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Introduction – Sharron Rush

Hello to everyone on the WebEd Community Group,

I am Sharron Rush and I work for a US nonprofit group based in Austin Texas called Knowbility.  We began in 1998 as a community collaboration that created an accessible web design contest called the Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR). As the AIR program grew, a group of us created the nonprofit structure as a home.  In the years since, Knowbility has produced AIR in eight cities and annually at the SXSW Interactive Media Festival. AIR provides accessibility training to teams of web developers.  The teams then create accessible web sites for nonprofit organizations.  Sites are judged, prizes awarded, and our hope is that developers take their new, accessible design skills into their practice going forward.  Knowbility has also grown to meet other community needs around disability and technology.

I have long been of the opinion that accessible technology will only be a reality when accessible design techniques are integrated into general web education.  At last year’s TPAC meeting, Chris came and shared the work you all are doing with the WAI Education and Outreach Working Group – where I volunteer. I knew that I would not be of much use to this group until after SXSW which just wrapped up.  So now I would very much like to help in whatever way might be useful.  In particular, I am interested in helping to include accessibility techniques where it makes sense to do so – creating forms for example.

As a newcomer, I am ready to support this work in whatever ways make the most sense to you all.  Thanks for all you do.

Best,

Sharron Rush / knowbility.org

wc3 web certification program

I would like to suggest that w3c develops some form of certification programs for web education in web science/web engineering in the mould of MCSE/SCEA/CCIE form. As the standardisation body that brings together all organisation in the development of the web, it follows that w3c should lead in web education. The courses will also provide some revenue for the organisation (somebody has to pay the bills).

 

 

Web Edu CG planning

Hello again! At this point I wanted to share with you our notes and immediate plans, so that you can all comment and give you input. What follows is a proposal for the new front page text – I will replace the current Web Edu CG placeholder text with this, after soliciting a round of feedback, so long as that feedback doesn’t bring up any show stoppers, of course. You have until September 7th to submit feedback on this.

there are also some notes later on in the post, discussing further ideas, which I would like your opinions on.

Have fun!

Chris

Proposed Web Ed CG new front page text

The Web Education Community Group (CG) aims to evolve the Web and improve the overall skill set of the web industry by improving the quality of available web education resources and courses around the world. To do this, we are engaging in several activities, which are the responsibilities of different sub-groups inside the CG:

If you want to contribute to this CG, following these steps:

  1. To contribute to community groups, and perform activities such as updating Wikis, W3C Membership is not required but you must first sign up for a public account. Read our Guide to contributing to the Web Education Community Group.
  2. Make sure you are logged in to this page (see the relevant link up the top). You should now be able to sign up to the group using the “Join this Group” button on this page.
  3. Get involved with one or more of the above sub groups – to do so, visit their pages, liked above, where you can find out more about their activities, members and contact points.
  4. Feel free to suggest improvements, updates to existing activities, and new activities: the best place to do this is the public-webed mailing list.
  5. You can also discuss things with other members in the Web Education CG IRC channel: irc://irc.w3.org:6665/#webed. We will make sure the room has someone in it for as much of the time as possible.
  6. To look at current and past sub-group activities, and jot down ideas, you can go to the Web Education CG Wiki.

I’d like to stress that all opinions and ideas will be considered equally inside the group. No one is better or more valued than anyone else, so please don’t be afraid to speak your mind!

Thanks for reading!

Chris Mills, co-chair, Web Education CG

Text for sub-group pages

TBC – really this can be decided by the different sub-group activity leads.

Text for the “View all participants” page

I think that – if possible – we should list the sub-group pages down the side, and that they should replace the “View all participants” page. Thoughts?

Internal notes

I would like to have a landing page available for each sub-group, which lists:

  • Name of sub-group.
  • Sub-group activity leaders and deputy leaders – each sub-group should have a leads and a deputy lead, so there isn’t a single point of failure if one person gets disinterested, or hit by a train.
  • Sub group participants.
  • Overall aim and responsibilities of sub-group.
  • Current projects the group is working on (which can then lead to Wiki pages showing more details on those).

Mailing lists and group member tiers

We should have two levels of commitment: those who commit to spend time managing a project (project leads), and those who contribute to the project (contributors).

This should not be confused with rank, authority, or superiority; this is simple organization. That said, there is an aspect of meritocracy involved: to be considered as one of the project leads, a person has to demonstrate the skills and motivation to contribute effectively.

Everyone in the WebEd CG will be subscribed to the public-webed and public-webed-contrib lists; project leads will also be subscribed to internal-webed and internal-webed-contrib, but these lists should only be used sparingly, for administrivia. Project leads will also take part in regular meetings, and be responsible for representing the ideas and status of their projects, and relating meeting information back to their project contributors. All minutes will be public.

Everyone can participating in as many (or as few) projects as they have time for.

List Details

The purpose of each list is as follows:

  • public-webed: public queries, general subject discussion that is safe for pubic consumption.
  • public-webed-contrib: reporting and discussion of project activities.
  • internal-webed: discussion of internal project leadership affairs.
  • internal-webed-contrib: reporting and discussion of significant leadership activities. Not sure if we will need this one.

Running of the group

  • When a new project is to be proposed inside a sub-group, the proposer drops a mail to that sub-groups’s activity leader, containing details, and a list of at least two other people who second it.
  • The sub-group activity leader makes a decision about whether to put the activity forward, and responds on the public-webed-contrib list with a yay or nay.
  • Those who see the decision have a chance to argue against the decision if they wish.
  • If a project is adopted by the sub-group, a leader and deputy leader is chosen for that project (again, not one point of failure), plus other members as needed. These members, and the aims and activity of the project is recorded on the Wiki. Actions/Issues for that project are recorded at the tracking page. We need to learn how to best use this.
  • Every fortnight, a leadership meeting will occur, featuring the co-chairs (Ben and Chris), Doug, and the sub-group leaders. The chairs will report any general happenings of interest, and the sub-group leaders will report on how all the activities are going in their subgroup.
  • If a project is failing, we should discuss why, and what can be done to get it back on track. It should be given a few months to get back on track, and if not, we abandon it, or look for an alternative project to replace it.
  • All achievements/major milestones should be reported on the public-webed-contrib list, and updated on the tracking function somehow.

Notes on running the group

  • Eventually we will be able to pay people to write material for the W3C, when we get the money coming in (via training, or certification).
  • I want to give people profile pages – show how much W3C karma people have. This should record what they have done. Could we have some way to give people experience points or accolades to show what they have done? I am conscious that, at least to begin with, people wil be doing this for nothing, so they at least need some recognition.
  • We need to be sensible about time commitments all the way through. Make sure we are not doing too much, groom assistants and replacements as required.
  • Wikis are good for quick edits, but curated material is important. How do we reconcile this?

Notes on training

We want to partner with educational institutions and trainers to provide training and certification that will utilise our material to provide a best practice, consistent, high quality standards of web development education. All the material will be free for anyone who wants to use it, but the W3C will make some money from the certification aspect (see below), and perhaps training activities of our own in the future.

Notes on certification

We agree that it’s needed. we could treat it like MCSE, or Adobe qualifications. Quality control too. certification is the fastest path to gross legitimacy/revenue.

Risks of certification

  • Do we alienate developers who already have the skills/reputations? Try to make it clear that a cert is nice to have, but is not required for being in the industry.
  • Do we alienate existing trainers? We should partner with them instead, and allow them to offer the W3C cert as well as anything else they may have. But you don’t have to use it.
  • Would people dislike it because the W3C is making money out of it? Well, it is available for anyone for free. the only way W3C makes money is via the certification. and training maybe, if we went into that (not for now).

Making progress

Hi all! I suspect many of you are wondering when something is going to happen with this here web edu CG? Well, things have been slow to start off with due to it being the holiday season, and various members of the organization team being on holiday. But never fear – I have written up a whole load of ideas on what activities to start going forward with, and as soon as I get some feedback from various team members, I will post more details up and start getting your input.

So please, bear with us – I promise you it’ll be worth the wait.

Contributing to the Web Education Community Group

The signup process to get access to the community groups is a little convoluted at present, so we decided to provide a step by step guide to minimise frustration and get you through the process as quickly as possible.

  1. Sign up for a W3C public account. You’ll need this to perform a number of actions such as signing up to community groups and editing W3C Wikis. It won’t allow you to do everything on the W3C properties, but it will be sufficient for community group activities. The steps here are as follows:
    • Go to the Public Account Request Form page. This step is quite easy: you just enter a first name (Given name), last name (Family name), and contact e-mail address, then submit the form with the “Create account” button.
    • You may be required to state your company affiliation – if it is not in the list of companies you can choose from, then you’ll have to specify a new company and give some details like size of organization. This is only required to allow the W3C to make checks on intellectual property rights for any information you may submit. You will not be required to pay anything or provide anything else to be able to sign up and take part in the community groups!
    • The next screen asks you for a confirmation number – you should be sent this at the e-mail address you supplied in the previous step. You need to use it within seven days.
    • You will now have to wait for the W3C to processed your application. Once this is done, you’ll get an e-mail to give you your user name and password. Please change your password at the earliest convenience, using the link supplied in the e-mail.
    • Go to the Web Education Community Group homepage and log in using your public account (see the relevant link in at the top).
  2. Click the “Join this Group” button to join the group.
  3. You may also need to log in again to edit the Wikis. If in doubt, make sure you are logged in before doing any work.
  4. If you know of anyone who is having trouble with this procedure, please get in touch, via the mailing lists, IRC, or by posting a comment on this post.