Friday, August 17, 2012

Learning Roadmap - next 4.5 months

It’s that time of year again. Roadmappin’. After a series of big, successful launches including Thimble and all of the learning projects, as well as the Summer Code Party, we’re now finalizing the plans for what’s next. 

Here’s what’s up from now through the end of 2012 (in most cases, by MozFest in November):


Webmaker Badges.

Our number one priority deliverable is an initial badge system for our Webmaking learning experiences. I intentionally say badge ‘system’ because its more than slapping a few pngs on top of Thimble projects, but its the skills, learning content, assessments, tool integration and issuing technology…oh and the badges. Specifically, it will include:

  • Publishing the 1.0 of the webmaker skills
  • Badge and assessment definition
  • Project updating/creation to ensure we fully cover
  • All the technical stuff lead by Chris McAvoy, including:
    • Building OpenBadger, our lightweight issuing tool
    • Thimble and Popcorn badge integration
    • User account integration across tools/sites
    • Badge issuing UI/UX

Look for a fast follow post(s) on our plans for the first several iterations of that badge system, but you can expect to see the first Mozilla badges at MozFest later this year.

Lead: Carla Casilli*

Learning Content.

We’ve built a foundation of content and approach under our learning-by-making umbrella, but for only a very small set of skills (HTML, CSS) for a small slice of our audience. We know we want to cover more skills for more people, as well as have more interest-based access points for the same sets of skills. So there is a lot of work to do on Webmaker project creation. Good news for my team is that we actually want Mozilla to build very little of that ourselves, but instead want to work with the community - you - to build your own projects and ideas and add it to the options for learners. Therefore in the remainder of this year, we’ll deliver some additional projects, but also a queue of project ideas and a streamlined mechanism for community members to jump in and start creating projects.

Lead: Carla Casilli

Learning and Contribution Design.

Our learning projects were built to sit on top of our tools/sites and the two work together to create the Webmaker experience, learning pathways, motivation, etc. All the stuff that we care about. So we’ll be contributing significantly to the design for these tools/sites. We will deliver plans and initial implementations of 1) unifying features and functions across our tools to create a consistent Webmaker experience and learning pathways, and 2) how we can build contribution into the core of our tools, projects and experiences.

Leads: Jess Klein on the UX and learning design; Michelle Levesque on the contribution design*

Open Badges.

Open Badges is hitting its stride in a big way. There are over 100 organizations pushing badges into the ecosystem with tons more developing badge systems. The demand is awe-inspiring and overwhelming! We will continue to deliver on Open Badges in the following core ways: 1) Ux overhaul of the Backpack, 2) Partner and community support (and first iterations of a distributed support system! whee! more to come on that), 3) release of OpenBadger as an open source issuing tool, 4) plan and initial work for a 1.0 release of the Open Badge Infrastructure (to deliver in March 2013) and 5) hiring of 2 new team members.

Lead: Sunny Lee*

UK Tent.

While we built a lot of initial content and experiences, our goal is to reach web scale with this stuff and that necessarily means we can’t be in the middle or the driver for very long. So we are very focused on building networks and a community that will use our content, remix it, contribute their own, etc. We’ll build the tent but we need lots of other people to come on in and keep the party going strong. We’ve done a bunch of this in the US through the Hive and our initial partnerships. The next big focus is the UK. We are setting some deep roots in the UK including a MozSpace in London, handful of employees based there, series of events (MozFest in November - you should come!) and initial partnerships and growing relationships with key stakeholders and organizations. By the end of 2012, we will deliver a strategy plan and initial events and outreach to build a network of organizations who are teaching webmaking and contribute to the ict conversations by giving teachers real, relevant content to work with, among other things. 

Lead: John Bevan

Note: All the leads mentioned are the Learning Team Leads. Chris McAvoy is the Techincal/Software Team Lead for pretty much everything above and is awesome at it. Also worth mentioning that the leads have rock star teams behind them that include the Learning Team folks, but also some from Engagement, Software, etc. Yay for no silos!


In addition to delivering things, we will also be scoping a bunch of stuff that will then influence the 2013 roadmap. The main three are:

  • Hackable Games. (Lead: Chloe Varelidi) Making / hacking / modding games and learning webmaker skills in the process. Could be cool, right?
  • Teaching Programming. (Lead: Me, for now) We want to incorporate javascript into our Webmaker skills and learning experiences. Big questions around where/if our philosophies of learning-by-making will suffice here. Also huge questions around how much of this we do ourselves versus leveraging some of the existing learning options out there already. More to come on this soon.
  • Mobile. (Lead, TBD) Apparently Mobile is the new black. It’s where it’s at, so we need to be there too.

Note: It’s very likely that these three will intersect in a big way. You may remix a mobile game to learn javascript, for example. But we are treating them as separate scoping exercises, at least out of the gate, so that we can fully explore all of the options and ideas for each one.

We also had a section of the roadmap called “OUT OF SCOPE" - and not surprisingly, everything on there has moved into the Scoping/Prototyping column. We’re just too dang creative. But we can safely say that will will not deliver any production anything for all of the scoping projects, so that’s something. 

More posts to follow shortly with a deeper dive on these pieces.



  1. worldofe posted this