chool of Webcraft
Slides from Anna Debenham’s presentation: Web education is broken.
WEB building skills (or WebCraft) constitute a new, critical form of literacy that is lacked by far more people than good old Reading and Writing. Can you use the practices of the open web to teach WebCraft? It’s worth giving it a shot.
• The Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) is an online community of open study groups for short university-level courses. Think of it as online book clubs for open educational resources. The P2PU helps you navigate the wealth of open education materials that are out there, creates small groups of motivated learners, and supports the design and facilitation of courses. Students and tutors get recognition for their work, and we are building pathways to formal credit as well.
P2PU School of Webcraft: Our goal: a vibrant, peer-led system that helps people around the world easily access and build careers on open web technology.
Many organizations like Opera, Adobe, Yahoo, WOW, and WaSP InterAct have been diligently working to develop curricula and outreach programs to help schools better prepare their students for a career on the Web. OWEA will bring many education initiatives together in a broad collaborative. The mission of The Open Web Education Alliance (OWEA) is to bring together companies, schools, and organizations involved in shaping the education of Web professionals to explore the issues around the topic of Web development education and create solutions for improving it.“ The mission of the Open Web Education Alliance Incubator Group, part of the Incubator Activity, is to help enhance and standardize the architecture of the World Wide Web by facilitating the highest quality standards and best practice based education for future generations of Web professionals through such activities as:
Mozilla developer Network: A comprehensive, usable, and accurate resource for everyone developing for the Open Web.
The Webcraft Toolshed brings together interdisciplinary web professionals across design, development and marketing, students, university & college web educators, informal trainers, advocates and anyone who wants the core values of openness and inclusion to form the foundation for the web's vibrant future. Together, the School of Webcraft and OWEA want to establish open collaboration on projects that share the common goal of standards-based web education. The Webcraft Toolshed aims to achieve this by: 1. Mapping the necessary skills you need to practice web craft and describing the overarching principles that guide web professionals. 2. Building concrete strategies to connect the organisations, methods and resources that learners turn to for web education. 3. Remixing and repurposing existing web learning resources for new learning forms and channels.
Hosted by School of Webcraft (powered by P2PU and Mozilla), Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) and the Open Web Education Alliance (OWEA). Contact: Pippa Buchanan
P2PU main ideas and values :
* CSS3 Media query
* Standards are a promise of web media future
* Aware of user goals
* View Source
* Collaboration + Sharing
* Less SEO less ranking +new markets
What are the soft skills that web professionals need?
1. Basic sysadmin skills
Knowing how your website will be run on the server is very important. If your application will run on Apache or nginx, you'll need to install locally and be sure that your code runs on the live site. You also need to understand performance issues that could arise from your servers specific setup and learn to circum-navigate these potentially problems with your code.
Unless something goes terribly wrong, a website will be used by somebody. A web professional needs to identify and research who those users will be and make the site usable accordingly.
Web Professionals of all sorts need to plan. User Flow Diagrams (UFD's), wireframes, Entity Relationship Diagrams, etc all help minimize errors and coding time on small and large projects alike.
Other skills were equally important to many of us, but we had to pick three. Those we left off the final list include:
* Marketing and promotion
* Usability and user research
* Searchability and SEO
* Client relations
Learning as many of these skills as you can will make life easier in the long run as a web professional.
Teaching Accessibility tweet: I learned more about accessibility in this session than in 8 yrs (by Chris) 5:50 pm sitting in circle working off postit notes evidence of work: Post it notes around the room in neon yellow, organge, green w/ questions
Chris of Opera talkinga bout accessibility Provide good training material
Janet of Mozilla: rewriting stds in plain language for sklls transfer student becomes the teacher
Learning with Mozilla
Introductions: Pippa, Heather, Chris, Tobin, Francisco, Sufian, Heidi, Kerim, Phizar, Francis, Henrik, Michael, Nagarjuna, Terri, Markus,Einke, Fillip, Janet.
Janet introductes Mozilla developer network - a whirlwind tool of the MDN site, then some breakout sesssions where we talk and brainstorm about what you need for learning and helping people learn about specific web technologies. Lollies for attending :) Stickers for hacks.mozilla.org.
MDN actually serves as a dev network for many different types of developers, but is targetted to web development. In addition to the documentation we've additionally recently launched forums (https://developer.mozilla.org/forums)
If you miss any of the links you can find them at http://www.delicous.com/jmswisher/drumbeat_mdm
Something that we did recently to enhance, augment and improve the content on the MDN site was have a documentation sprint recently (you can read more about it on the blogpost on hacks.mozilla.com. Nice documentation on SVG animation with SMIL, documentation for MathML. Documentation on HTTP.
Question (from me): have you considered, or is it possible to integrate these tutorials and resources with existing wikis like the Wikiversity resources etc., contributing back, even if you present them directly on your site (which is legal etc.)
Janet: Our scenario is, you've decided to run a web craft course... Pippa: I've got an idea, a break-out session about meeting the needs for journalists, educators, to help understand the technology. Phillip: Just commenting on what Pippa said, I work in an open hackerspace in Sao Paulo, and we always get asks for skill exchanges with the journalists who work in the area. Heather: Someone mentioned, there is also other wikis wikiversity etc., why would you have it new again on the Mozilla developer network. Pippa: Maybe Janet can stay here and answer questions while I run a break-out session etc. Janet: If it exists somewhere else and is really good, sure, we don't want to duplicate them... but not a task I'm ready to talk about now. Heather: An idea for a break-out, how to write tutorials.
Janet: Breakouts are over... hello. Heather: Communicating clearly. Two points... start with the end first, screencasts, screenshots etc., use real-world examples, screencasting tips.. Pippa: We just had a really awesome session - we came up .... how he can do open-research as a journalist. Then we also came up with idea of how we can pair journalists and hackers to work together. How do we train people on the web-craft project to ... we're going to do a journalist/hacker cross-project.
Janet: overview of discussions had there about wikis, and Mozilla is doing some development work and may be able to pull in wiki tutorials from other wikis.
Overview of next session.
Christian: http://developer-evangelism.com how to get your project understood.
=------------------------------- Dave Crossland Web Font Workshop by @davelab6
These are the websites mentioned in the talk:
http://fravia.com/welcome.htm http://www.fsf.org/ http://creativecommons.org/ http://www.gnu.org/encyclopedia/free-encyclopedia.html http://www.wikipedia.org/ http://wikitravel.org/en/Barcelona http://identi.ca/davelab6 http://www.typefacedesign.org/2009/ http://abattis.org/cantarell/ http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/ http://inkscape.org/ https://developer.mozilla.org/en/css/@font-face http://trac.openfontlibrary.org/browser http://openfontlibrary.org/patrons http://openfontlibrary.org/wiki/Uploading http://openfontlibrary.org/files http://openfontlibrary.org/files/ospublish/142 http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Grants/Open_Font_Library http://aikiframework.org/ http://code.google.com/webfonts?subset=cyrillic http://code.google.com/p/googlefontdirectory/source/browse/#hg/nobile/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Font_hinting http://www.microsoft.com/typography/tools/vtt.aspx http://paulirish.com/2009/fighting-the-font-face-fout/ http://code.google.com/apis/webfonts/docs/webfont_loader.html http://googlewebfonts.blogspot.com/ http://www.html5rocks.com/tutorials/webfonts/quick/ http://blog.mozilla.com/nattokirai/ http://people.mozilla.org/~jkew/woff/woff-spec-latest.html http://hacks.mozilla.org/2009/10/font-control-for-designers/ http://code.google.com/p/web-font-downloader/ http://books.google.es/books?id=n1AuwXafMO8C&dq=Non-Designers+Design+Book&source=gbs_navlinks_s http://books.google.es/books?id=-huLSQAACAAJ&dq=Non-Designers+Type+Book&hl=es&ei=zRjUTMeVHI6Lswbi24T7BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA http://books.google.es/books?id=940sAAAAYAAJ&q=Elements+of+Typographic+Style&dq=Elements+of+Typographic+Style&hl=es&ei=2RjUTK-3BYfCswaIoZz5BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA
It's the lack of resources that's where OER comes into play, mentoring, community outreach For responsibility transfer the big roadblock to overcome is corporate inertia Nothing breaks thru corporate resistance like the threat of being sued. A legal argument can be very compelling Return on investment saving time gaining market share OR make it personally relevant: showing a use case: disabled person or mobile accessibility
John D Britton Barcamp, Couchsurfing in Hongkong Bar campi s cool it wd be col lif there was Barcamp not for technology Openeverything a series about Openness I contacted the guys who started that It wd be cool It turendout that Phillip Schmidt and Mark Surman had been part of one So I met that guy that way and then I kind of separately had that thought I wish I cd couchsurf w/ ppl who had something to teach me: windowfarming Something I want ot learn So I wrote an esay about that and submitted it to the Open Eucation Conf in Salt Lake And I was a student doing computer science at the time Ididn’t have any knowledge of the open movement
I went to opened in Logan UT Philip Schmidt and Joel Thierstein P2PU My essay is almost the exact same thing I was more into real life interaction as opposed to online As soon as I went to the session Everything else was too academic for my taste
I got involved in working on the website
Tend not to use “taught” Part of the philosophy of P2pU Is everybody is equally res[ponsible for the learning Facilitator. Rst course The first course that I did was called mashing up the openweb Come w/ ap roblem you want to solve
That was a lot for 6 weeks nad very hard The format was meeting 1nce a week Office hours Sunday morning at 11 am, I was online from 10 to noon I was a single point of failure for the course it was very top down very traditional and really hard to keep up wit hthat
This time what’s worked a lot better so far I created amailing list on Google groups I probed ppl You want that mailing list to live on P2pU Ad hoc right now So I created a mailing list and I probed ppl w/ assignments, read this by this date The due date is really important to get ppl to actively enage
The Draw the Internet assignment that I did: Draw what you just read and show me how the internet works It was really interesting b/ 20 minutes befor the due date I got 10 more submissions You just don’t submit something I found having the due date made it a lot more likely to get ppl involved There were 12 ppl o nthe call at one point and that’s pretty good There were 40 who registered A session at 4pm and another at 7pm and each of them I expect ot be about 12 ppl I had everybody rsvp using a scheduling tool It’s a discussion—invite pp lot answer a question if they have an answer I didn’t take a well document ed path It’s more like a discovery I didn’t even think of the draw the internet assignment until I The next assigment which I haven’t given out yet everyone who’s submitted a drawing I’m going to pair them up and have them critique it what’s wrong w I how can you make it better It can happen o nthe mailing list everyone can see it Here you are here’s the darawing wite an essay how to improve it Wha’ts
Im not the one who’s grading the papers, They’re doing it themselves
Teaching is the best way to learn When I was doing the mashup course I had to solidify a lot of my understanding before I could explain it to somebody else I don’t know exactly how everything works with this wbrequest When you can find out how something works and actually know how it works teaching forces you to actually know it Getting stuff together Takes learning on my part
That’s the primary thing I get out of it Also it’s kind of my dream So I get to see it actually work .
Ih aven’t done that yet , iwould like to
We had 6 courses in the 1st cycle and 15 in the 2nd and in the 3rd 32 or 33 I hope to take a course
I actually dropped out of college
I work at a company called PWLIO before that I used to work at Flat World Knowledge
They make an api for built in voice applications anyone can build phone or sms apps on it
I’ll be in Barcelona for 2 weeks, 4 diff events P2PU annual workshop whcihi is anybody who’s worked on it
Following that we’ll have the tech summit We’re gg to have ppl I’m organizing it, 12 of us, 4 days working on the site o make it a lot better Then the open ed conf which I probably will just swing by Then Drumbeat Webcraft Tent I’ll be participating in that I’m going to run a short course called Web 200 Basically a 1 or 2 hour version of this coure I’m doing right now Part of the resaoun I the material can be as little or as much as you want You can explain how web requests work in an hour or in 2 months You can go into so much more detail so I’m going to run a not so detailed version
I didn’t really go ot events before OpenEd Now I’m pretty good frinds with a lot of these ppl So the cool thing is that they’re actually real people they’re not just names on email lists
I Love to learn I’ve alwas been a tinkerer My next course I’m planningon organizing is totally out of my knowledge domains Window farms I want to learn how I might as well document it and learn it wit ha bunch of other ppl It fits into the grand schee of my life and gives me easy access to lots of different hobies I’ts all about learning
Image of P2PU class “Draw the Internet” assignment, via JohnDBritton on Flickr.
In preparation for the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival next month (coming up in just 13 days!! whoo hoo!!) i’ve been conducting preview interviews with participants. The best of these, as well as other Q&As, blog posts, Tweets, speeches, essays, and other contributions, will eventually go into the Festival Report, which I’ve been describing as a “quickbook.” It’s faster, looser, and more open than my normal writing methods–entirely fitting that all these experiments in open learning and teaching should be documented in a way that’s itself an experiment.
A couple of weeks I interviewed John D Britton, a programmer, champion couchsurfer and Bar Camp participant who got pulled into open ed more or less through this blog post. I also dropped in on his P2PU/Mozilla School of Webcraft class, “Anatomy of A Web Request,” and talked over video chat to students from all over North and South America.
When I asked about his methods for teaching a P2PU class, Britton countered, “I tend not to use the term ‘teach’. I’m a facilitator. Part of the philosophy of P2PU is that everybody is equally respon sible for their learning.” Still, he said, breaking out of that old paradigm–and figuring out what to keep from it– is an evolving process. His first P2PU course, “Mashing Up the Open Web,” he said, took far too much time. “I was online holding office hours every Sunday from 10 to noon. I was the single point of failure for the course–it was very top down, very traditional, and hard to keep up with.” In his current class, he’s giving the students more responsibility for discussing amongst themselves and critiquing each other, although as the facilitator he’s still responsible for giving out assignments and, importantly, imposing due dates. The due date, it turns out, is one aspect of the traditional education experience that’s still essential in the peer-to-peer learning world.
Britton, who dropped out of college himself and works for a company called Twilio, loves leading P2PU classes because, “Teaching something is the best way to learn.” For his next P2PU course he’s really putting that philosophy into practice. The topic is window farming, which he describes as “totally out of my knowledge domain… I want to learn how to do it, so I might as well document it and learn it with a bunch of other people.” Right on! http://diyubook.com/
Chris Mills Chris Mills Passion since I first started using the internet I did biochem for a degree followed by ost webby people never do anything for official qualification that has to do w/ what they do for a living I started using servers in Switzerland to do protein modeling That was in 95-96 I’ve been interetedi nthe internet as a universal communication mechanicsm I think it’s an amazing invention I’ve never bene a massive tech person although I am good at HTML interestedi n the social and educational applications
Before I worked for software I worke forabtout a decadat various publishing houses
And evr since then slightly more than a decade ago I’ve been interested in education The idea of producing good books as resources to teach ppl how to make websites
Mechanism to actually get that information out to ppl
And the thing curriculm I’ve wanted to do
Good web design in a n accessible way It wasw only About 3 yrs ago when I first joined opera Previous to that I kept going to pub cos saying why don’t we roduce an amazing free resource to allow anybody to learn this stuff even if they can’t buy our books I can understand a company having a slight business conflict But Opera from a purely biz pperspective they saw this sas a good PR strategy They are interested inpropagatin Git’s one of their central enets to spread the world of ooepn standards and best practices
Me w/ my massive experience and huge network of conacts I got together the ppl who I thiught wd be good for the job and sigened them up for the course I totook me a yr to design the curriculum It’s at a pretty good stage and I’ve had good feedback from pplaround the world who found it useful Ranging from self learners at home to teachers at colleges and universities esp in America but I’ve had ppl as far away as Indonesia china and Japan
One I thought was really beautiful I had this 80 yr old guyfrom Australia contact me and say he’d had a wonderful time using my course to learn how to make websites and put up photos of his grandchildren And I thought that was really kind of cool Since making the opera web stds curriculum I’ve started to bump into likeminded ppl SXSW 2007 I bumped into some of my colleagues from theweb stds Event and she I was telling her shew as like cool so let me intro you to some other ppl who are tryingto make inroads So introduced me to Eric Waler lead US designer for MAILchimp Atlanta-based company And then he said he was producing something at the time called WASP interact Another really cool educational resource that provides core structures and sample exam questions and rubrics for assessment Not the tutorial itself but the other stuff to go along w/ that to put together a curriculum Even tho we’d started thos projectd totally separately they worked together eally nicely WASP interact I’ve come to contribute to has all the OPERA web stds curric listed as recommended reading Of course if you fowrad to a couple of yrs after that mid to late 2009 thisi s when we started to work on the book It’s the interact w/ web stds book which I wrote about half the chapters of and Aaron wrote some of And Christopher Schmidt And Les who tecahse a web deisgn course at U Tenn, Chattanooga
Interact /w web stds that came out in MAY this year .
And what we wanted to do with that pretty much was to produce the perfect basic txt book for ppl who want to get into WEB design doesn’t cover al ot of java script just info architeture and HTML Pretty much anyone can just leanr from that And we now have that book available She basically said I want I need ot give thempsgs to read about 15 diff oboks so I want just one boo The other parto f this puzzle was HTML
Open Web Education Alliance So that came out the iea that lloads of ppl seem to be producting little education here and there but this is gg to become really unwieldy and unmanageable This helps educators w/ their jobs But critical masis becoming unmanagaeable there’s so much of it OWEA to act as a kind of , governing body that will be able to regulate all this stuff and shw that curricula are kept up todate and kept good
And this stuff getting to he educators who need it effectively and leverage the community for some community led outreach as well To actually get all the material into the hands iof the educators And community led utreach empower designers and developers all over the world to talk to their colleges /schools and give them this material This is the entire rpobelm so many institutions out there teaching either no web design or in a really outdated crappy way Hard to reach them all A community led approach cover more ground a lot quicker
I’ve been liasing w/ the UK gov’t quite a lot to try to actually get this stuff put into power in terms of proper gov’t legislation You can release all this ed material and run little courses which will give accreditation: P2PU Which is really cook It’s good to have little things available like that The avg student will go I want tobecome a web designer but I can’t find a course that will actually each me what I feel I need to know a Lot of ppl are becoming freealncers at the age of 154-16 I know some hideously talented ppl workingat the age of 17 Matt who built Wordpress he did that after he left high school
That’s the problem The reason we decided to approach gov’t there’s nothing to force educators to update their material and teach it properly You can apply peer pressure but if thye’y dnot gg to do it they’re not gg to do Better way: put legilastion in place to make this a bit more enforceable MEDIA in London in JUNE I bumped into a lady called Sandi wasserman She’s visually impared and she’s got ADHD she’s got incredible attn to detail and apssionatea boutimprovng the web for diverse user groups so thru a totally roundabout way She ended up actually getting an audeience fw/ the UK gov’t she wanted to try to get it to improve the accessibility of their websites and make things better ofor ppl w/ disabilities Shewas real excited b/c sher had this whole idea of reguatoin, legislation, education When she fund out what I was doing She said that’s the missing piece of the pubzzle that I ned She invited by the E-accessibility forum accessibility forum to to get to advise them on accesisbiliy legislation and so on and so
we got the gov’t quite excited by talking about this education stuff and inclusive design website sinclusive for all ppl rather than ppl create a website and then say oh yeah we ought to Bolton these acessiblity functions they invitedu sto contribue to the Eaccessibility action plan so the eaccessibility a tion plan is a piece of UK legislation that needs to be put in force to enforce better accessibility of gov’t and private sector websites and it coversa al ot of things a we’ve written a fair amt of it and it was launched this week on the 12th of October one subsection: enforcing accessibility design principles ot be underlying partso f universitycourses sott ameans really great things ew can enforce educators to stop teaching bad practices it’s all an exciting time basically at the moment That’s tells you everything I’ve been through.
IO don’t think hee’s anything wrong w/ web design being self taught the only reason it’s good to have a better structured regulatory framework It’s bettero fr ppl getting intot heindustry to have this exam that says we cando this job Although I appreciate that work experience and portfolios tend ot be the way you get jobs The other point is I think it’s good to have proper courses available for ppl who want to go down that path equally as well as self learning WE should make it so the option is available in a more effective way they do want to do a proper course a lot of ppl don’t live anywhere near a good uni that teachers web design properly That is not available to them
The other thing: it’sa bout getting the university structure and industries in general to take web dev and web design more seriously give it more respect Talked about a lot in the open web education alliance at the university level as a subject area it’s an orphan doesn’t fit well into any existing area: Comp sci—seen as a wussy lightweight copout thing to do b/c it’/s not programming Also b/cthere are so many diff areas such as the browser the operator to install it’s a hostile runtime environment
You can’t do that w/ a website whee it can run in anything
It’s the same regardless thjat’s the reason computers science ppl don’t like it Graphic design scared of it b/c it involves scary code It sits in the middle not accepted by anybody
Open ed works for web stuff b/c I’s about open standards Anyone can get into it regardless of their financial background or anything else they have
Open source doesn’t matter as much as pen stdsyou can have open stds w/ o open soruce you can’t have open source w/o open stds
It’s useful to focus on open stds as long as the software is able to accept it means that the content duty
Opera is core rendering is not open source it is open stds Your browser sucks b/c it’s not open source Response : what operating system do you run your browser on: Windows or OS10 in that case your argument falls to pieces at the end of the day as long as the company is ethical and cares and isn’t being evil and monopolistic and trying totake over their space and encourage healthy competition and better products for the end user I don’t think it matters When it gets down to it really it’s just amatter of upgrading the software Whether it’s done by developers or open path it doesn’t make any difference as long as the ethics are there and the intentions are good
I think it’s areally interesting festival I haven’t really known any other festivals like this and I think it’s interesting the way it has a decent festival structure w/ a decent marketing budgete but quite a barcamp feel about it in terms of a lot of the sssions being fairly open ended and set up to provide more discussion Rather than one person stnding there and saying here’s my presentation you can get a discussion going and allows every single audience membbr to teach and persent it I think I’mg g to lean a lor more at this festival b/c of Ever since I first talked ot Mark at Mozilla about this I’m actually working w/ Peggy sswan to the webcraft space quite al ot put into in terms of suggesting what sessions To run The institutional aspect of it It provides a really good chance for ppl from all over Europe and the world to give their input and discuss their ideas One part I’m esp interested in is how these diffprojects that we’re working on talking about producing wd work in diff communities around the world esp In places wehre English is not the first language I don’t have an easy way to get an inroad Speakers of those—native speakers I cd communicate w/ and get them to do outreach
Opera web stds currictranslated into 10 diff languages This isn’t an official idea But one dream I have wd be this kind of legislation in the UK if tht’as successful wdn’t it befantastic to use that template to work in other countries as well. That’s ver big picture stuff but that’s a big dream I have goin forward
Procuremtn of products ; better accessfibility and inclusivity And web based products in both public and private sector Better accessibility nad inclusivity in education courses
This really is the whole spirit of the web community I’m trying to get it more into official courses to make education courses work more how the web works Even though it’s a bit of a weird one I’m trying ot get the self learning slightly chaotic int otofficial channels
There shd always be na oppportuniy for ppl wh ocan’t afford ot pay loads of monyey for a university cours to do self learning
OTR: aiming to sert up a regulatory body to do the same thing for the web that bodies like RIBA do for architecture Professional organized skilled career has some sort of regulatory body available that sets codes and does exams the way it wd do ne differently al the material tht body wd produce
I want you to produce a page from a fictional bands’ website
Pippa Buchanan Q&A by Anya Kamenetz
1) What is your background and why are you interested in open education, free sharing and reuse of knowledge? I started off my formal tertiary education wanting to learn film studies and multimedia, but drifted into the dark arts of computer science and then games development for several years in my 20s. Having a technical background definitely made me aware of the free software movement, and I had lots of musician and zine writing friends which made me aware of Creative Commons and the burgeoning remix culture. After travelling the world not sure how to reconcile my technical training with my creative impulses I realised that I was interested in learning almost everything. The problem was that I couldn't find a university that would really let me shape my own Masters degree, let alone be a university I could afford to attend.
At the end of 2008 I wrote a blog post called the Academy of DIY in which I speculated on how I could organise my own Masters degree by gathering resources, people, mentors into my own DIY Masters around media art and friendship. One of my readers suggested I study David Wiley's Introduction to Open Education, and I soon became far more focussed on the opportunities (and politics) of open and non-formal education that I forgot to play with my Arduino!
I ended up working in a design school as an educator and web developer and was incredibly frustrated by the hierarchy and bureaucracy involved in making changes in the way people learnt. Luckily I then fell into the Mozilla Drumbeat project, heard about the School of Webcraft being run by P2PU and ended up working as the School of Webcraft coordinator. It's my dream job: it satisfies my geek and teaching backgrounds and most importantly allows me to shape the way people will learn in the future.
2) What would you say is your main motivation for working on free and open education? Why is this important to the world? I think the most important thing about free and open education is that it offers learning choices to people who may not have had options before. Those options may be their only chance at a high school or tertiary level education, or the global community may be able to provide the option of a specific topic that is not offered locally to an individual who really needs that specific information. It's not just about helping people from Detroit learn web development so that they can find a better job, it's about putting learners of niche subjects such as Cyberpunk Literature together. I think of it as the long-tail of learning. Open educational resources have given people access to information about learning, but as we develop better ways of having people freely learn together (and shape their learning) we're going to have people's minds meeting and growing together. That's really exciting, I'm looking forward to the serendipitous and innovative ideas that will grow from this learning crucible. 3) How did the School of Webcraft get going? How many people are participating? What are the characteristics of your students in terms of their demographics and preparation for study? What kinds of projects are they working on? The original idea for the School of Webcraft arose when John Britton taught a subject on P2PU about 'Mashing Up The Open Web'. That sparked a conversation between Mozilla and P2PU on the idea of a partnership based around web developer education. Mozilla would provide the brand recognition and focus on the open web, and P2PU would bring a lively community of peer learners to incubate the School of Webcraft in.
We're currently running our pilot round of 12 initial School of Webcraft courses. Over 500 people applied to take part in the free peer-led classes and 345 were accepted. There are a range of people from those wanting to build a career in web development, to teachers and designers. There's a great range of participants from people in their late teens through to those in their 50s who are both updating their skills and building their first ever website. Some people are aiming to build educational tools, others are testing HTML 5 support across different browsers and other people are learning the skills that help them to read software source code better.
4) What do you think is the relationship between free software and open education? I think the starting point for the current open education movement is the licensing revolution that began with the General Public License (GPL) and the Free Software Foundation. The increase in the idea of an informational commons and eventually the Creative Commons project gave educators more options about how they licensed and shared their resources. This eventually led to the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. The relationship between the free software movement and open education is so much more than being about licences though. It is about providing access to expereiences that would otherwise be restricted by price – think of Open Office versus Microsoft Office software. Beyond free as in free beer, the free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) movement has changed the way people collaborate and work on projects across the globe– this idea of collaboration is clearly shown in projects like P2PU – anyone is welcome to become a part of the community and drive forward with an idea and share their knowledge. Increasingly I'd like the bug fixing nature of successful FLOSS projects to become a basis for a model of improvement and creation within open education. A lot of people get involved with a free software project because they report a bug, end up fixing it and then get welcomed into the community. If we could get a similar model of “why don't you teach philosophy?” to lead to someone leading a new way to learn philosophy that would be great! Why is it that so many people who are interested in one, are working on building the other? I can't help but use a Matrix reference and often think of this as the Red Pill of Openness. Once you 'get' openness in one context such as software, you can't help but realise that those same principles of sharing, collaboration, remixing and innovation are incredibly relevant to many other contexts such as design, music and education. The success of certain FLOSS projects has given people a language and methodologies to apply to new (and old) problems.
5) What are the main obstacles standing in the way of an entirely free and open world of higher education? Are they technological, social, matters of government policy or the conduct and structure of institutions? I feel that technological challenges are really going to prevent many people from having access to freer learning opportunities for a long time to come. This is not just a “North/ South”, developed nations v undeveloped nations problem but something which affects people living in remote rural communities, and disenfranchised urban areas even in the most developed nations. Access to high speed, unrestricted internet, and the tools to view web content on ,whether they be mobile phones or laptop computers will lock most of the world out of this opportunity. There are also going to have to be significant social changes in the way people learn to approach ideas of sharing and collaboration before open educational movements can really thrive. To have an open model of education, traditional expert / student roles will have to dissolve somewhat in order to reach the broadest audience. Learners in this new environment have to understand that they are as responsible for everyone else's learning as they are for their own.
6)Do you think institutions will adapt to the new reality or will educational innovators have to find workarounds? I was present at a workshop on Peer-based assessment practices a couple of weeks ago and what we thought might end up being a conflict between us (the rebels) and them (the academics) was really great and we shared so many goals about how non-formal and formal learners could use peer assessment. It did seem like these inside agents of change were somewhat restricted by their organisations. I think that many formal learning institutions will find themselves changed by radical innovation from within and will eventually have to adapt. The true revolution will take place outside of the system and sit in the cracks of existing institutions – there's no way that the universities and colleges of today can truly respond to the desire for learning from the global population.
7) There are concerns about participation in open education by traditionally disadvantaged student populations. What is the best way to reach these students? I'm hoping that a “pay it forward” attitude will be sown in communities such as P2PU, within disadvantaged communities there are often lucky people who can access resources like our community. I'm hoping that after a peer-led experience within P2PU, many people will feel confident enough to take their own experience and to facilitate a face-to-face learning experience for other people. I'm a big fan of lo-fi media labs like Access Space in Sheffield, UK – more than anything else they provide people with the basic technical literacy, knowledge of open source software and access to equipment that they need before they can access the web. Sadly, not every city has an Access Space. However, most cities do have libraries and librarians on the whole are the coolest people I can think of to reach out to disenfranchised populations such as the unemployed, elderly and migrant communities. A good library acts as a meeting space and resource repository, if we could foster a P2P learning model across the libraries of the world we'd be in for a lovely surprise!
8) Your hope and interest in participating in Mozilla Drumbeat Festival? I'm leading the Webcraft Toolshed for the festival and our focus is going to be on how formal and informal learning models can best teach web developers contemporary standards based skills and craftmanship. It's going to be exciting and will be very helpful as a guide for the School of Webcraft's future. I'm also hoping to have enough time to participate in the Peer Learning Fishbowl and to meet with the people from HASTAC who are trying to storm the academy. Ideally some of the web developers speaking with us will also talk to traditional educators and help them take the first steps in building awesome tools for leaning on the web.
9) Anything else you'd like to say about the future of education? What will education look like in 2020? In 2020 we'll be seeing the longer term results of the financial crisis. I don't want to be a pessimist, but I think we'll also start seeing the first significant effects of climate change. On the bright side, these new and challenging situations will meant that people are going to have to become more responsive in the way that they learn to deal with the world. This responsiveness is going to call for a change to the way ideas are shared, education is going to have be faster in its development and delivery and it's going to have to be able to update to new conditions. Learning and sharing your learning will become a quality of resilient communities. I also think that we'll be seeing a really drastic swing away from formal degrees as the focus of tertiary education. The idea of curating a lifelong learning experience that has timely bursts of learning is going to become more of a priority for individuals who don't know what their future will be like.
Philipp Schmidt Invu w/Anya What's happening with it is that we are about to launch the first set of pilot courses as an experimenet i've bene involved w/ a course run by the mozilla foundatio nand CC and we've experimented w/ a similar model a v specific topic what i came away with in that course we've helcd back b/c we need ot answer qs how we link to accreditation and how ppl assess each other you don't ned to have all the answers and ppl who sign up are happy at figuring out these things with you 'ive just had a chat w/ all the ppl last week we decidd to jump in the deep end and start runnign and see what happens
Creative nonfiction writing Behaivoral econmoics Open education for educators course and Wikipedia visualization niche topics that appeal to a certain demographic group offppl it's not your econ 101 or calculus tutoring or basic spanish and we thought about that quite a lot and it's a other ppl are looking at those kind of courses and i think taht's great but i'm not so sure how that open P2P model works for htese basic educaiotn services being provided by mass market us i'm hesitant to move that kind of stuff into P2p we d'nt want t ocopy wht the U does and do it for less money or there's som pretty braod shifts in the way ppl learn and how they engage w/ other ppl so whyn ot take advantage of the possibliites rather than try tobuild a slightly better U thaqt costs less we found those kidns of courses more excitingfor now we might not add mosre basic or general ourses but for some time it wi ll focus on those quirky topics
It also has to do w/ the ppl that we know Absolutely the ppl who will join p2p and who will be successful are ppl who are really committed and willing to spend some time / energy to learn it it's ppl who wd be going out and loking for the materials themselve now can do in a commmunity and get help from other ppl maybe some ppl ahve some more knowledge from you and helpy ou frame some of those conveersrations it's v much driven by the community thath as approachd us and allso ppl that we kno we d'nt want to throw this open to anyone right now we don't want to be come a free for all but we want it to make sene and in a way also i guess we feel quite strongly about the project invested a lot of time and effort we want to find it valuable for the ppl who participate we work for ppl who we iether know or have gotten to know everyone has been a complete volunteer there ahsn't been a paid staff at any pt we got a unit grant recently to get hte pilot phase off the ground , invest mosto f that $ into tech dev we got serious after august last yr Neeru and I met at the ICommon summit at Brazil in 2006 and 2007 and first started speaking about thes things August last yr we got more serious there was a conf in Utah where we ran a workshop it was the moment where we felt either ppl think this is a good idea and they're gg to get enaged or maybe we were wrong and shd be spending our time on other things let's just try it and see what happens
One is, there's that whole convesration about21st C school swhihc i find v convincing i think the basic skills of communicating finding information and knowledge and finding ppl to get hte info you ned ,working in networks and undersatnding how your circle of contacts can help you learn things i think that whole convesration is absolutely right, prodedural skills of how to learn rather than factual knowledge of what you obtain sincefacts arechanging more quickly now As ppl become more comfortable online and in thsee social networking applications that has implications on how they engage w other ppl what is reliable and not relable it wd be crazy if that iddn't influence how they look at educaiotn the systemes aren't really designed for an open network collaborative world that's becoming possible thru the internet we need different schools all of these things have become cliched terms it's obviosu that ppl need to evolve what they know throuhgotu their life much more than they used to The other thing is i think we will see a huge amount of competition in al lthe diff comoponenets of education