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).
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 http://guy-pyrzak.blogspot.com/2009/04/lots-of-design-feedback-and-bugzilla.html)
- 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
- 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
- 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?
- 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