Interview > Pascal Finette > MozLabs, Students and Open Innovation

February 18, 2009 § 1 Comment

In addition to working closely with colleges and universities, the current education pilot will also include a number online courses offered directly by Mozilla. Online courses give us a quick way to try out new ideas for learning content. They also offer an opportunity to reach out to anyone anywhere who wants to learn alongside Mozilla, college student or not.

The first online ‘course’ is the Mozilla Labs Concept Series Design Challenge. It mixes up webinars by people from the Mozilla community with a future browser design contest. It is targeted primarily at user interface design students, but others can participate as well.

I interviewed Labs’ Pascal Finette about this course and Mozilla Education in general:


The interview is about 13 minutes long. Well worth the listen. If you’re in a rush, here are some high points:

  • Mozilla Education has the opportunity reach people from a real diversity of backgrounds, and to help them to understand the principles and values of open source software.
  • We also have a chance to engage students and others in an open innovation process. This brings fresh blood and ideas into the community.
  • In Mozilla Labs, the Concept Series Design Challenge will be aimed at students in human interface design. There are two parts:
    • Part one has students submitting their design ideas on what the browser would look like if it was the only application on your computer.
    • Part two mixes webinars and mentoring by leading Mozilla developers, with an aim to helping students prototype their design ideas.
  • Of course, there will be a nice side effect — recordings of the webinars basically become courseware that other people will be able to download and use for their own purposes.
  • Mozilla has the potential to help educators, students and other people who want to learn at a huge scale. The Lego Mindstorm education community is an example for us. They support classrooms in 30,000 schools around the world.
  • Getting to this goal we need to build education materials that target specific disciplines. Seneca is already targeting engineering. Now Labs is moving to students in design. But this is just the beginning.

You can track or even get involved in the Mozilla Labs course. There is info on the Labs Concept Series page and in the Labs online forum.

§ One Response to Interview > Pascal Finette > MozLabs, Students and Open Innovation

  • Dustin Burke says:

    This is excellent seeing Mozilla Labs embracing Open Innovation ideas and reaching out to the academic community. It would be very exciting to see HCI design students cross-pollinating with Semantic Web researchers and developers.

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