04 Dec

Community Service Learning Within Open * Communities

As the name implies, “service-learning is an educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs” (Wikipedia).  When you add the “community” part to that definition it changes to, “about leadership development as well as traditional information and skill acquisition” (Janet 1999).

How does this apply to Open * communities?

Simple!  Community service learning is an ideal way to get middle/high school/college students to get involved within the various communities and understand the power of Open *. And also to stay active after their term of community service learning.

This idea came to me just today (as of writing, Nov. 30th) as a thought on what is really Open *.  Not the straightforward definition of it but the the affect Open * creates.  As I stated on my home page of my site, Open * creates a sense of empowerment.  One way is through the actions that create skills and improvements to those skills.  Which skills are those?  Mozilla Learning made a map and description to these skills on their Web Literacy pages.  They are show below also:

screenshot-from-2016-11-30-19-07-22Most of these skills along with the ways to gain these skills (read, write, participate) can be used as skills to worked on for community service learning.

As stated above, community service learning is really the focus of gaining skills and leadership skills while (in the Open * sense) contribute to projects that impacts the society of the world.  This is really needed now as there are many local and world issues that Open * can provide solutions too.

I see this as an outreach program for schools and the various organizations/groups such as Ubuntu, System76, Mozilla, and even Linux Padawan.  Unlike Google Summer of Code (GSoC), no one receives a stipend but the idea of having a mentor could be taken from GSoC.  No, not could but should.  Because the student needs someone to guide them, hence Linux Padawan could benefit from this idea.

Having that said, I will try to work out a sample program that could be used and maybe test it with Linux Padawan.  Maybe I could have this ready by spring semester.

Random Fact #1: Simon Quigley, through his middle school, is in a way already doing this type of learning.

Random Fact #2: At one point of time, I wanted to translate that Web Literacy map into one that can be applied to Open *, not just one topic.

21 Jul

On The State Of Health Of Our LoCos

Over the last year, Miles Sharpe (Kilos on IRC) worked hard on getting the African LoCos united and active again.  Now he is working with two other LoCo’s: ubuntu-bd and ubuntu-pk.

The problem that he found in the ubuntu-bd LoCo is this:

I started with ubuntu-bd and found 3 nicks on the irc channel and no one
responding. There were over 20 applicants waiting for approval on LP. some for 2 years already. So with some help from the LC we found the owner and he came and agreed to get things going again but said those users prefer facebook and later said he was to busy. And their mailing list is for announcements. I am not a fan of mailing lists but find that they are a good way of getting a message out when one has no irc contact with someone. At least the LP applicants are approved now.  He greeted a few times after that and has now withdrawn again, so pavlushka (the failed applicant) has been trying to get things going again.
At times there are 10 nicks in channel and from chatting to them for the last 5 months, I have learned that they aren’t satisfied with the way things are going there.The Ubuntu community spirit is missing.

Taken from here.

And for the ubuntu-pk LoCo:

I then started looking at the ubuntu-pk channel and found it in the same sad state of affairs. After a couple of months an old ubuntu user from pk arrived and was surprised to find any life there and he has been helping regrow the channel. And will apply for Ubuntu membership within a few months. By rights he could have done that years ago imo. But once again the leadership is at fault. Here is his old wiki page
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/shani

Taken from here.

Both of this examples points to one problem: these LoCos are using Facebook instead of IRC/Mailing-Lists.  Two reasons come up to my mind on why: 1)we are in a new age where social media dominates and 2)these are third-world countries and Internet is expensive.  Because of that, the providers give “free” Internet where the users can only access Facebook and Twitter for free.  In turn, these people of these countries don’t have a sense of what the Internet is really is.  This is where Mozilla Learning aims to educate these people.  But we are not Mozilla, we are Ubuntu and this is not our problem.  Our problem is the health of our Community (looking at Memberships mainly), mainly the LoCos.

One solution is like the Ubuntu Forums system for Membership.  But the problem is how to deal with the applications on Facebook and other social media sites.  One solution is using groups, but that still requires the applicants to have a wiki page, sign the CoC, and the other items for Membership.  And who will oversee the process on these social media sites?

Other LoCos are inactive via the Ubuntu Community or even social media.  The Oceania LoCos are examples. I lied, they are using G+, I need a better example.  The problem with these LoCos is how would new comers be able to join and then find out that there is no one to greet them?  Or even help on rebooting the LoCo?  The solution is come and join #ubuntu-locoteams on irc.feenode.net, where we can help you connect with others of your LoCo or to give ideas on how to reboot your LoCo.

The last group of LoCos are LoCos who have members but they are scattered throughout the country/state.  My LoCo, Ubuntu Ohio, is one example.  One solution to the problem is figure out a common meeting spot and date and meet there.

The bottom line here is that we need to rethink our health of our LoCos as they are source of our Ubuntu Members and it’s a way to connect with others in real life.

EDIT TO ADD: Uniting LoCos in the same continent or country (USA for example) is another solution.

26 Sep

How Could MDN Be Used For Web Lit

Hello from Open Con!  In the first session of the day, the Mozilla Developer Network was presented about.  While it says “developer” in the name, it’s for people who want to also shape the open web.  This can be implied for web lit also.  Using the MDN to write articles on how to create things (such as blogs, sites, etc.), it will allow more people to create things.  I found a page that outlines this that needs help!

21 Sep

The Use of Open Badges Within Web Literacy

UPDATE: Looks like I didn’t look far enough, here are some.  If you want to help, you can look at this issue.

A week ago, I saw a post on the Mozilla Science Lab blog talking about the group hiring a community manager for Mozilla Leadership Programs*.  The post’s many links got me thinking about web literacy within and outside the terms of how to get more people involved in learning and/or helping the community to grow.  One idea was to use Open Badges, like how this idea is shown below:

I want to focus on the badges for the learners first.  More and more people are coming Online each day but they don’t know anything past Facebook, Twitter, and those social media websites.  The Mozilla Web Literacy group’s goal is to educate these people.  In turn, these people can teach others and even get involved to fight the governments (Google also) who want to make the experience limited and/or to help the communities of Open * to grow.

What these Open Badges can do is to give these people a backpack for these badges that can show the world what they have done and learned.  In turn, these people with this backpack full of badges can be able to get further and achieve greater good.

The second set of people are the helpers and the teachers.  With the pack full of badges, these people can show the world how passionate they are for teaching/helping others.

These badges can be (or I should say should) be tied in the Mozillians system at Mozilla and work along side the vouches.  (By the way, I have a profile there too!)

* Of course I applied to that position. Wish me luck!