I just listened to Dave Humphrey’s description of Mozilla project there. (This was posed by Mozilla as a model for their involvement in education.) It was very interesting. Here are a few notes:
* Seneca College began this project looking to do modifications to Firefox for UI and touch devices.
* This evolved into two courses at the university focused around working with Mozilla to make modifications and turning them into a shippable product.
* They are looking at opening the course up to other students worldwide. [Based on my experiences with Wiley’s open ed course, I think this is a great idea. Just make sure you have the resources to manage it…and/or that you are willing to have the students take it over.]
* Be experimental. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something. You don’t’ have to be an expert in everything you teach. It’s ok for students to know more than you about aspects of things. It’s also important to show students how to fail and how to move on from that.
My thoughts….This sounds pretty much like a technical product development course. I’m thinking of how you could adopt this model for education. Take the “open pedagogy” approach and have a grad level ed course on developing open educational resources collaboratively. This could use parts of both what Wiley did with his open ed course and parts of WikiEducator’s Learning4Content idea…but with a more practical project-building focus.
To be most effective and to produce something really usable, I’d like to see this with a specific focus, e.g. writing a middle school bottle biology curriculum wiki or something equally fine-grained.
The problem with having a very diverse group (like in the mozopenedcourse as well as in every other open ed course or project I’ve been involved in) is that it is very difficult to form workable groups and/or actually produce anything, because everyone has such different focuses.
Awareness building is great, but the open ed world (or maybe just me) seems ready for a more cohesive collaborative development environment.