  • we probably didn't need to be so elaborate with tools, especially webex
  • for future not use webex
  • use standard teleconference and sending out PDF files
  • webex might be good for demonstrations but might be better to pre-record screencasts
  • in terms of teaching open source would be good to use same tools as Mozilla uses
  • tools: simpler is better
  • tool challenge set tone for whole course
  • tools did set tone that course is experimental
  • tools made it hard for people to see boundaries of engagement

What kind of course do we want to do next?

  • two ideas:
    1. open digital life skills applied more broadly than education
    2. something like labs course that is much more practical
  • open digital skills seems more prone to feature creep
  • tension between lack of focus and focus is addressed by second idea
  • demand for broader discussion addressed by first idea
  • tying to intensive task oriented course probably won't work
  • need to be cleaner and less madcap
  • simple basic skills and messaging
  • could do it based on demographics: one for teachers, or artists
  • still a risk
  • make it more local, simpler messaging, strong templating?
  • local groups decide which audience to focus on

In person classes?

  • either 2 day or longer term study group
  • online more about supporting local leaders than delivering content
  • example model:
  • would depend very much on someone locally talking lead with support from us
  • we've had a lot of request for light weight 'certification' program
  • perhaps offer a course or training materials that someone could sign up for then speak with some level of 'authority' about issues relevant to CC
  • can focus on one or two key outcomes in particular domain
  • disparity of level knowlege; need something to get everyone up to minimal level of knowledge
  • currently no materials to lean on
  • how do you leave people with something they can run with?
  • help them to organize event
  • need some bullet points in about 'certificaiton'
  • we need to have simple framework people can grok
  • in terms of time frame is a weekend workshop too much commitment?
  • bit of mismatch between expectation of time commitment and expected outcomes
  • some people only check in several times
  • need to be clear about time needed for outcome
  • people need something tangible and weekend may be way to accomplish that
  • hard to maintain context with all the distractions outside of meetings
  • a single time may hold attention better
  • if we agree we want to be intensive rather than use the idea of a study group what are reasonable expectations according to length?

Online versus offline classes

  • if we can't do some of these things online we are losing a big multiplier
  • would be ironic to do everything face-to-face
  • hard to do face-to-face in some locations
  • however, problem of keeping focus between online sessions
  • perhaps not assume people do anything between sessions?
  • focus is serious issues but it worked for labs people
  • how high the bar and how concrete the task is a problem to tackle
  • flip side is incentives for people to be active

Focus on educators or a more broad audience?

  • need for next generation of technology for education
  • if jetpack focus illustrating that mozilla tech is good simple way for niche audiences
  • what's nice about labs is they are using courses to getting people into mozilla that are traditionally hard to reach (eg. designers)
  • keeping it focused on educators might be interesting them

Skills for course

  • draw up key skills we want people to have
  • we want people to know about open licensing
  • optional things: do we think it's a core skill to convert formats to open formats? (need more time then)

Using Jetpack

  • use labs pipeline to look at mozilla platform for education plugins
  • someone with education/technical background could learn how to make plugin
  • build whole thing around Jet pack?
  • lowers bar
  • course with purpose to make Jet pack extension and learn basic Mozilla development
  • look at audience as people who have smattering of knowledge
  • or assume people who are reasonably skilled and the goal is to make something interesting with ux and coding people co-operating
  • 101 versus design challenge on steroids
  • use education as public benefit case for why jetpack interesting
  • focus on educators rather than students
  • must be careful to select the right people if we want actual technical development to happen
  • need more buy in from labs people, eg. for mentoring
  • top guys won't be reading mailing list everyday to respond to problems
  • need to connect two world and need to find intermediaries to connect tech people to mozilla community
  • Pascal Finette's idea to have design build competition at particular place and time with teams of students made up of design and coding people
  • use that but remove competitor aspect for focus on educators

Future surveys

  • it would be great to do demand research
  • would people give up half a day to be more proficent in CC licenses
  • or more inclined for something with less depth
  • need to be further into process before doing survey
  • even if we don't focus on audiences but do general local classes good to find out what people are most interested in from different areas (arts, teachers, etc...)


  • needs a good name that doesn't use 'course' or 'camp'
  • need to throw in ideas such as 'certification' but without using word 'certification'
  • make language more compelling
  • create 2nd level page with ideas from CC or 'certification' idea
  • going into to detail
  • need to produce re-usable content
  • Frank Hecker will do next iteration of proposal
  • other idea do online course but specifically focused on educators who want to use Mozilla technology