Phillip Smith

Learning lab update: 1st round of invitations out, plus preliminary schedule & format

Knight-Mozilla Learning Lab. It's like summer school, only way cooler

Yesterday, the first round of invitations to the Knight-Mozilla learning lab went out. The invitations went out to the sixty entrants whose submissions were ranked the highest by the panel of reviewers.

We’ve asked those invited to respond by 5PM ET on Friday, July 1st. And we’ve also asked those invited to let us know if they are not able to make the time commitment (or are simply not interested) so we can offer those spots to the next people in line.

Just to make it clear: if you didn’t receive an invitation yet – fear not – you’re automatically on the waiting list. As we hear back from people this week, we’ll be extending more invitations.

Once the lab is completely full, we’ll let everyone know. So hang tight until then.

Preliminary schedule & format

Many folks have asked about the schedule for the learning labs. While it’s still under active development, with the help of my colleague Alexandra and our curriculum advisers, here’s what I can tell you today:

  • The two mandatory lectures will be on Monday and Wednesday morning, and the optional lecture will be on Friday morning. We’re trying to schedule the lectures for roughly 8AM Pacific Time, 11AM Eastern Time, 4PM British Standard Time, 5PM Central European Time. If you want to check what that is in your local time zone, you may find this site useful. Some lectures will start a bit later to accommodate speakers who live on the west coast of North America and who are not early risers.

  • All lectures will be held online using the rather fantastic Big Blue Button platform – an open-source video conferencing system that will be hosted and managed for the labs by our friends at Blindside Networks Inc.. There will be local telephone dial-in numbers for every country where participants live (to ensure that it’s easy to listen), and – obviously – participants can also connect using a Web browser for the full video experience.

  • The course material, assignments, and class discussions will be hosted on the new Peer-to-peer University platform. We may also use a handful of Etherpads as a course wiki of sorts.

  • If I ever hear back from the folks at IRCCloud, we will try to integrate an ‘office hours’ via live chat. (Hint-hint, Wink-wink, Nudge-nudge, to the folks at IRCCloud) If that comes to fruition, the live chat drop-in time will likely be scheduled for Thursday, or Friday morning.

  • Assignments will be given out each Monday, and will be due on Friday afternoon. The assignments will be thinking assignments, and can be submitted in any open-Web form: text, audio, video, images, code or a combination of them all. Participants should expect to spend 1-2 hours on the assignment each week.

  • Throughout the entire four weeks, participants will be required to work on their final project. Final projects will be presented the week of August 1st. Alex and I are currently working through the requirements, but participants should expect to spend 2-3 hours a week on research and preparation for the final project presentation.

  • There will likely be readings. They will likely be optional.

So, there you have it, the quick overview of the learning lab schedule and format. We’ll be finalizing everything over the coming week, and we will start posting the course outline and schedule to P2PU. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments, or find us on Twitter at @asamur and @phillipadsmith.


Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


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