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Teaching Open Source Planet

Teaching Open Source Planet is a Planet, a collection of personal blogs by Teaching Open Source community members working to bring the open source way into academia. We write about our inspirations and experiences in learning, teaching, and collaborating within free and open communities. In the spirit of freedom, we share and criticize in order to collectively improve. We hope you enjoy reading our thoughts; if you’re fascinated by what you see, consider adding your voice to the conversation.

Chris Tyler (ctyler)

The OSTEP Applied Research Team

I haven't introduced my research team for quite a while, and it has changed and grown considerably. Here is the current Open Source Technology for Emerging Platforms team working with me at Seneca's Centre for Development of Open Technology. From left to right:

Edwin and Justin work with me on the DevOps project, which is applying the techniques we've learned and developed to the software development
processes of a local applied research partner.

Michael, Glaser, Artem, Reinildo, and Andrew work with me on the LEAP Project. Recently (since this photo was taken), Reinildo returned to Brazil, and has been replaced by Christopher Markieta (who has previously worked with this project).

I'm dying to tell you the details of the LEAP project, so stay tuned for an announcement in the next week!

Terimakasih, Google Mengucapkan Ulang Tahun kepada Saya

Google Mengucapkan Ulang Tahun kepada Saya - Saya tidak tahu kapan google memperbarui fitur ini disini. dan Sekelumit cerita ini mungkin bisa menambah wawasan bagi sobat semua khususnya pengguna browser chrome milik Google jika sobat sebelumnya sudah mendengar fitur google yang keren ini anggap saja bacaan ini sebagai angin lalu hehe.. , Google begitu ingin memanjakan semua penggunanya contohnya

#Mozlove for Tad

I truly believe, that to make Mozilla a place worth ‘hanging your hat‘, we need to get better at being ‘forces of good for each other’.  I like to think this idea is catching on, but only time will tell.

This month’s #mozlove post is for Tom Farrow AKA ‘Tad’,  a long time contributor, in numerous initiatives across Mozilla.  Although Tad’s contribution focus is in Community Dev Ops, it’s his interest in teaching youth digital literacy that first led to a crossing of our paths. You’ll probably find it interesting to know that despite being in his sixth(!!) year of contribution to Mozilla –  Tad is still a High School in Solihull Birmingham, UK.

Tad starting contribution to Mozilla after helping a friend install Firefox on their government-issued laptop, which presented some problems. He found help on SUMO, and through being helped was inspired to become a helper and contributor himself.  Tad speaks fondly of starting with SUMO, of finding friends, training and mentorship.

Originally drawn to IT and DevOps contribution for the opportunity of ‘belonging to something’, Tad has become a fixture in this space helping design hosting platforms, and the evolution of a multi-tenant WordPress hosting. When I asked what was most rewarding about contributing to Community Dev Ops, he shared that pride in innovating a quality solution.

I’m also increasingly curious about the challenges of participation and asked about this as well.  Tad expressed some frustration around ‘access and finding the right people to unlock resources’.  I think that’s probably something that speaks to the greater challenges for the Mozilla community in understanding pathways for support.

Finally my favorite question:  “How do your friends and family relate to your volunteer efforts? Is it easy or hard to explain volunteering at Mozilla?”.

I don’t really try to explain it – my parents get the general idea, and are happy I’m gaining skills in web technology.

I think it’s very cool that in a world of ‘learn to code’ merchandizing, that Tad found his opportunity to learn and grow technical skills in participation at Mozilla :)

I want to thank Tad for taking the time to chat with me, for being such an amazing contributor, and inspiration to others around the project.

* I set a reminder in my calendar every month, which this month happens to be during Mozilla’s Work Week in Whistler.  Tad is also in Whistler, make sure you look out for him – and say hello!






Tracking Microlearning with Tin Can API

This is an interesting article written by Tadej Stanic. According to him,

"Learning analytics is one of the holy grails of today’s eLearning industry. It is a part of the Internet mainstream called big-data and Tin Can API or xAPI, as a relativity new technical standard, is introducing this mainstream to online learning. With this article I’ll share some thoughts on how microlearning and Tin Can API might be the key factors of the future learning."


Using WeBWorK questions in Moodle quizzes -- the Moodle/WeBWorK question bridge

This is a copy of a post that I made to the Moodle forum on Quizzes.

I’m happy to announce a version of WeBWorK that can serve mathematics questions via a Moodle quiz.  This gives a tighter connection between Moodle and WeBWorK, allowing students to work exclusively with the Moodle quiz interface while WeBWorK produces the mathematics questions and processes the student answers in the background.  The result is similar to using STACK to produce and process mathematics questions.

This is a first attempt at realizing the question level WeBWorK-Moodle bridge which I proposed in this forum in my earlier post last January ( and on my blog ( )

It makes most of the 25K+ mathematics questions written for WeBWorK’s OpenProblemLibrary ( available for use in Moodle quizzes as well.  The OPL began with questions designed for single and multivariable calculus courses (and that is still the majority of the collection) but has expanded in both up and down to include questions for linear algebra and differential equations, complex variables, operations research, and statistics; as well as precalculus and developmental mathematics problems and many other math subjects.

To see this Moodle/WeBWorK connection in action,  view the Moodle course for linear algebra and differential equations at (  You will need to login as “visitor”, using the password “visitor” in order to view the quizzes. (Guests are not allowed to view Moodle quizzes.)

This is  a mockup of the matrix algebra/ODE course which I taught in 2009 using the Moodle/WeBWorK assignment connection (which presents an entire homework assignment using the WeBWorK interface).  In each week  you’ll see the original WeBWorK assignment that I used (the icon is a yellow spider web on blue background) and near it the Moodle Quiz version of the same assignment.  Try each of them to get a comparison between the WeBWorK/Moodle assignment bridge and the new WeBWorK/Moodle question bridge.

I have set the behavior of the Moodle Quiz so that it closely approximates the original WeBWorK assignment.  These assignments are meant primarily for homework/practice not for normative assessment.  The student can retry each question as often as she wishes and if there are several answer blanks then evaluation is given separately for each blank.

The Moodle portion of this bridge is built on the Opaque question type module implemented by Tim Hunt for interfacing with webservice test engines.  I am indebted to Tim for help and advice while I was implementing this Moodle/WeBWorK question interface.

Information for installing and configuring the Moodle Opaque question type is available on github at  Specifically you need the opaque qtype module: and the opaque behaviour module:  

I’ll provide more detailed suggestions for creating your own Moodle/WeBWorK questions later but for those somewhat familiar with both WeBWorK and Moodle here is the short explanation.
1. You create a new Opaque engine pointing to the url: and set the question bank URL for the engine to .
2. For each question the questionID should be the same as the path of a WeBWorK problem in the OpenProblemLibrary with the following replacements.
The initial segment should be “library” instead of “Library”, each slash is replaced by two underscores, and each hyphen is replaced by three underscores. (This is required in order to conform to the Opaque client naming scheme.)
For example:
is obtained using the questionID:

For those who are really impatient the WeBWorK server function is provided by adding the project opaque_server along side a standard WeBWorK course. The Opaque Server can be found at ( along with minimal documentation for installing.   That repo will be moved to the standard WeBWorK github site ( after further testing (and after the documentation has been expanded).

This is the first version of the Moodle/WeBWorK question bridge so the behavior may change slightly in the future.  Because STACK and WeBWorK are already very similar I would be interested in creating a question type that was interchangeable between the two background mathematics engines.  Instructors would be able to mix STACK and WeBWorK questions in the same quiz in such a way that it was invisible (or nearly invisible) to students which engine was handling the question.

Your comments are welcome.

-- Mike Gage, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

Kulbir Saini (generalBordeaux)

Catching up!

A lot has changed since the last blog post (more than three years). I was happily running a successful business around Videocache till Google decided to push HTTPS really hard and enforced SSL even for video content. That rendered Videocache completely useless as YouTube video caching was the unique selling point. Though people are still using it for other websites (whatever supported and not HTTPS yet), I personally didn’t find it good enough for selling. To add to the trouble, Mozilla and friends announced that there will be free certs for everyone. Now, that took away whatever motivation was left to keep working on Videocache. I decided to open source Videocache and the source is now available on GitHub. If you have better ideas or you are looking forward to make things work by forging certs etc, fork it and give it a shot.

After all that mess with Videocache, I am left with a contract job which is not working out well. So, the learning hat is back and I am trying to catch up with the tech world. I didn’t really want to get into the whole JavaScript framework mess because there is no clear winner and there are too many of them but it looks rather unavoidable or Unflushable (if you remember Jeff from Coupling). I have been trying to make simple apps with Angularjs. There is little documentation and you have to dig really deep at times but still you can make things work if you persist. Once you spend some quality time with it, you may actually start liking Angularjs. So, I did give it some time and implemented angular fronted for Pixomatix-Api (another learning project I am working on) and I think I sort of like it now.

In 2015, if you are web developer, you must know how APIs work and you should be able to consume them. So, to learn to expose APIs and version them properly, I fired a small project Pixomatix. Being a Rails developer, you really get obsessed with it and try to implement everything using Rails. Even when you want an API with 2-3 endpoints, you tend to make the horrible mistake of doing it in Rails. This kept bugging me and a few weeks later, I decided to freshen up my Sinatra memories. But working with Sinatra is not all that easy especially if you are used to all the niceties of Rails. Dug up my attempt of implementing Videocache in Ruby, and extracted few tasks and configurations I had automated long time ago. Ended up working a lot more on it and packages into a template app with almost all the essential stuff. Though I need to document it a little more, the app has got everything needed to expose a versioned API via Sinatra.

On the other hand, I tried to use devise gem to authentication for Pixomatix. It was all good for integration with standard web apps and APIs but it sort of failed me when I tried to make the API versioned. Devise turned out to be black-hole when I tried to dig deeper to make things work. I tried a few other gems which supported token authentication but they were also no good for versioning. Generally, you may not need to version the authentication part of your API, but what if you do! Since, this was just a learning exercise, I was hell bent on implementing this. So, I just reinvented the wheel and coded basic authentication (including token authentication) for the API.

That’s it for this post. I am looking forward to post regularly on the new stuff I learn.

Thoughts on Google Fit

Google_FitI was an early adopter of Fitbit and have to say that is honestly paved the way for fitness bands and apps we have today. There are plenty of things about Fitbit as a physical product that bothered me from its silly short USB charger that I couldn’t charge overnight at my bedside to the band that caused rashes and a product line recall. There are however some things that Fitbit is doing better than Google Fit and Apple’s HealthKit so far and one of those things is it connects you with your friends with a common goal of improved fitness and coaching each other along. Neither Google Fit or Apple’s HealthKit have this social feature and even when they do I imagine Google will tie it to Google+ which means few friends could connect with me.

That being said Google Fit is really the underdog feature wise right now as it tracks a very limited amount of activities and does not have the full health picture that Apple HealthKit is going for. Also it seems like Google Fit is behind on partners and services to connect Google Fit with. For instance, I cannot connect Google Fit to Walgreen’s Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices or a number of other services that support HealthKit and Fitbit.

But the reason I have stuck with Google Fit is simply put I think there is more potential for Google Fit to become the best fitness/health platform and kick HealthKit and Fitbit to the curb. Android has millions of users worldwide outpacing iPhone so that’s millions more users that Google Fit can collect movement data from and make their accelerometer algorithm better than HealthKit or Fitbit. Even more, Android has tons of location data and amazing machine learning (Apple is far behind) it can throw behind Google Fit to help us better understand our health and fitness metrics.

All of that said I am sticking with Google Fit but would love to see the following implemented in the near future:

Keeping Girls Engaged in STEM Fields (until they retire as old women)

I was honoured to be invited to Makerfaire Vancouver this past month to talk a bit about Mozilla, Mozilla Webmaker ‘Clubs’ and to encourage a grassroots approach to teaching and mentoring girls in STEM.  As it tends to go, I learned far more from others on the panel than I was capable of sharing I also left feeling a greater sense of purpose for my role in encouraging diversity in technology.

And that purpose came after listening to another panel speaker shared his studies showing that – when girls are asked to identify their gender on exams, they almost always had lower results than if they had taken a test without gender identification.  And this resonated with me, not on reflection of my girlhood in science, but in my years working in technology and transition to motherhood.

Although important, it feels like the the bulk of advocacy begins with girls and ends with young women.  I want to argue that success for ‘girls in STEM’ can only truly be celebrated when that success flows through the various identities and transitions in a woman’s life.

Motherhood is like that gender question on exams in that it often changes our confidence that we might be capable – or that people in positions of influence  believe we are.  Not because motherhood changes our abilities (heck no!) but because there’s a sense we need to apologize for having a competing priority especially when dominate tech culture reflects 18 hour days, beer-nights and ping-pong tables. Without proper mentorship, support and advocacy I’ve witnessed that tech loses a lot of women during this time.

So, I don’t have the answers (sorry of you scrolled down for wisdom) but what occurred to me is that somehow I have managed to say in tech, despite a number of transitions in my life – including a year-long period of critical illness for one of my children.  I’ll be doing a lot more thinking about how to connect local efforts around youth with women who can also benefit. For me that also means thinking about open source participation as a way to find mentors, and to stay connected and relevant during life transitions.


* I have been ‘shouted down’ on this topic before, by men saying I was ignoring the challenges fatherhood played in their careers.  To that I say – go solve that too.

* We were also asked about STEAM (arts education). To that I say, if you have strengths in art, go teach that.  No one person can solve all things – take that thing you are good at, and bring it to your community :)

* Learning to Solder was the highlight of Makerfaire for my daughters.


Embedding single WeBWorK problems in HTML pages

Whether writing a full text book or just an explanation and worksheet for a class it is often useful to include an active (even better an interactive example) within the text itself. You can always use a link to refer to a WeBWorK homework set but that doesn’t have the immediacy of a problem embedded in the page itself.  

Now you can use WeBWorK to do that -- there is a new mechanism that allows you to export the content of an individual problem without all of the buttons and navigation items that usually appear for a standard homework set. Here is an example.

Problem 1 -- interval notation

In many websites this problem is interactive, try it.   After the jump I have attached a link to an HTML page with many more examples which you can try out. You can also download the page and modify it to display other questions.  On the HTML page I have wrapped each example with a "knowl" slide down javaScript that allows you to slide open or to close each example question individually.

Read more »

Voicemail is dead, long live Voicemail!

I’ve come to the conclusion that for me at least it is no longer very convenient to use voicemail. You know, that feature most cell phones have that’s been made modern and comes from the era when we all owned landline phones and had answering machines with cassette tapes?

Yeah I’ve found voicemail to be utterly useless now that almost everyone is using Email, Social Media or SMS. Why do I want to call into voicemail wait a few seconds and then delete the message every time I get a missed call? (FYI I usually do not listen to voicemail but instead mass delete and send an email) This is really a bothersome task when someone can simply drop me a email or a SMS.

Let me break down the history of voicemail to you…

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 8.05.58 PM

So it puzzles me that Google Voice is still investing in voicemail by integrating Google Voice into its Hangouts app on Android because it is clear there has been a decline of people using this technology and calling people isn’t very popular unless you are making a remake of “Call Me Maybe.”

Why can’t this technology be entirely eliminated or at least be made more useful with a new iteration like converting Voicemail to text? Yes there is visual voicemail in fact Google Voice does it but it is not widely integrated into any mobile OS yet. (But lets file a feature request and cross our fingers!)

Voicemail is dead, long live the Voicemail!

But seriously tell me in the comments if you still use voicemail and what your use case is because I’m trying to grok how voicemail is superior to email, SMS or Social Media at this point.

Smart Sparrow - Adaptive Learning Platform

Smart Sparrow (

1. Smart Sparrow is an education technology start-up.

2. It started within the Adaptive eLearning Research Group at the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

3. This research group commercialized an adaptive learning technology.

4. Adaptive learning is an educational method which uses computers as interactive teaching devices and adapts educational materials according to the students’ learning needs.

5. The technology incorporates the interactivity previously only afforded by an actual human teacher.

6. It also integrates ideas from various fields, including computer science, education, and psychology.

7. The Smart Sparrow software tools, known collectively as the Adaptive eLearning Platform, are a web-based suite that develops adaptive learning content and applications.

8. The suite deploys that material to students and analyses how students learn from their responses to the material.

9. The platform implements an intelligent tutoring system that combines Constraint-Based Modeling with Model Tracing.

10. In 2013, an educational white paper "LEARNING TO ADAPT: A Case for Accelerating Adaptive Learning in Higher Education" identified Smart Sparrow as one of six ‘notable’ adaptive learning platform providers.

11. The same paper, part of a study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, cited the impact of the Smart Sparrow platform on increasing enrolments and reducing dropouts.

12. Other studies cite accelerated learning times with the platform.

13. By 2013, the Smart Sparrow platform had become the basis of Australia’s national Biomedical Education Skills and Training Network.

14. The Smart Sparrow platform was integrated into tertiary courses in differing disciplines at universities in the US and Australia.

15. By later 2013, Smart Sparrow was being deployed in Australian high schools, as part of a collaborative partnership with Australian universities to improve student engagement in mathematics and science.


Don’t Celebrate USA Freedom Act Passage

This Phone is TappedThis Phone is Tapped, Tony Webster (CC by 2.0)

Mozilla recently announced it’s support for the USA Freedom Act alongside allies like the EFF, but the EFF also ended up withdrawing its support because of deficiencies in the legislation and a recent opinion from an appeals court.

I think Mozilla should have withdrawn its support on this still flawed bill because while it did push forward some important reforms it still extended flawed sections of the law that infringe on individual’s civil liberties such as Section 206 “Roving Wiretap” authority program. This program essentially allows the FBI access to any phone line, mobile communications or even internet connections a suspect may be using without ever having to provide a name to anyone. This is clearly not good legislation because it allows overreach and lacks a requirement that communications or accounts being tapped are tied to the subject. While this is just one example there are many other provisions that allow intelligence and law enforcement agencies to continue their spying, just not as broadly as before.

What we need is smarter legislation that allows law enforcement and intelligence agencies to do their work without infringing on the privacy or civil liberties of everyday Americans, you know, like back when domestic spying was entirely illegal.

Wikipedia does a great job of documenting some good information about the USA Freedom Act and I would encourage folks to check out the article and research this piece of legislation more. Remember this bill only passed because it had concessions for Pro-Intelligence legislators, the same folks who created the Patriot Act and opened up spying on Americans in the first place.

I think Mozilla could have done better by withdrawing support and it is good to see that while the EFF is celebrating some parts of the USA Freedom Act it is also mourning some of the concessions.

Cara Tercepat Mencari Topik Kata Kunci Tertentu di Grup Facebook

Cara Cepat Mencari Topik Kata Kunci Tertentu di Grup Facebook - Pernah nggak sewaktu sobat sedang mencari topik di sebuah grup facebook yang sudah banyak sekali member disana merasa harus mengscroll terus sampai bawah sampai kadang merasa capek dan bosan. untuk grup-grup kecil mungkin itu tidak seberapa namun untuk grup besar tentu akan memakan waktu yang lumayan. lama oleh sebab itu facebook

Heartbeat #3 (my) Participation Opportunities

As you may or may not yet be aware, the Participation Team at Mozilla is working more openly using the Heartbeat process.  This week we start Heartbeat #3 , and in the next two days you’ll see this page fill with the issues the team will be working on for next three weeks.  You can see our previous issues and see how those went by viewing this page.

I thought I would surface a couple of things, I’m working on this heartbeat and would LOVE help with – should you want to get involved as a contributor in any way.  I always offer lots of feedback, training (where it helps) and #mozlove with every chance I get.  I also outlined what you might learn as part of contributing.

For my ‘base task‘  this Heartbeat:

1) Education Portal Theming

Our platform needs some love from someone interested in bringing this site inline with Mozilla design standards.  It’s close but – not close enough.  Built on Jekyll (Github Pages, LiquidBootstrap )  – ideally we need something like Makerstrap.

You’ll learn (or get better at) :  SASS, Jekyll, Twitter Bootstrap, SASS

2) Mozilla Domain Transfer

Right now the Education platform is under my repository account.  Deb has kindly given me some instructions on how to transfer, but need someone to book time with me to walk through it and make it so.

You’ll learn (or get better at) :  Github repository management

3) Figure out a way to add ‘chapters’ to training videos

I need a way to add chapters to a couple of our longer traiing videos.  Research to help identify the best way (not Popcorn Maker which is being depreciated) would be super-helpful.

You’ll learn (or get better at) :   Media / Teaching Technologies

For my Marketpulse task this Heartbeat:

1) Targeted Outreach

We have a  community growing around Market Research contribution (Marketpulse) thanks to the clarity of our steps in the participation ladder. We still need a lot more people completing steps #1 and #2 in areas where Firefox OS phone is sold.

2) For a creative challenge I need help identifying non-traditional ways to reach out to people already skilled in Market Research.  Basically outside the Mozilla community where do we go for this skill-set? I need not only ideas but someone interested in testing those ideas.  If we could have even 1 new and skilled Market Researcher join as a volunteer I would do a happy dance and share that on Social Media.

You’ll learn (or get better at) : Strategy, Communication, Community Building, Writing

For my Community Onboarding Task

Community members will soon be part of the onboarding process for new staff and interns (yay!), as part of that we’ll need a scheduling tool.  Onboarding is every Monday, and we need to ensure that all slots are covered. So!

1) Tool Research

I need help figuring out a way to create an open and accessible scheduling tool for sign-up.  Is there a good (free and open) tool for this?  Maybe its just a calendar, but I need help researching, evaluating and selecting.

You’ll learn (or get better at) :  Community Management, Scheduling


So these are the things that would really be helpful if you’re looking to get involved with the Participation Team this Heartbeat – or at least my small place on it.  Please email me at eirwin at mozilla, OR leave a comment OR tweet at me. if you’re interested.  Thanks!

I would also be curious if this is helpful to those looking to get involved (above the Github issues). If not what else would work?


Image Credit David Blaine

Proceedings of the International Mobile Learning Festival (21 - 23 May 2015)

The International Mobile Learning Festival was held in Hong Kong from 21st to 23rd of May, 2015.

The proceedings of the conference can be downloaded from this website:

Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) Model

Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) Model

This is an interesting framework which was developed by Marguerite Koole of Athabasca University in 2006. According to this Framework, mobile learning is defined as a process resulting from the interaction of three aspects, i.e. mobile technologies, human learning capacities, and the social aspects of learning.

From Debbie Chachra: what I want to tell my future research students when they start

Debbie Chachra’s newsletter described what she told undergrad summer researchers in engineering education about their work today, and it struck me deep as someone who’s been an open source newbie and a perplexed undergrad researcher — and then grown into the sort of person that (terrifyingly!) is in the position to mentor both.

[Undergrad summer research] is not a job; the money they get is a stipend, not a salary. Its purpose is to carve out the space and time for them to participate in the program, not to pay them for the work they do… The reason why they get stipends and not salaries is twofold: one, because the summer is intended to be a learning experience above all, and two, because it’s basically impossible to do research to order. You can be directed to do specific research-related tasks, but actually exploring an area, being engaged, and coming up with insights is not something you can turn into a checklist, not least because if you could do that, it wouldn’t be research.

Research can pretty much only be done by people who are intrinsically motivated; that is, interested in and committed to what they’re doing, and not just doing it because they have to. Most of the students have had jobs and all of them are familiar with doing assignments for class; none of them have had an experience like this. So start by trying to get this across to the students: “You are not minions. You are not workers. You are not robots. You’re going to bring your whole heart and mind to what you do.”

This has been my failing — in both roles — many times. As a newcomer to open source and research, I showed up and expected… a job. That’s how you earned your stripes, right? That’s how you showed humility, and willingness to learn… you had to pay your dues. It’s what I had always been taught. And so I showed up in OLPC’s IRC channel and asked Jim Gettys to tell me what to do. I followed SJ Klein around the office like a puppy, beamed gratefully when Chris Ball gave me something to do. I sat in Cynthia Breazeal’s lab waiting for Cory Kidd to tell me… something. Waiting for orders.

It took a long time for me to realize that all these people were waiting for me. I didn’t know they wanted me — I thought they wanted my interchangeable labor-functionality. But no, they were waiting for an idea I didn’t know I was supposed to originate. How could I have known this was the culture, the expectation? I’d never been in a FOSS project before, never been in a lab — my family had never experienced these things. I’d never witnessed a student interacting with a hacker or a researcher. I had the “try things, make them happen!” paradigm, but only in my schools — I thought it was a thing you could do only in those special spaces like IMSA or Olin. I hadn’t been in schools like that quite long enough for that worldview to sink deeply enough into my marrow that it would transfer into all the spaces I would ever walk into.

Then I got a little older, a little more experienced. Failed a lot, learned from it — learned enough that others started seeing me as someone who could teach them. And I tried to impart this worldview shift of “you are not a robot,” but — as we often do when we are tired and under-resourced, I fell back into my habits. I would tell people what to do; I would scaffold a bit too tightly, I would… set expectations. When there’s no room to fail, there’s also no room to fly. I failed my way into becoming a better teacher, a better research supervisor, a better mentor of hackers, time and time again.

When we teachers think about the people who have taught us how to teach, we usually think about our own good teachers. I also think about the students who graciously allowed me to fail them, and stuck around long enough to keep loving me through learning how to be a better mentor to them. I am trying to make my learning worthy of the cost they had to pay for me to grow.

#MozLove for Tanner

Lets be move from being ‘bandwagon-y’ about appreciation to being active participants and believers in surfacing the accomplishments of others.

I block off a a bit of time each month as my #mozlove shout-out day. This is the day I try to blog, or write a couple of LinkedIn recommendations for community I am grateful for, amazed-by or otherwise I think you should know about!   And so, I want to surface the story of Tanner today.



Tanner is a part of a core team contributing to Community Ops, and numerous other projects across Mozilla. Tanner has been a huge help to me personally, in tackling nasty server setup things.  He is a true pleasure to work with.  Tanner has also done a fantastic job as a Mozilla Rep, most recently helping with a Mozilla booth at SCALE 13x .


I asked Tanner what first compelled him to contribute:

At time I was sharing one computer with four others in my family, it was running Windows Vista. For some reason that I couldn’t figure out, Internet Explorer caused Windows to BSOD. I tried everything I could to fix my then-beloved Internet Explorer (I feel gross saying this). Eventually I gave up with it, and started trying out other browsers. For a while I used Opera, and really liked it. Then it too started causing some sort of problems, I don’t remember what yet. After a while, I remembered that one of my friends had told me about this program called Firefox, so I decided to give it a try. It was love at first sight.

I saw something interesting on the support page. It was run entirely by volunteers, and *I* could help!

I also asked him what was most rewarding, and found a kindred spirit in his response:  ‘learning and teaching’.

 Teaching someone just feels different than learning it yourself. My thinking is that if you are able to teach someone how to do something the right way, you have to be at least competent in what you’re doing, and that would say a lot about your abilities.

There are challenges in participation, and I asked Tanner about those as well:

  1. Avoiding Burn-out (there are only 24 hours in the day and Tanner has admitted to being up at 3AM reading docs)
  2. Working ‘around the world’ cane be hard – finding time to collaborate with someone else on the other side of the world is challenging
  3. Managing relationships and handling disagreements is harder on the web than in person.  ( I would suggest this is a skill-set all it’s own that will serve Tanner well outside Mozilla)

Being somewhat nosy, I am always curious about what  family and friends know about our contributor’s time and about Mozilla in general.  So I asked about that as well, and glad I did because this:

 A lot of people do have trouble understanding how I’d do something that I’m good at for free. When people say that, I explain to them that Mozilla isn’t *just* Firefox, and I’m not doing it just because it’s fun, but because we have to “save the Web”.

Tanner describes himself as being from: “The Middle of Nowhere, USA, also known as Cedar Rapids, Iowa.”  And so, if you are ever wondering where the Middle of Nowhere, USA is – I can now share that with you here:)



Tanner will be attending the University of Northern Iowa this fall where he will be studying Networking and Systems (although I expect he can probably do a bit of the teaching a well!).

When he’s not being a volunteer super-hero, Tanner loves to go back to his love of Marching bands and Drum Corps – with YouTube of bands being his favorite viewing choice. (note to Tanner: I used to drum in pipebands, we should jam sometime soon)

I’m grateful for a community that includes Tanner, and so grateful he took the time to answer my questions!

You can read Tanner’s Blog here

Consider writing a #mozlove blog or tweet for someone you appreciate!



Mozilla Academy Strategy Update

One of MoFo’s main goals for 2015 is to come up with an ambitious learning and community strategy. The codename for this is ‘Mozilla Academy’. As a way to get the process rolling, I wrote a long post in March outlining what we might include in that strategy. Since then, I’ve been putting together a team to dig into the strategy work formally.

This post is an update on that process in FAQ form. More substance and meat is coming in future posts. Also, there is lots of info on the wiki.

Q1. What are we trying to do?

Our main goal is alignment: to get everyone working on Mozilla’s learning and leadership development programs pointed in the same direction. The three main places we need to align are:

  1. Purpose: help people learn and hone the ability to read | write | participate.
  2. Process: people learn and improve by making things (in a community of like-minded peers).
  3. Poetry: tie back to ‘web = public resource’ narrative. Strong Mozilla brand.

At the end of the year, we will have a unified strategy that connects Mozilla’s learning and leadership development offerings (Webmaker, Hive, Open News, etc.). Right now, we do good work in these areas, but they’re a bit fragmented. We need to fix that by creating a coherent story and common approaches that will increase the impact these programs can have on the world.

Q2. What is ‘Mozilla Academy’?

That’s what we’re trying to figure out. At the very least, Mozilla Academy will be a clearly packaged and branded harmonization of Mozilla’s learning and leadership programs. People will be able to clearly understand what we’re doing and which parts are for them. Mozilla Academy may also include a common set of web literacy skills, curriculum format and learning approaches that we use across programs. We are also reviewing the possibility of a shared set of credentials or roles for people participating in Mozilla Academy.

Q3. Who is ‘Mozilla Academy’ for?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve started to look at who we’re trying to serve with our existing programs (blog post on this soon). Using the ‘scale vs depth’ graph in the Mozilla Learning plan as a framework, we see three main audiences:

A big part of the strategy process is getting clear on these audiences. From there we can start to ask questions like: who can Mozilla best serve?; where can we have the most impact?; can people in one group serve or support people in another? Once we have the answers to these questions we can decide where to place our biggest bets (we need to do this!). And we can start raising more money to support our ambitious plans.

Q4. What is a ‘strategy’ useful for?

We want to accomplish a few things as a result of this process. A. A way to clearly communicate the ‘what and why’ of Mozilla’s learning and leadership efforts. B. A framework for designing new programs, adjusting program designs and fundraising for program growth. C. Common approaches and platforms we can use across programs. These things are important if we want Mozilla to stay in learning and leadership for the long haul, which we do.

Q5. What do you mean by ‘common approaches’?

There are a number of places where we do similar work in different ways. For example, Mozilla Clubs, Hive, Mozilla Developer Network, Open News and Mozilla Science Lab are all working on curriculum but do not yet have a shared curriculum model or repository. Similarly, Mozilla runs four fellowship programs but does not have a shared definition of a ‘Mozilla Fellow’. Common approaches could help here.

Q6. Are you developing a new program for Mozilla?

That’s not our goal. We like most of the work we’re doing now. As outlined in the 2015 Mozilla Learning Plan, our aim is to keep building on the strongest elements of our work and then connect these elements where it makes sense. We may modify, add or cut program elements in the future, but that’s not our main focus.

Q7. Are you set on the ‘Mozilla Academy’ name?

It’s pretty unlikely that we will use that name. Many people hate it. However, we needed a moniker to use during the strategy process. For better or for worse, that’s the one we chose.

Q8. What’s the timing for all of this?

We will have a basic alignment framework around ‘purpose, process and poetry’ by the end of June. We’ll work with the team at the Mozilla All Hands in Whistler. We will develop specific program designs, engage in a  broad conversation and run experiments. By October, we will have an updated version of the Mozilla Learning plan, which will lay out our work for 2016+.

As indicated above, the aim of this post is to give a process update. There is much more info on the process, who’s running it and what all the pieces are in the Mozilla Learning strategy wiki FAQ. The wiki also has info on how to get involved. If you have additional questions, ask them here. I’ll respond to the comments and also add my answers to the wiki.

In terms of substance, I’m planning a number of posts in coming weeks on topics like the essence of web literacy, who our audiences are and how we think about learning. People leading Mozilla Academy working groups will also be posting on substantive topics like our evolving thinking around the web literacy map and fellows programs. And, of course, the wiki will be growing with substantive strategy documents covering many of the topics above.

Filed under: education, mozilla, webmakers


You too can let folks know that you support Jonathan Riddell just like the Kubuntu Council has by tweeting with hashtag #ISupportJonathan or using this nifty banner on social media.


Joining the Kubuntu Family

KubuntuI’m happy to announce today that the Kubuntu Council unanimously approved my request for Kubuntu Membership. As I explained in response to a question by Jonathan Riddell, I have felt for a long time that Kubuntu Project distills the Ubuntu values and has a great sense of community that many long time Ubuntu Contributors might remember from the earlier days of Ubuntu.

I’m very happy to join the Kubuntu Team and look forward to supporting the project through contributions in my spare time.

Gosh, I might have to get another tattoo!

Is Blended Learning the Best of Both Worlds?

Here is an interesting discussion on blended learning:

Is Blended Learning the Best of Both Worlds?

Facebook, Africa & Net Neutrality.

Almost everybody loves Wikipedia, and while we may not all love Facebook (FB), many of us are somewhat addicted to it anyway. So, if cellular networks offer access to them free of charge, it is an offer that few would resist. But we should remember the cliche about “free” products on the internet: if there’s no charge, you are the product – your attention is sold to advertisers at a price, according to what the seller knows about you.

The debate over “zero-rating” (sponsored data) has intensified since the launch of, a project whereby FB pays networks to make a bouquet of web services (including Wikipedia and FB) available for free. It’s part of the wider debate over Net Neutrality .

Given that the stated goal of is to extend internet access to the majority of the world’s population who don’t have it, Africa becomes central to the discussion. Although there may be numerically more not-yet-connected people in Asia, they usually live more densely – often in areas where telecommunications infrastructure exists, even though only used by wealthier members of society. Thus, relatively less investment is necessary to get them online.

Simply put, most of Africa is sparsely populated, and few of the population can afford internet. Although mobile networks have grown massively – and still are doing so – they cover mostly urban areas and transport routes, where people of means concentrate. The network operators have little incentive to invest elsewhere – unless FB, albeit for its own reasons, subsidises them to do so.

People who argue (perfectly reasonably) that what will bring to the otherwise-unconnected is not the internet as the world knows it, but a curated “walled garden” must concede that the alternative, for millions, is to be deprived even of the possibility of buying a data bundle to be able to get outside of the bouquet.

An additional factor to be considered is the growing importance of the internet in humanitarian responses an area where Africa is historically disadvantaged.

My own modest proposal is that we separate the components of net neutrality – I agree with the principle that all data packets should be handled equally, but I can accept that some of them are paid for by a corporation.

However, since the first edition of this blog, news has emerged that websites or services need to satisfy “lightweight” technical criteria to feature in (in order to keep data needs low). This includes making no use of basic encryption measures. In other words FB is luring new internet users into an insecure environment where they can be spied upon and defrauded. At the very least they must be made aware of this.

As African internet governance stakeholders we must grapple with these issues.

P2P Name Systems: Potential Disruptors?

People involved with internet governance need to see the big picture, beyond the practicalities of the existing system and its immediate challenges. As more and more governments resort to interfering in the DNS lookup process, alternatives to it become more attractive.

There are several projects to provide alternative DNSs; in general they are deprecated because they create the possibility that different users clicking on the same link could be directed to different destinations; this could seriously harm the usefulness of the internet as a whole. However this general concern does not apply to all of them, as will be seen below.

Two concepts need to be understood before P2P name services can be fully explained: peer-to-peer architecture as such, and secondly blockchains.

In essence, P2P architecture removes the distinction between client computers and servers. Each machine in a P2P network has similar status as a “node” or “servent”. Early examples were file-sharing systems, where once a file had been seeded from the first node, it would be stored in multiple locations and each time a new request for it was made, it could be sourced from several of those locations simultaneously, according to the traffic load in each part of the network from moment to moment.

The concept of a blockchain is an innovation within the P2P paradigm. First introduced as part of the Bitcoin project, in essence it is a distributed open ledger/database which is constantly synchronised between all the nodes of the network. Hence it is almost impossible to make a fraudulent alteration. Although originally created as a record of payments, new uses are constantly being found and the administration of domain names is one of these, first deployed in the Namecoin project (being free/open-source software, anyone can duplicate and modify it).

How Namecoin’s service works

The domain name serving function of Namecoin relies on its cryptocurrency nature. Because a massive amount of processing power is involved in verifying and recording a transaction (e.g. the leasing of a name domain), the uniqueness of each URL is guaranteed and fraudulent or abusive activity excluded. This processing is performed on the computers of some members of the P2P network, referred to as “miners”. They are rewarded by units of the Namecoin currency, which are actually encrypted digital code. These same units can be used, among other things, to lease domain names.

A user wishing to use this service can install a special add-on in their browser, which enables them to access URLs having the “.bit” suffix by communicating with the P2P network which then returns the relevant IP address. Other methods such as proxy servers are available.

Ways to work around censorship

The main “selling point” of P2P name services is that they prevent the kind of crude censorship mentioned earlier, where a government simply compels the operators of DNS servers to remove certain websites from the lookup list. However, there are other ways of working around such censorship.

Many people may choose P2P name services because they like the do-it-yourself aspect, which leads to collective self-reliance among a community of users. Conceivably, such services could continue to function if the main structure of the internet is disrupted, especially when combined with mesh network infrastructure, which is becoming more common and easier to implement. Such resilient communications have repeatedly proven to shift the balance of power between civil society and repressive regimes. They also offer a cheap and co-operative way to make telecommunication accessible where the market has failed to do so.

Learning Analytics Initiative

There is a new initiative called the Learning Analytics Initiative.

Here is the link:

Here is the Overview from their home page:

The aims of the Apereo Learning Analytics Initiative (LAI) are to accelerate the operationalization of Learning Analytics software and frameworks, support the validation of analytics pilots across institutions, and work together so as to avoid duplication.

Work is underway across the learning analytics domain to realize an open analytics infrastructure. Institutions and companies are partnering to build a solid learning analytics foundation, in order to enable institutions to ask and answer strategic questions about learners – and take action on those insights.

The following are examples of LAI efforts in each of the five primary areas of learning analytics:


1. Sakai CLE xAPI integration (University of Amsterdam, Unicon)
2. Apereo OAE xAPI integration (UvA, Unicon)
3. uPortal xAPI integration (UvA, Eric Dalquist, Unicon)


4. Larissa, community-sourced LRS (UvA)
5. OpenLRS, community-sourced LRS (USUHS, Unicon)

(LRS stands for Learning Record Store, which makes use of the xAPI or Tin Can API.)

Towards a Participation Standard

Participation at Mozilla is a personal journey, no story  the same, no path identical and while motivations may be similar at times,  what sustains and rewards our participation is unique. Knowing this, it feels slightly ridiculous to use the visual of a ladder to model the richness of opportunity and value/risk of ‘every step’.  The impression that there is a single starting point, a single end and a predictable series of rigid steps between seems contrary to the journey.

Yet… the ‘ladder’ to me has always seemed like the perfect way to visualize the potential of ‘starting’.  Even more importantly, I think ladders help people visualize how finishing a single step leads to greater things: greater impact, depth of learning and personal growth among other things.

After numerous conversations (inside and outside Mozilla) on this topic, I’ve come to realize that focus should be more on the rung or ‘step’, and not on building a rigid project-focused connection between them. In the spirit of our virtuous circle, I believe that being thoughtful  and deliberate about step design, lends to the emergence of personalized learning  and participating pathways. “Cowpaths of participation”.


In designing steps, we  also need to consider that not everyone needs to jump to a next thing, and that specializations and ‘depth’ exists in opportunities as well.  Here’s template I’m using to build participation steps right now:








* Realize I need to add ‘mentorship available’ as well.

This model (or an evolution of it) if adopted could provide a way for contributors to traverse between projects and grow valuable skillsets and experience for life with increasing impact to Mozilla’s mission.  For example, as a result of participating in the Marketpulse project I find my ‘place’ in User Research, I can also look for steps across the project in need of that skill, or offering ways to specialize even further.  A Python developer perhaps,  can look for QA ‘steps’  after realizing the most enjoyable part of one project ladder was actually the QA process.

I  created a set of Participation Personas to help me visualize the people we’re engaging, and what their  unique perspectives, opportunities and risks are.  I’m building these on the ‘side of my desk’ so only Lurking Lucinda has a full bio at the moment, but you can see all profiles in this document (feel free to add comments).

I believe all of this thinking, and design have helped me build a compelling and engaging ladder for  Marketpulse, where one of our goals is to sustain project-connection through learning opportunities.


In reality though, while this can help us design for single projects – really well,  to actually support personalized ladders we need adoption across the project.  At some point we just need to get together on standards that help us scale participation – a “Participation Standard” .

Last year I spent a lot of time working with a number of other open projects, trying to solve for a lot of these same participation challenges present in Mozilla.   And so,  I also dream of that something like this can empowers other projects in a similar way: where  personalized learning and participating pathways can extend between Mozilla and other projects with missions people care about.  Perhaps this is something Mark can consider in thinking for the ‘Building a Mozilla Academy‘.

Cara Membuat dan Mengupload Video Ke Youtube Pake HP Android

Cara Membuat Lalu Mengupload Video Ke Youtube Pake HP Android - Yang sedang mencari solusi bagaimana membuat video dan juga ingin mengshare nya ke sosial media seperti facebook atau youtube dengan hanya menggunakan Hanphone android dalam hitungan menit bisa langsung mencoba cara berikut ini. seperti yang sobat ketahui bahwa perkembangan sekarang ini membawa kita menuju pada jaman dimana semuanya

Participation Team Heartbeat #1 – Demos!

As shared on the recent Participation Call, the Participation ‘Team’ is starting to work in heartbeats – mirroring the success of the Mozilla Foundation Team working ‘agile and open’. We just completed our first heartbeat, which included evaluation of the Heartbeat process and the new tool we’ll use to bring community into the center.

As you can see  from the Heartbeat ‘life cycle’: Demo is an important milestone of evaluation and measurement prior to starting the next one.  Like the Webmaker team, we will be inviting contributors, and streaming our Demos on Air Mozilla.  ‘Hearbeat #1 was about finding our feet in the process, so we apologize that demos for this cycle will come in the form of a blog post – but also hope you’re excited as we are about the potential of working, collaborating and demoing in the open for the next cycle.


For  Heartbeat project on our team we asked the following questions for Demo:

  1. What did we do and why?
  2. What was the impact?
  3. What was learned?
  4. What are the next steps?

Our call went well over one hour,  and so I am providing  the TL;DR version of Demos.

Establish a solid Heartbeat process for Participation

We established our process for this first heartbeat, built out user stories (contributor, team and project), evaluated the Mozilla Foundation tool, and others to ensure our decision was informed. Emphasis on leveraging the ‘open-ness’ of the Heartbeat tool, while improving and building better efficiency for project management by leveraging Github and Github issues.

Bangladesh Meetup

Mark and Brian had a good discussion with community member Mak on the practicalities of rolling out a distributed leadership model that will empower the already strong community as it evolves. We set dates for a community meetup (5-7 June), and talked how the community and the Participation team will be supporting the Webmaker campaign kicking off in Bangladesh soon.

Community Surveys

Working on betterment of planned community surveys to measure community health. Thanks to collaboration with the Metrics team and improved hypotheses, questions are improving to get better and more relevant answers.  Plan is to go live by the end of the week.  This is especially important in with recent changes to Regional Leadership.


Collected information about existing processes, assets and products relating to events.  We don’t have a consistent way to measure events yet.  We drafted a survey, an agenda template and a document that explains the template for re-usability. We have a busy May and June filled with meetups where we can test out new things.

External Expert Engagement

This project was about identifying organizations outside of Mozilla who are doing incredible things with participation.  We were especially focused on not the typical ‘big players’, or those who can’t be seen from silicon valley.  We will be reaching out to the community and preparing them to identify and interview local orgs. Might be able to tie Marketpulse interviewing course into this effort. We are also building a Participation advisory board for well-known experts in participation, who we’ll be inviting to the Whistler work week in June.

Firefox OS in Africa








Started the ball rolling for participation experiments in Africa.  SUMO workshops, intro to SUMO and internships at Universities + Firefox OS launch and Webmaker Club initiative.

Initial impact was great, lots of momentum around Firefox OS, positive reception to workshops, and a re-energized Mozilla Senegal.  Timing matters, more time to plan in advance would be good, especially across initiatives.

Marketing approach Android: India

We used some time during the recent Indian community meetup to get ideas on what a product focused approach on Firefox for Android could look like in India. During a short workshop, we explored the product positioning, opportunities, challenges, and developed a series of personas that could be users. The next steps will involve exploring what a detailed set of experiments could be for this product in India.

Version 2! New release of App for collecting competitor phone data.  Coming soon: release of supporting educational content, and refresh of existing training materials, supported by thoughful participation design and a new community manager , Akshay onboard (yay!).  Work and planning to launch a 4 week participatory course ‘Interviewing User’ on the horizon, thanks to involvement of market research experts at Mozilla. Challenge compiling with communication channels in target markets.

Participation Infrastructure

Setup a participation infrastructure stack on AWS to meet our user stories for developers, community and support team. We can deploy in ¼ of the time a new or newer version of an app. We learned that we can solidly build on best practices gathered within Mozilla, while working with volunteers in the open.

Leadership Workshop  – India Community








We tested an Actions to Impact workshop just last week at the Mozilla India Taskforce Meetup, many volunteers seemed to find the leadership workshop very useful, and used it throughout the weekend. Still to capture notes on leadership and capture the workshop facilitator’s guide.

Reps/Regional 2.0

Conversation between Rosana, William and Brian, as well as Reps team.  Presented slide deck outlining the hypothesis for helping shape what comes next.

Support External Comms of Firefox OS (Global Communications Group)

We want to better support communications, announcements about important issues in Mozilla, and make them more valuable for community, as well as a way to collect feedback. We recorded as many channels as we could, people saw many uses for this list and were enthusiastic.  We learned that communities are more fragmented than we thought, lots of groups using lots of channels so communicating centrally is especially difficult.  Also identifying NDA is challenging and complex. Volunteer members of this team doing a fantastic job.

Volunteers at Whistler

Spoke with 25+ team leaders to get them thinking strategically about who they invite, which came with a letter from Chris Beard.  Wrangled a final list.  98% are now booked for travel. Many hands make great work, a team effort with Brianna, Francisco and Brian. As a result of this, teams are thinking of volunteers in more strategic way and reasons behind invitations are clearer to all of community. We will continue to work on a plan for workweek & volunteers.

Tracking Experiments – Participation Lab

This project is two-fold:  creating a system to bring experiments currently going on in the organization into the ‘Participation Lab’, and also tracking the experiments in a way that is beneficial to all.  We are currently tracking 10 experiments, 7 focused and 3 distributed.  People (Community and Staff) appear to feel supported, optimistic and grateful to have monitoring and support in goals, hypothesis and assistance measuring success.  We will continue to track and offer support to move these along to their goals during the next heartbeat.

Are #xAPI Learning Designers Collecting Useful Data?

I just found out about this interesting site on xAPI:

80 Free Stock Images Perfect for E-learning

You can download many free stock images that you can use for e-learning development.

Just go to this location:

On the diversity-readiness of STEM environments: “It’s almost as if I could only enter the makerspace as a janitor.”

My thoughts from an online discussion with other female Olin engineers on this NYT article on “how to attract female enginers,”, edited for context. In particular, we brought up the (well-worn) claim that women don’t want to “just focus on the tech stuff” and want to “do sociotechnical/humanitarian work that makes a difference in the world.”

I’ve built my career as a “technical community person” who “thinks beyond the technology,” and as a teacher and researcher of learning environments — so this may come as a surprise to people who know and have worked with me. But if my teenage self had had her way, I would have VASTLY preferred to “just focus on the tech stuff.”

As a kid, I wanted to choose the privilege of being oblivious and keeping my head down and immersing myself into the beauty — the sheer beauty! — and joy of STEM for STEM’s sake. I didn’t become an ECE to work on educational computers or hearing aids or anything like that. As my friend (and former roommate) Kristen Dorsey said, “I just geek out about nerdy stuff, OK?”

But I couldn’t “just geek out about nerdy stuff.” The environments where I was trying to “learn about nerdy stuff” were sociotechnically broken in a way that made it hard for me (as a disabled minority woman, among other things) to join in. If I wanted to even start being part of the technical community, I had to start by fixing the technical community — patching the roof and fixing the plumbing, so to speak — before I could even walk inside and start to live there. And when I patched the leaking roof, I patched the roof for everyone, and other people who needed non-leaky roofs to be in the community could now… be in the community as well!

For instance, I got really, really good at facilitating meetings because it was the only way I had to make meetings accessible to me — when other people facilitated meetings, they’d often forget I need to lipread, so… I just quietly started leading them myself, and ended up making meetings work better for everyone. And I found that when I drifted towards “humanitarian” projects, the people there were much more conscious of sociotechnical things and more likely to have already-healthy environments, so I would have less leaky roofs to patch, and less resistance when I tried to patch the roofs — and people actually recognized and valued roof-patching labor instead of looking down on me for not writing code full-time.

After a while of patching roofs and unclogging toilets and plastering the rotten drywall, I got a reputation in industry for being really, really good at open-source software/hardware (technical) community facilitation. It’s almost as if I could only enter the makerspace as a janitor. And part of me resented that, but never said so. But, I told myself, at least I was in the building. And I saw that my “janitorial” work made it possible for other people to enter the building and do the things they wanted to do — which were often the things I wanted to do, too! — and so I thought: okay. That’s okay. At least somebody gets to do it. I can see my gift to the community doing so much good, that I will give up my desire to learn and do the technical things — so I let my own STEM learning slide. I am good at “community work,” and I did come to genuinely love it, over time.

But if I had the choice, I would have never gone into “community work.” I would have chosen — if I had the choice — to focus on “shiny tech stuff” that… didn’t save the world at all. If my teenage self had had her way, I would not do community-facilitation-anything, I would not be thoughtful about women or minorities or disabilities or any underprivileged group in engineering… I would be oblivious to all my privilege. I’d be a kernel hacker, or an embedded geek, or something “hardcore technical,” Because I could be.

But I didn’t have the wherewithal (or the desire) to shovel all the stuff out of the way that I would have to do in order to do that. If you think of “caring/environmental labor” as a sort of tax some people have to pay in order to get to “learning/doing technical things,” my tax rate has always just been too frickin’ high.

So I have been “the full-time community person who is ridiculously good at tech stuff that she no longer gets to do,” instead of “the technical person who understands and listens to and cares about inclusion and community.” Because I cannot not patch a leaky roof. But I have always wondered what I might have grown up into, if I had learned STEM in an environment that was ready for me — without me having to fix it first.

My year on Reps Council

It’s been one year! An incredible year of learning, leading and helping evolve the Mozilla Reps program as a council member. As my term ends I want to share my experiences with those considering this same path, but also as a way to lend to the greater narrative of Reps as a leadership platform.

I could write easily write 12 posts to cover the experience –  but  I thought this might be more helpful:

The 7 things I know for sure

(after 12 months on Reps Council)

1. Mozilla Reps Council Is a journey of learning and inspiration

When I decided to run for council last year, it was with an assumption my workload would  consist of mostly administrative tasks (although to be truthful that is a bulk of our work).  I also thought my previous leadership experiences would allow me to ‘help out’ as needed.

It turns out,  I had a lot to learn and improve on, especially during my two months as council chair. Here are some of the new and sharpened skills I am emerging with as a result:

2. 2015 is a (super) important year for Reps

Nurtured by the loving hands of 5 previous Reps councils, a strong mentorship structure and over 400 Reps and thousands of community members the Mozilla Reps program has come to an important milestone as a recognized body of leadership across Mozilla.  The  clearly articulated vision of Reps as a ‘launch pad for leadership’ has pushed us to be more  strategic in our goals.  And we are.  The next council together with mentors will be critical in executing these goals.

3. The voice of community is valued, and Mozilla is listening

In the past few months, we’ve worked with Mitchell Baker, Chris Beard, Mark Surman and David Slater, Mary-Ellen and others on everything from conflict resolution, to VP interview and on-boarding processes. Reps Council is on the Mozilla leadership page. The Mozilla Reps call has been attended by Firefox and Brand teams in need of feedback.  It’s not a coincidence, and it’s not casual – your voice matters.  Reps as leaders have the ear of the entire organization, because Reps are the voice of their extended community.


If you are one of those quiet people in our community with great ideas, passion and an interest in developing leadership skills – please consider running for council this year.

4. Mozilla Reps is  ever-evolving

View post on

When I joined Reps Council, I had a lot of ideas about what would would ‘fix’.  And I laugh at myself for that bit of naivety  – ‘fixing’ is something we do to flaws, to errors and mistakes – but the Reps program is not a completed vision  – it’s a living organism, it’s alive with people, their ideas, inventions and actions.  How we evolve, while aligning with the needs of project goals, is a bit like changing the tire on a moving car .   If you are considering a run for council, it might help to envision ways you can evolve, improve and grow the program as it shifts, and in response to project & community vision for their own participation goals.

 5. Changing minds is hard / Outreach matters

I can’t write a list like this without acknowledging a my personal challenge of recognizing and trying to change ‘perception problems’.  It was strange to move from what had been a fairly easy transition between community, Rep and mentor to Reps council where almost suddenly –  I was regarded as part of a bureaucratic structure. I didn’t see or feel that from my fellow council members who work very hard on behalf of community –  and it’s been important to me that we change that perception through outreach.

Perceptions of our extended community have also been challenging – the idea that Reps is somehow isolated or a special  contributor group is contrary to the leadership platform we are really building.

Slowly we are changing minds, slowly outreach is making a difference – I am happy and optimistic about this.

 6.  Diversity Matters  Reps is an incredibly diverse community with diverse representation in many areas including age, geography and experience. Few other communities can compare .  But,  like much of the technology world we struggle with the representation of women in our council, and mentorship base.  To be truly reflective of our community, and our world – to have the benefit of all perspectives we need to encourage women leaders.  As I leave council, my hope is that we will continue to prioritize women in leadership roles.

7. Our community rocks  Brilliant, creative, energetic, passionate, motivated, friends and second family.  The heart of what we do, lies here.

To the Reps community, mentors, the Reps team, Mozilla leadership and community I thank you for this incredible opportunity to contribute and to grow.  I plan to pay it forward.


Feature Image Credit:  Fay Tandog



FLOSS Windows away with Mint

I used to run Win 8.1 on my laptop – until recently. I was always interested in switching over to Ubuntu or Fedora (or some other Linux distribution) but never really took the step perhaps intimidated by the unknown.

The last drop:

Just a few months ago, while running Windows on my machine, the OS politely asked me if I would like to restart the machine to finish installing the so needed updates. Having “a thousand” files open since I am always working on multiple tasks, I declined (presses the “cancel” button). Well, that didn’t matter, it rebooted anyway (closing all the files that were open, even the unsaved one). This experience happened again just a few days ago. This was the last drop in my cup.

Search for an easy FLOSS:

After a little bit of  “google” search (sorry guys, I don’t “bing”) I found lots of opinions about what Linux distribution is easiest for long-time Windows users. In particular there were lots of very positive reviews for Linux Mint. All this combined with the following awesome wallpaper made me give it a try:

Installing Linux Mint:

Installation was very smooth and easy. All one needs to do is download the ISO for Mint (see for example:, burn it to a DVD, boot from it, select your installation options (or just accept default values) and that’s it. Everything ran great right out of the box. In particular, the wifi card driver, sound card driver, graphics driver, they were all running flawlessly right from the beginning without having to do anything extra.  Briefly, my laptop has the following specs: Lenovo y480, 8GB ram, GT 640M – 2GB, with an SSD harddrive.  The transition was so easy. The look of the desktop is very similar to Windows 7 (which was my favorite version of windows).

Mint looks really great and runs very smoothly on my laptop.

The last concerns about this switch: I still needed to use some Windows programs (in particular, Wine does not currently seem to support Visual Studio 2013, nor MS Office 2013). For this part, using a Virtual machine and installing windows 8 there solved my challenges. The VirtualBox appliance worked smoothly again. It was readily connected to the Internet (using the host parameters) and I was easily able to create a shared folder between the two Operating Systems.

My conclusion:

FLOSS Windows away with Mint. Chances are: you will not regret it.

P.S.  FLOSS = Free Libre Open Source Software

Please use the comment box if you have any questions or comments to add. Since this is a very busy time of the year for me I wrote this blog using very little time. Being very excited about Mint I felt the need to spread the word.

Other useful links:

Lecture on "Making the University Relevant" by Professor Rohan Samarajiva, Founding Chair of LIRNEasia

The OUSL (Open University of Sri Lanka) Distinguished Lecture #6 “Making the University Relevant” by Professor Rohan Samarajiva, Founding Chair of LIRNEasia, ICT policy and regulation think tank active across emerging Asia is now available for offline viewing at the following link:


E-Learning concepts, trends, applications

This is a useful document which provides a good summary of many e-learning concepts, trends and applications. You can also read about the histroy of e-learning and its has a chapter on the Tin Can API.

Conceptual diagram on the xAPI

Here are some conceptual diagrams which may help the reader to understand how open badges can be implemented. The author suggested the setting up of a Competency Registry.

On being forces of good for each other

This is two one of two  – on recognition.

My last post focused on personalized recognition design.  We need be deliberate about designing recognition that’s valuable to community (staff and volunteers),  recognition that aligns with participation goals,  recognition that provides a  sustainable vision for the future between project and person.

If that sounds like a big task, it’s actually not, compared with the scale of what we need to accomplish.  The truly big task is to make the Mozilla community a place worth hanging your hat. Hoping you’ve read Leslie’sA place to hang my hat” now about surfacing the accomplishments of others:

And I want the same things for everyone I know. For all those folks who pour their heart into things and are unsung heroes. For people who give freely of their time and knowledge, and don’t expect a big party in return, just respect for having contributed. I’d rather none of us had to spend the time proving what we know.

(And this is especially true for women.)

I’d rather we all spent some time concentrating our energies on being forces for good for each other.

I watched the huge and positive response to Leslie’s post with interest  – because awesome.  There were tons of Mozilla tweets for this initiative #LABHR,  but then  – none in the last month or so.  Why is that?  Perhaps because the rush of participation felt good, but that we fail to personalize why surfacing the efforts of others on a regular basis matters.

Possibly, many of us are in privileged place of already being appreciated;  and because the consequences are silent, it does little to erode our personal glow.  Perhaps we feel we’re doing enough (and some teams to be fair do this really well already) or we’re just bad at time management – I’m sure there are a few reasons but I know it’s not because we’re out of people who need recognized :)

Here’s my proposal: Let’s reboot, or actually *start* the #mozlove idea that everyone loved (posted to CBT list) earlier year , and breathe life into it:

Find a community member(volunteer or staff) you admire and write/blog about their impact on the project, perhaps on you personally : encouraging stories about people who you haven’t seen highlighted previously –   as inspirations for 2015. Tag your shares with #mozlove

Lets be move from being ‘bandwagon-y’ about appreciation to being active participants and believers in surfacing the accomplishments of others.


There are lots of suggestions for how to do that on Leslie’s Blog post,  but I want to emphasis one of key suggestion:

Ultra-mega-bonus points if your first few write ups are for people who are not like you.

I’ll share what I’ve been doing in the past month (so it’s possible!)

Feels good, and important. #LABHR  and #mozlove  – hope you to see you there.

 Firefox Image Credit – Faisal !






Personalizing Community Recognition

This is part one of two  – on recognition.

Something I’m thinking a LOT about these days is community recognition:  meaningful and personalized recognition.  Especially for community education, and especially to celebrate milestones of success navigating contribution ladders/pathways.

Earlier this year, we sent out a survey asking Mozilla Community (staff and volunteers) to evaluate, from a provided list,  methods of recognition they most valued. Interestingly, no single method had more than 75% approval, with most hovering around 30% negative response. From digital badges, to shout-outs and printable-certificates there was no clear winner, and I think this is a compelling thing to solve for.

Early thinking around this includes solutions that add ‘preferred recognition’ as a choice in our and/or Reps profiles, so that when we want to acknowledge someone’s accomplishments, we can literally ‘look up’ what is most valued by that individual, and do that thing.  I’m also mid-journey with community infrastructure friends to add badges to our profiles – which I hope finally, help Mozillians share those badges they’ve been collecting.

The panic starts when we add the word ‘scalable’.

How can we design scalable, personalized recognition when we have so many amazing people moving the needle every day? When those people are in tiny corners of the project, or lost in a sea of greater community initiatives – how can we ever, ever manage to make recognition part of our reputation?

Well I’ll tell you how we can do it: stop thinking of recognition as this huge thing we to set aside our precious time to do.  That’s not to say all of what we’re building doesn’t need dedicated planning – it does, but the majority of what we can accomplish by making recognition part of our workflow.

My next post will talk a bit about that, and how I hope a rebooted version of the #mozlove initiative  can help.  But first read this blog post from Leslie Hawthorn, and you’ll see where I’m going.

If you are working on recognition, or have thoughts, ideas and inventions that relate to personalized recognition I would love to hear from you!


Apakah Karyawan Facebook Bisa Leluasa Melihat Isi Akun Facebook Orang Lain?

Ada yang menarik dari sosial media facebook ini bahwa karyawan facebook bisa dengan mudah melihat data akun orang lain? Facebook sendiri merupakan jejaring sosial yang dibuat oleh Mark Zuckerberg yang diluncurkan pada bulan Febnruari di tahun 2014. Para pengguna jejaring sosial facebook ini tersebar di seluruh dunia yang salah satunya adalah di Indonesia. Di negara kita, pengguna facebook

Innovation, automation, and inequality

What is the economic relationship between innovation, automation, and inequality?

This is a recurring topic in the discussion of technology and the economy. It comes up when people are worried about a new innovation (such as data science) that threatens their livelihood. It also comes up in discussions of inequality, such as in Picketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

For technological pessimists, innovation implies automation, and automation suggests the transfer of surplus from many service providers to a technological monopolist providing a substitute service at greater scale (scale being one of the primary benefits of automation).

For Picketty, it’s the spread of innovation in the sense of the education of skilled labor that is primary force that counteracts capitalism’s tendency towards inequality and (he suggests) the implied instability. For the importance Picketty places on this process, he treats it hardly at all in his book.

Whether or not you buy Picketty’s analysis, the preceding discussion indicates how innovation can cut both for and against inequality. When there is innovation in capital goods, this increases inequality. When there is innovation in a kind of skilled technique that can be broadly taught, that decreases inequality by increasing the relative value of labor to capital (which is generally much more concentrated than labor).

I’m a software engineer in the Bay Area and realize that it’s easy to overestimate the importance of software in the economy at large. This is apparently an easy mistake for other people to make as well. Matthew Rognlie, the economist who has been declared Picketty’s latest and greatest challenger, thinks that software is an important new form of capital and draws certain conclusions based on this.

I agree that software is an important form of capital–exactly how important I cannot yet say. One reason why software is an especially interesting kind of capital is that it exists ambiguously as both a capital good and as a skilled technique. While naively one can consider software as an artifact in isolation from its social environment, in the dynamic information economy a piece of software is only as good as the sociotechnical system in which it is embedded. Hence, its value depends both on its affordances as a capital good and its role as an extension of labor technique. It is perhaps easiest to see the latter aspect of software by considering it a form of extended cognition on the part of the software developer. The human capital required to understand, reproduce, and maintain the software is attained by, for example, studying its source code and documentation.

All software is a form of innovation. All software automates something. There has been a lot written about the potential effects of software on inequality through its function in decision-making (for example: Solon Barocas, Andrew D. Selbst, “Big Data’s Disparate Impact” (link).) Much less has been said about the effects of software on inequality through its effects on industrial organization and the labor market. After having my antennas up for this for many reasons, I’ve come to a conclusion about why: it’s because the intersection between those who are concerned about inequality in society and those that can identify well enough with software engineers and other skilled laborers is quite small. As a result there is not a ready audience for this kind of analysis.

However unreceptive society may be to it, I think it’s still worth making the point that we already have a very common and robust compromise in the technology industry that recognizes software’s dual role as a capital good and labor technique. This compromise is open source software. Open source software can exist both as an unalienated extension of its developer’s cognition and as a capital good playing a role in a production process. Human capital tied to the software is liquid between the software’s users. Surplus due to open software innovations goes first to the software users, then second to the ecosystem of developers who sell services around it. Contrast this with the proprietary case, where surplus goes mainly to a singular entity that owns and sells the software rights as a monopolist. The former case is vastly better if one considers societal equality a positive outcome.

This has straightforward policy implications. As an alternative to Picketty’s proposed tax on capital, any policies that encourage open source software are ones that combat societal inequality. This includes procurement policies, which need not increase government spending. On the contrary, if governments procure primarily open software, that should lead to savings over time as their investment leads to a more competitive market for services. Equivalently, R&D funding to open science institutions results in more income equality than equivalent funding provided to private companies.

The power of an open mobile Web

The mobile Web is experiencing a watershed moment: over the next few years, billions of first-time users will come online exclusively through their smartphones. Mozilla believes it’s critically important these users find a mobile Web that’s open and invites creativity.

This was our rallying cry last week at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, where mobile technology leaders from around the globe discussed the industry’s future. It was encouraging to hear our rallying cry echoed by others: the GSMA, for example, dedicated significant time and floor space to promoting digital inclusivity.


As a first-timer to MWC, I was really proud of how Mozilla showed up. We unveiled a partnership with French mobile provider Orange, which can equip millions of users across 13 African countries with a Firefox OS smartphone and six months of data and voice service — for just $40. We announced a simple smartphone for first-time users that we’ll release with Verizon in the U.S. next year. And we debuted the beta Webmaker app, a free, open source publishing tool that makes creating local content simple.

Personally, I participated in two panels: One on digital inclusion and one on the power of connected citizens in crisis situations. These sessions gave us a chance to double down on our stance that access alone isn’t the answer — it’s only the first step.

While I disagree with many of their tactics, I was happy to see people like throwing out a vision for connecting everyone on the planet. But they are really missing the boat on literacy, skills and creativity. Most people will get connected at some point over the next 10 years; the real risk is people not getting the know-how they need to truly unlock the potential of the internet and make their lives better. We were able to effectively get that message across at MWC.


One of the highlights from the panel discussions was meeting Kartik Sheth from Airtel of India. He talked about Airtel’s onboarding program, which introduces people to the internet by focusing on specific content they really want (a Bollywood music video, for example). Then, they educate users about what services the internet offers and what data costs through that process (e.g. introducing people to YouTube and helping them understand that watching a music video doesn’t cost that much in data). This may sound simple, but it’s actually the kind of “ambient web literacy” that we really need to be thinking about. It has the potential not only to give people very basic internet knowledge, but also to help us avoid what I’m starting to call “the Facebook Effect.”

Of course, Mozilla is committed to web literacy at a much deeper level than just basic onboarding. We spent a good deal of time talking with people at MWC about our growing Learning Networks and Clubs. Our Clubs feature curricula that can be remixed and reimagined, and are held in diverse languages and venues. We met with a ton of people ranging from phone carriers to international agencies aimed at empowering women. And these people expressed interest in helping Mozilla both grow these networks and distribute the Webmaker app.

I left MWC energized by these sort of conversations. Feels like more momentum than ever. If you want to be a part of it, it’s worth checking out This site includes a bunch of the research and partnership opportunities we talked to people about in Barcelona, as well as a link to the Webmaker app beta.

Filed under: education, mozilla, webmakers

Calling Out OkCupid

OkCupid Blocks FirefoxSo the other day, Indiana’s governor signed a bill into law that the Republican controlled legislature passed called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The reality of this bill is it has nothing to do with freedom of religion and everything to do with legalizing discrimination.

Anyways, to the point, I hate to open a can of worms but when I heard this news I thought back to this same time last year and remembered how gung ho OkCupid was over Mozilla’s appointment of Brendan Eich because of his personal beliefs and that they ultimately decided to block all Firefox users.

I don’t really think OkCupid should block Indiana but their lack of even a public tweet or statement in opposition of this legislation leads me back to my original conclusion that they were just riding the media train for their own benefit and not because they support the LGBT community.

If you are going to be about supporting the LGBT community, try to at least be consistent in that support and not just do it when it will make you look good in the media! Article on Mozilla Community Education

Super excited to share my post published on for Open Education Week: “Mozilla cares for community with educational resources“.


P2PU Course in a Box & Mozilla Community Education

Last year I created my first course on the P2PU platform  titled ‘Hacking Open Source Participation’,  and through that fantastic experience stumbled across a newer P2PU project called Course in a Box. Built on  Jekyll blogging software, Course in a Box makes it easy to create online educational content powered by Github Pages.

As awesome as this project is, there were a number of challenges I needed solve before adopting it for Mozilla’s Community Education Platform:


Jekyll is a blog-aware, static site generator. It uses template and layout files + markdown  +  CSS to display posts. Course in a Box comes with a top level category for content called modules, and within those modules are the content  – which works beautifully for single-course purpose

The challenge is , that we need to write education and training materials on a regular basis, and creating multiple Course in a Box(es) would be a maintenance nightmare.  What I really needed was a way to build multiple courses under one or more topics vrs the ‘one course’ model.  To do that, we needed to build out a hierarchy of content.

What I did

Visualized the menu moving from a list of course modules



To a list of course topics.


So Marketpulse, DevRel (for example) are course topics.  Topics are followed by courses, which then contain modules.

On the technical side, I added a new variable called submodules to the courses.yml data file.


Submodules are prefixed with the topic they belong ‘under’, for example: reps_mentor_training is a module in the topic reps.  This is also how module folders are named:






Using this method of prefixing modules with topics, it was super-simple to create a dropdown menu.



As far as Jekyll is concerned, these are all still ‘modules’, which means that even top level topics can have content associated.  This works great for a ‘landing page’ type of introduction to a topic.

Curriculum Modularity

As mentioned, Jekyll is a blogging platform, so there’s no depth or usability  designed into content architecture, and this is a problem with our goal of writing modular curriculum.  I wanted to make it possible to reuse curriculum across not only our instance of Course in a Box, but other instances across Mozilla well.

What I did

I created a separate repository for community curriculum and made this a git submodule  in the _includes folder of Course in a Box.






With this submodule & Jekyll’s include() function  – I was able easily reference our modular content from a post:

{% include community_curriculum/market_pulse/FFOS/en/ %}

The only drawback is that Jekyll expects all content referenced with include() to be in a specific folder – and so having content in with design files is – gah!  But I can live with it.

And of course we can do this for multiple repositories if we need.  By using a submodule we can stick to certain versions/releases of curriculum if needed.   Additionally, this makes it easier for contributors to focus on ‘just the content’ (and not get lost in Jeykll code) when they are forking and helping improve curriculum.


I’m thinking about bigger picture of curriculum-sharing, in large part thanks to conversations with the amazing Laura Hilliger about how we can both share and remix curriculum accross more than one instance of Course in a Box.  The challenge is with remixed curriculum, which is essentially a new version – and whether it should ‘ live’ in a difference place than the original repository fork.

My current thinking is that each Course in a Box Instance should have it’s own curriculum repository, included as a git submodule AND other submodules needed, but not unique to the platform. This  repo will contain all curriculum unique to that instance, including remixed versions of content from other repositories.   (IMHO)  Remixed content should not live in the original fork, ans you risk becoming increasing out of sync with the original.

So that’s where I am right now, welcoming feedback & suggestions on our Mozilla Community Education platform (with gratitude to P2PU for making it possible)






Article on Changing skill sets for a changing world

There is an interesting article entitled "Changing skill sets for a changing world".

You can read it from this web location:

Chart of Educational Web Tools to use in class

One of my colleagues found this interesting chart of educational web tools which can be used in teaching a class:

Summer opportunities in FOSS

Two opportunities for summer internships in FOSS:

Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers students stipends to write code for projects from 137 participating FOSS organizations. Applicants must be able to make the project their primary focus during the summer. Participants work remotely from home, while getting guidance from an assigned mentor and collaborating within their project’s community. The application deadline for Google Summer of Code is March 27 and the program dates are May 25 to August 21. The stipend for the program is $5,500 (USD).

The Software Freedom Conservancy has an effort to improve diversity in FOSS. The Outreachy program involves a number of organizations offering remote and mentored internships. These internships are open to women (cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people. Applicants must be available for full-time, 40-hours a week, internships. The application deadline for Outreachy is March 24 and the program dates are May 25 to August 25. The stipend for the program is also $5,500 (USD). Unlike in Google Summer of Code, participants do not need to be students and non-coding projects are available. In addition to coding, projects include such tasks as graphic design, user experience design, documentation, bug triage and community engagement.

To apply for either program, you need to connect with a participating organization early, select a project you want to work on, create a project plan, and make a few relevant contributions. I encourage you to apply, even if you haven’t had the chance to make contributions.

Mentorship opportunities are also available throughout the year for anyone interested in getting started contributing to FOSS outside of the internship program.

18 Download Tema Android Keren Dan Gratis

18 Download Tema Android Keren Dan Gratis - Punya android baru? semoga artikel ini adalah kabar gembira karena bisa melengkapi kekurangan dalam aplikasi yang ada di android sobat. dengan semakin maraknya aplikasi android tak terkecuali juga android theme maka semakin hari semakin bertambah aplikasi baru yang bermunculan, dan aplikasi yang saya share ini biasanya juga disebut dengan theme, atau

Android 5.1: “ignore wireless networks without internet feature” fails

ap_resize.phpAndroid 5.1’s new “ignore wireless networks without internet” feature (which does not have any way to be toggled off) basically disconnects from wifi networks lacking internet. This will cause major issues for tech gadgets such as the Chromecast, GoPro, Parrot’s Lineup of Drones (Bebop, ARDrone, etc).

Basically all of these devices create a WiFi network that has no internet connectivity and in Android 5.1 the behavior is to automatically disconnect from these networks. I confirmed this on a Bebop and Chromecast so far as have other users.

Yikes! Wonder how many months until Google pushes out a maintenance release for this the good news is you can go into Airplane mode and still connect to these devices as workaround.


I recently wrote an article on "Instructional Strategies and Challenges in MOOCs" for UniSIM's Journal on Advances in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

This article is available online at this location:

9th International Conference on Researching Work & Learning

9th International Conference on Researching Work & Learning
9 - 12 December 2015
School of The Arts Singapore

Conference theme: Work and Learning In the Era of Globalisation: Challenges for the 21st Century

Conference Sub-theme:
Work and Learning in Small/Medium Sized Enterprises
Work and Learning in Low Wage

Call for papers:
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 31 March 2015
Acceptance notification: 26 May 2015
Full paper submission: 6 October 2015

ICCE2015: The 23rd International Conference on Computers in Education

ICCE2015: The 23rd International Conference on Computers in Education

November 30 - December 4,2015 Hangzhou, China

Web page:

Conference Theme: Transforming Education in the Big Data Era

Paper Submission Due: May 12,2015

Notification of Acceptance: August 4,2015
Organized by Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education (APSCE)

Hosted by: Zhejiang University of Technology,
Collaborative and Innovative Center for Educational Technology, China

ICCE 2015 is a premier annual international forum for researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and people in the industry in the Asia-Pacific region to connect with international research communities for the worldwide dissemination and sharing of ideas for research in the field of Computers in Education.

The conference program will comprise keynotes, invited talks, paper presentations and poster sessions, workshops, tutorials, interactive events and Doctoral Student Consortia. All the accepted papers in the main conference, workshops and Doctoral Student Consortium will be published in proceedings which will be indexed by Elsevier Bibliographic Databases (e.g., Scopus, Engineering Village and others).

C1: Artificial Intelligence in Education/Intelligent Tutoring System (AIED/ITS)
and Adaptive Learning (AL)
C2: Computer-supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) and Learning Sciences (LS)
C3: Advanced Learning Technologies, Open Educational Content, and
Standards (ALS)
C4: Classroom, Ubiquitous and Mobile Technologies Enhanced Learning (CUMTEL)
C5: Digital Game and Digital Toy Enhanced Learning and Society (GTEL&S)
C6: ICCE Conference on Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL)
C7: Practice-driven Research, Teacher Professional Development and Policy of
ICT in Education (PTP)

Paper categories and page limits:
Full paper (8-10 pages)
Short paper (5-6 pages)
Poster paper (2-3 pages)

Conference Organization:
Conference Chair:
Siu Cheung KONG, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong
International Program Committee (IPC) Coordination Chair:
Hiroaki Ogata, Kyushu University, Japan
International Program Committee (IPC) Coordination Co-Chair:
Weiqin Chen, University of Bergen, Norway
Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Chair:
Feiyue Qiu, Zhejiang University of Technology, China

9th International Conference on e-Learning 2015

-- CALL FOR PAPERS EL 2015 - Deadline for submissions (1st call extension): 10 April 2015

9th International Conference on e-Learning 2015
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 21 - 24 July 2015
Part of the Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (MCCSIS 2015)
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 21 - 24 July 2015

* Keynote Speaker (confirmed):
Steven Duggan, Director, Worldwide Education Strategy, Microsoft, USA

* Conference Scope
The e-Learning 2015 conference aims to address the main issues of concern within e-Learning. This conference covers both technical as well as the non-technical aspects of e-Learning.

The conference accepts submissions in the following seven main areas: Organisational Strategy and Management Issues; Technological Issues; e-Learning Curriculum Development Issues; Instructional Design Issues; e-Learning Delivery Issues; e-Learning Research Methods and Approaches; e-Skills and Information Literacy for Learning. For more details please check

* Paper Submission
This is a blind peer-reviewed conference. Authors are invited to submit their papers in English through the conference submission system by April 10, 2015. Submissions must be original and should not have been published previously.

* Important Dates:
- Submission Deadline (1st call extension): 10 April 2015
- Notification to Authors (1st call extension): 8 May 2015
- Final Camera-Ready Submission and Early Registration (1st call extension): Until 1 June 2015
- Late Registration (1st call extension): After 1 June 2015

* Paper Publication
The papers will be published in book and electronic format with ISBN, will be made available through the Digital Library available at
The conference proceedings will be submitted for indexing to INSPEC, EI Compendex, Thomson ISI, ISTP and other indexing services.
The best papers will be selected for publishing as extended versions in the IADIS International Journal on WWW/Internet (ISSN: 1645-7641), in the Interactive Technology and Smart Education (ITSE) Journal (ISSN:1741-5659) and also in journals from INDERSCIENCE Publishers.

* Conference Contact:
Web site:

* Organized by: International Association for Development of the Information Society
Co-Organized by: Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

* Registered participants in e-Learning conference may attend the other conferences part of MCCSIS 2015 free of charge.

EdX collaborates with Microsoft to Launch IT Development Courses

EdX collaborates with Microsoft to Launch IT Development Courses

This program is Microsoft’s first initiative with a major MOOC provider and edX’s first corporate member.


The courses offered include the following:

Programming with C#
C# is a widely-used .NET programming language that is designed to provide a simple yet powerful language for general purpose programming needs. Students will learn the fundamentals of C# supporting cross-platform application development.

Introduction to TypeScript
TypeScript is a new highly-productive superset of JavaScript that is rapidly gaining currency amongst developers who build and maintain large JavaScript applications. In this course, co-authored by Anders Hejlsberg, students will learn language syntax and how to use TypeScript to generate JavaScript for any platform.

Introduction to Bootstrap
Bootstrap is a mobile-first web UI framework originally developed at Twitter that has become a foundational technology for front-end web development. This course will investigate the power of Bootstrap and how to implement it in applications.

Querying with Transact SQL
Transact-SQL is the structured query language for SQL Server. This course will show how to use Transact-SQL to code a range of solutions, ranging from retrieving data from a SQL Server database to implementing transactional programming logic.

Building Cloud Apps with Microsoft Azure
This course takes a patterns-based approach to building real-world cloud solutions on Microsoft Azure. Students will learn the latest tools and technologies in cloud development and study the techniques for cloud-based application design.

Introduction to Office 365 APIs
Office 365 offers the tools users need to get work done anywhere and on any device. In this course, developers will learn how to create robust cross-platform applications using Office 365.

Windows PowerShell Fundamentals
This course provides fundamental knowledge and skills needed to use Windows PowerShell to automate common administrative functions in Windows-based clients and servers. Students will get hands-on practice to replace manual, repetitive, and time-consuming operations with effective, automated solutions in both local and remote scenarios. This course is offered as part of the edX Professional Education series and has a fee associated with it.

Google trying to win Firefox users back

Google is clearly feeling the crunch from Mozilla moving to Yahoo as the default search provider. I noticed this today on Google (I use Yahoo primarily but do use Google too).

Google soliciting Firefox users

After clicking this it brings up an overlay with instructions specifically for Firefox users and notably I did not get this message in other browsers I tried so clearly this detection code they added is specific to trying to win Firefox users back.

Google trying to win Firefox users back

I wish Google instead of trying to fight over search dominance would instead focus on building an awesome open web with Mozilla and others

5th Lecture of the Open University Sri Lanka (OUSL) Distinguised Lecture Series

The fifth lecture of the OUSL Distinguished Lecture Series, organized by the International Academic Relations Division (IRD) in collaboration with the Center for Educational Technology and Media (CETMe), will be delivered by Dr Godson Gatsha, Education Specialist, Higher Education, Commonwealth of Learning, Canada.

You are invited to watch the proceedings online using computers or smart devices at . The lecture will start at 2.30pm Sri Lankan time (UTC/GMT + 5.30 hours) on the 27th of March 2015 (Friday).

The abstract and brief bio of the speaker are attached. All proceedings will be made available as recordings for offline viewing. Please visit the IRD website for more information and recordings of the previous lectures.

Webmaker Exploratory

Two years ago I proposed a Webmaker Club at my daughter’s school, and it was turned down in an email:

 Because it involves students putting (possibly) personal info/images on-line we are not able to do the club at this time.  They did say that they may have to reconsider in the future because more and more of life is happening on-line.

One year later, and because our principle is amazing, and sponsored it – I had a  ‘lunch time’ Webmaker Club at my daughter’s elementary school (grades 4 & 5) .  It was great fun, I learned a lot as always thanks to  challenges : handling the diversity of attendance, interests and limited time.   I never get tired of helping kids ‘make the thing they are imagining’.

This year, I was excited to be invited to lead a Webmaker ‘Exploratory’ in our town’s middle school (grades 6-8).   Exciting on so many levels, but two primarily

1) Teachers and schools are recognizing the need for web literacy (and its absence), and that it should be offered as part of primary education.

2) Schools are putting faith in community partnerships to teach.  At least this is what it feels like to me – pairing a technically-strong teacher, with a community expert in coding/web (whatever) is a winning situation.

My exploratory ran for 7 weeks – we started with 28 kids, and lost a few to other exploratories as they realized that HTML (for example) wasn’t something they wanted to learn.  Of those 28 kids, only 3 were girls, which made me sad. I really have to figure out better messaging.   We covered the basics of HTML, CSS and then JavaScript and slowly built a Memory Card game.  Each week I started the class off with a Thimble Template representing a stage in the ‘building’.

Week3, Week4, Week5, Week6, Week7

I wrote specific instructions for each week that we tracked on a wiki, we used Creative Commons Image Search and talked about our digital footprint.

What worked

Having an ‘example make’ of the milestone  for this class where each week kids could see, in advance what they were making.

Having a ‘starting template‘ for the lesson helped those kids who missed a class, catch up quickly.

Being flexible about that template, meant those kids who preferred to work on their own single ‘make’ could still challenge themselves a bit more.

Baked-In Web Literacy  CC image search brought up conversations about ownership, sharing on the web and using a Wiki led to discussion about how Wikimedia editing and editors build content; about participating in open communities.

Sending my teacher-helper the curriculum a few days before, so she could prepare as a mentor.

Having some ‘other activities’ in my back pocket for kids who got bored, or finished early.  These were just things like check out this ‘hour of code tutorial’.

What didn’t work

We were sharing a space with the ‘year book’ team, who also used the internet, and sometimes  our internet was moving slower than a West Coast Banana Slug.  In our class ‘X Ray Goggles’ challenge, kids sat for long periods of time before being able to do much.   Some also had challenges saving/publishing their X Ray Goggles Make.

Week 2, To get around slow internet –  I brought everyone USB sticks and taught them to work locally – this also was a bit of a fail, as I realized many in the group didn’t know simple terms like ‘directory and folder’.  I made a wrong assumption they had this basic knowledge.  Also I should have collected USB sticks after class, because most lost or damaged in the care of students.  We went back to slow internet – although, it was never as bad as that first day.

Having only myself and one teacher with that many kids meant we were running between kids.  Also slightly unfair to the teacher who was learning along with the group. It also sometimes meant kids waited too long for help.

Not all kids liked the game we were making


So overall I think it went well, we had some wonderful kids, I was proud of all of them.  The final outcome/learning, the sponsoring teacher, and I realized was that many of the lessons (coding, wikipedia, CC) could easily fit into any class project –  rather than having Webmaking as it’s ‘own class’.

So in future, that may be the next way I participate: as someone who comes into say – a social studies class, or history class and helps students put together a project on the web. Perhaps that’s how community can offer their help to teachers in schools, as a way to limit large commitments like running an entire program, but to have longer-lasting and embedding impact in schools.

For the remainder of the year, and next –  my goal seems to be as a ‘Webmaker Plugin’ , helping integrate web literacy into existing class projects :)





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For more information, please visit the home page at

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