School of Webcraft Update May 24th 2011

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Twice a month we bring you updates on School of Webcraft, Mozilla‘s free web-development training community organised in partnership with Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU). We also use this update to let you know about the great new features that have been released in P2PU’s new site.

School of Webcraft's new home at P2PU
School of Webcraft’s new home at P2PU!

If you can’t find a study group or course that suits your needs, get involved and create your own! Our community of passionate web developers is here to help you with advice about resources and useful tasks to learn your topic.

New P2PU Feature – “Branch” from an existing course or study group.

P2PU is almost ready for the final transition to its custom-developed Lernanta platform.  The P2PU Dev community has been updating content and adding features to make this transition easier for all learners.

Screenshot - hot to Import a past School of Wecraft Course
Import a past School of Webcraft Course

2nd Phase of the School of Webcraft Badge Pilot

Together with P2PU, Mozilla is working on Open Badges, a framework that tracks your learning achievements.  Our first focus for this new technology is providing peer-assessed badges for Web Developers.

Group Spotlight – HTML and CSS from the Beginning

Jamie Curle’s running a great course about HTML and CSS from the Beginning. He’s writing HTML in his greenhouse and making ordered lists of meat.

Next week we’ll be interviewing Jamie to learn more about his reasons for getting involved with School of Webcraft and to find out his tips for organising an exciting project.

If you know of some exciting School of Webcraft news we should be reporting – let us know!

Need advice? Want to get the most out of School of Webcraft and P2pU?

Take a look at the Help Desk group on the new site for answers to any questions you may have about participating in P2PU, and regular updates about the new site’s features.

Get Involved

There are lots of great ways to get involved with School of Webcraft and help build our community of web developers.

  • Start a learning project at School of Webcraft
    It’s easy, just create a P2PU account and follow the prompts.
  • Got a question about School of Webcraft?
    Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Join the Webcraft Discussion List
    To participate in ongoing discussions about the project, sign-up here.

  • Dying to just hack?
    Learn more at the Contributing to Lernanta group.
    Submit a bug on the trackerContribute to the code at Github

This (and all P2PU mailings) are licensed under CC BY-SA. Please feel free to translate it and share it with your friends!

On having to choose participants

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I’ve just been working through the applications made for the Web Development 101 course that I’m running as part of the pilot round of the School of Webcraft.

Wow.

I’ve got applications from a range of people from locations as diverse as  USA, South Africa and Senegal who spend their time as pastors, students, educators, musicians, translators. The one thing that they have in common is that they all want to learn web development, whether it’s to develop a website for their business, to communicate better with their community, or because they want to start working towards a full-time career within the industry.

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed though, when I made the shortlist of applicants who’ll be able to participate in video seminars, I had twice the number of people I felt comfortable directly teaching.   In the end I chose people whose energy and enthusiasm for the topic and who were eager to share their learning with others:

As I read through everyone’s descriptions I think there is a lot to be learned from other people’s projects…

I am aspiring to get into the web design / development world and I think this course would prove an invaluable starting point. Please accept my application!

For two months, I have been patiently waiting for this course to enroll :))

I am very interested in meeting and participating with people who are in similar situations, and I am very interested in web standards and Doing It Right™

Luckily though, the P2PU system is flexible enough that people who aren’t able to make it to video seminars can still watch session archives and participate with each other in the forums. Already, the energy within the message board of the Web Development 101 Community is exciting. I’m looking forward to encouraging these discussions and building the greater School of Webcraft community in the longer term.

To put the future into context we had over 300 applications made for the 12 core Webcraft courses on offer within Peer 2 Peer University, and we applicants had just  a week to get their applications in!  I can’t even begin to imagine what this process will be like in 12 months when we reach the end of our initial roadmap – we’re aiming to have 10000 active community members and 250 courses per round!

The future is exciting, but I am so proud of our humble beginning.

Let the learning begin!