Some of you may know that we've had a 40-person class of Allegheny first years working with us (largely in Fedora Marketing, but intersecting with Websites and Design as well) for the end of term. This is an experiment on many fronts - teaching open source, scaffolding for newcomers, figuring out whether our marketing materials make sense to folks outside the Fedora community... it's been a hectic time as we've all (community and class alike) scrambled to keep up, but I am extremely pleased at what we've been able to accomplish so far. As the grand experiment winds down (today was the last full working day of class, I believe, thought the semester ends in early May and they still have a release party to go), For instance, they have:
- Driven a tough discussion on video sharing and social networks.
- Written feature profiles and made others far friendlier to read.
- Sprinted with us on the F13 one-page release notes. We have a video of the sprint, too - lots of people furiously typing away on the same document == total coolness.
- Pointed out bugs in our spin webpage creation process, leading to the creation of (you guessed it) a SOP.
...and more. There have been a lot of tough spots and confusing moments and frustrations, to be sure - and we have a lot to learn before we do this another time. But I must say I am learning a lot - about the art of teaching, and what we take for granted in Fedora, and what it takes to actually make a community accessible to newcomers of all types, rather than the ones we tend to see because they're the lucky ones who manage to have, somehow, fought or found their way inside.
I've left some notes on the wiki wrt the work I've been able to see the Allegheny teams do in helping us out with various projects and deliverables - I suspect there's a lot of work they have done that we haven't seen yet, because we're not physically there in Meadville to watch the conversations. So this is my attempt to call out what's been visible from this side of the screen, so that hopefully we'll be able to see all of it shortly.
Comments + additions welcome. Thanks for trying this out with us, everyone! Post-semester/post-release discussion coming... at the end of May, when everyone's recovered, more or less.