From:  Jared Prolo <jwprolo@loyno.edu>
Date:  12 Mar 2013 02:57:17 Hong Kong Time
Newsgroup:  news.mozilla.org/mozilla.education
Subject:  

Re: Hello, World.

NNTP-Posting-Host:  63.245.216.66

Hi!

I'm Jared, and I'm working on a subset of this problem.  In addition to
any feedback you have for the questions Mike put forth, I'd really like
to know :

What are the skills/knowledge level of educators/professors who are
making contact?  

This helps me define what the gap is that we are looking to support.

Thanks!

Jared Prolo

On Fri, 2013-03-08 at 11:40 -0800, Michael Hoye wrote:
> Hi, everyone. 
> 
> My name's Mike Hoye, engineering community manager for Mozilla out of Toronto.
> 
> I'd like to take a moment to tell you a bit about myself, but nobody's got time for that, so let's get straight to the biscuits.
> 
> Mozilla is huge, and we have a lot of ways that people can join up and contribute, but we don't really have a single place where educators (high school teachers and, college/university profs, for the moment) can get a sense of what it would take to get themselves their students involved. 
> 
> In short: right now, our "education" page is old and bad, and I think it should be the other thing.
> 
> So: somebody comes to us and says, I'm a teacher/professor of (X) at (Y), and I'd like to involve myself and/or my students in some facet of the Mozilla project. What I'd like to do is to present them with a list of possible options, so we can figure out what sort of constraints they're under, what sort of relationship we can have with them, and how to make that a good experience for everyone involved.
> 
> 
> So, what I'd like to get from all of you is a sense, in your corner of the Mozilla project of the following:
> 
> - What can a contributor bring to your project? 
> - How much effort does it take to spin up whatever tools or connections you need to spin up, in order to make that first contribution?
> - Is the second the same? Different? Do you pay for that ramp-up time every time, or just once?
> - What sort of commitment are _you_ willing to make to a contributor, once you're aware they want to participate?
> - What sort of recognition or other rewards can you offer a successful contributor, or participant in your process?
> - How can you scale that contribution up or down, to fit the abilities and academic context of the prospective participants?
> 
> 
> Finally, and I think these two are the most important:
> 
> - To the most realistic-slash-pessimistic degree possible, what sort of a time commitment do you think a contributor will have to make, in order for their contribution to be meaningful and rewarding?
> 
> This is going to be different for a lot of people, in a lot of places. A single PhD student data-mining Mozilla's history for their doctorate will have different time commitments available than a student who's juggling four other classes that semester, or a prof who wants his kids to know what Open Source and the Web are but also needs to publish papers towards tenure. We need to present a variety of options there with the best assessments of time-cost we can.
> 
> - ...and finally: what is the _minimum_ skillset and experience that somebody needs to bring to the table, to make this a rewarding and successful relationship, not just for themselves but for their students and Mozilla as well?
> 
> 
> 
> What I'm getting at there is an idea I've been bouncing around for a while, that of the "minimum viable contributor". Basically: for this to be an effective, mutually beneficial relationship, what is the minimum bar you need to be able to meet?
> 
> This doesn't have to be something like "2 years JS experience", nor should it; that's too vague, and these criteria should be crystal clear.  Just as one example, we could say that as far as teaching a class is concerned: "in order to be successful at helping students file bugfixes against Firefox, you must first have fixed one significant Firefox bug yourself". We put that up as a barrier to entry, so we know that educator is familiar with the people, processes and gotchas of the fix-landing process, and isn't just throwing their students under a bus.
> 
> This should, ideally, be something that somebody with a Mozilla LDAP account can check quickly and easily, like Van Halen's brown M&Ms.
> 
> http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/vanhalen.asp
> 
> Then we can say, this is what you can be a part of, this is how you can evaluate success, this is what's next after that.
> 
> So that's what I'd like to start with here.
> 
> - What do you have.
> - What do you want from somebody, and how can you check it.
> - What can you give them, and
> - How hard will that be to get.
> 
> I'll have more on this soon, but that's a decent start.
> 
> Thanks for your time.
> 
> - mhoye
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