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Hak5 University


l3db3tt3r
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With the advent of Open Coursework, I think It would be great to see if we could provide an Open Classroom.

If you have been missing out, many high profile schools and their respected teachers are beginning to release there course work to the open public. This includes, lectures, papers, course notes, homework assignments, and other materials in different media formats such as video, audio, and text.

Here is a list of some,

The more talked about programs/projects dealing a little more directly with the interests of our community are:

MIT: http://ocw.mit.edu/

Stanford Engineering: http://see.stanford.edu/

There also seems to be some good general information and news that comes out of the OpenCourseWare Consortium.

Enter Project: Open Classroom

I have this idea of using the community that is already brought together here; the readily available resources that the schools have provided throughout their various open coursework and to combine them into a virtual classroom, where we can help, encourage, and develop our fundamentals, knowledge and skill sets in the areas that the community already has shared interest. I believe once a platform is created to accomplish these tasks that that platform would coincide greatly with the ideas of how to harness other community projects.

Let me break down that last part:

I believe that many of the community projects have fizzled out because of the lack of a proper, easy to understand, and the altogether method in witch the community interacts and develops projects. It lacks a coherent platform to launch a project from conception to completion. I think there is a better way.

Take the many avenue's of what has become the collective of a Hak5 community. The main three being this forum, the Wiki, and the IRC channel. All of them are outstanding in and of themselves, but they lack a unifying piece that would make it simply a Hak5 community, instead of this collective that we have.

Why use the Project: Open Classroom, to launch a community platform?

1) It embraces and requires peer review, and team effort to guide and ultimately finish an accomplishment.

2) It draws on resources, knowledge and information presently and readily available. There is no need to develop these things, unlike other projects. This in turn means more effort spent on the method of delivery and the platform itself.

3) Broken down the platform shares the method of organization of ideas, resources, and individuals.

4) The tools are already available, and are similar to what non-centralized businesses use (another disposal of tools available for use), for collaboration on projects. The difference is the classroom atmosphere is a closer representation of the DIY nature of many of the projects, then that of a business. The classroom being about the acquisition of new knowledge and using it vs the a business of using the knowledge you have. (think reverse engineering)

5) This offers a better jumping on point for the avg person, or n00b, who wants to learn, or get involved with a project and within the community.

My vision of the platform dynamics and interconnections broken down.

I think that I can best organize this chronologically from conception to completion of project, and in contrast with that of teaching(or even taking) a class. By no means is this the order in which the project should be created, or that any one project would use all or any number of them.

Conception

Where does that project idea come from? What class are we collectively going to take and learn? Where do I submit new ideas?

I kind of envision a page similar to reddit. With projects/classes being voted up or down. The link can be pointed to a quick look, or collection of information on the project/class. Once it hit's the "front page" it's go time. This is the place to amass interest, followers, and justify the Key players that ultimately take the project on.

Other benefits:

- Gives the user a face, and an ability to put input into what they WANT.

- Shifts and moves with current community trends.

- Elimination of duplicate entries/proposals

- Organization of project types, the user can easily keep up with what they are into.

- Comments, and they are also voted up or down to filter out excessive "noise".

- Gives the hak5 guys a resource to pull new material for the show from. (I know this sound exactly like Diggnation)

Project

This is where the collaboration software/platform/CMS comes in

I think that this area is what really needs to be discussed, and then developed. We should start with an idea of our needs in a platform, followed by wants. Then we need to look into the options currently available, and what is already in use.

I am now trying to find some examples of platforms, some off the top of my head:

Defiantly school/class related..

Blackboard

WebCT - I guess blackboard bought them out :(

JoomlaLMS

SharePoinLMS

Also looking into project management systems like,

Basecamp

I know there are TONS more. But, I'm being pulled away at the moment.

I suppose I could make the first call to arms, from the community to help me out here. Given the examples above, do you think you could find similar platforms. Please discuss there merits, as it pertains to an OpenClassroom. Remember, we don't have "teachers" per say, and we really need a Peer/Team type system to work within. (Certainly there will be project leaders that would probably carry a "teacher" like role...)

Also Remember that the END goal is to also create a platform in which all/any community projects can be created and worked. The parallels between the Open Classroom and the Project platform, are pretty self explanatory.

It would also be great if it was FREE.

On another note, I do have some webspace to host, and could accommodate a small workload of users, as we get the project up and running... Plus I don't mind spending (some) money on my education :)

Also, realize that I'm trying to hit this from the "CLASSROOM" side of the house. Finding a way to manage the people

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It sounds very interesting! For sure a lot of work ahead. Something like that will only function if your active user-base is a) big enough B) supportive enough. Cause it all depends on how active and involved everybody is to make this work.

Before such classes are possible, you need to have someone (or more persons) to understand the topic completely to make sure they can teach or answer the questions.

Perhaps I misunderstood what you wrote, waiting for more info ;) Good start tough, if you need some help, drop me a line.

Jay

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Sounds like a good use for yet another project that never saw the light of day: community lectures on the IRC.

The idea behind this was that lectures would be given in a sort of auditorium channel much like a regular lecture. I would imagine that screenshots (or other graphics, perhaps screencasts and/or videos, I don't know) could've been used to aid in said lectures and questions could easily be answered. Homework could be assigned to show understanding of the topics explains in said lectures.

The downside to all of these ideas is that we couldn't provide any recognised certificate or proof of knowledge, though this isn't entirely necessary it would be nice to be able to do so. The knowledge alone is a fair reward.

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yeah could always give someone a special title or something "certified by hak5 to be a 1337 java programmer" or something lol

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hehe- yeah with little sticker to put on your forehead!!;P

How about a regular weekly class irc channel - make it a bit more formal where peeps know they can turn up and there will be others there who are involved- rather than jsut going to the hak5 irc on an ad hoc basis hoping someone is gonna be there?

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I'm stealing some shit from another post I wrote... and I think it is relevant to some of the concerns about what you will have in the END to show. Rather then say a degree or certification, you will have NETWORKED people into your life, People that can vouch for your abilities... And ultimately that say's a lot more on a resume'.

I am more of a social person. I kind of need some group dynamics to keep the pace moving.

I'm wondering if anyone is interested, or knows of some resources, where you can hit the online courses available together, as a "class". There would be more Peer review. The ability to have someone else check your work. Help teach materials, (the biggest/best method of actually learning/remembering information). Peer-pressure to keep up with class lectures, discussions, and work. It could also make the course work RELEVANT in real world circumstance from a stand point of what you have to show for your knowledge, (not a degree/ certificate??), instead you would have REAL people saying "yeah, we learned this stuff on our own.., and so and so brought this asset to the table..."

It would be a real (social) networking ordeal. Just think of the parallels of accomplishing such a task as they relate to non-centralized business models that use various tools to accomplish a project using world wide resources...

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I'm stealing some shit from another post I wrote... and I think it is relevant to some of the concerns about what you will have in the END to show. Rather then say a degree or certification, you will have NETWORKED people into your life, People that can vouch for your abilities... And ultimately that say's a lot more on a resume'.

I am more of a social person. I kind of need some group dynamics to keep the pace moving.

I'm wondering if anyone is interested, or knows of some resources, where you can hit the online courses available together, as a "class". There would be more Peer review. The ability to have someone else check your work. Help teach materials, (the biggest/best method of actually learning/remembering information). Peer-pressure to keep up with class lectures, discussions, and work. It could also make the course work RELEVANT in real world circumstance from a stand point of what you have to show for your knowledge, (not a degree/ certificate??), instead you would have REAL people saying "yeah, we learned this stuff on our own.., and so and so brought this asset to the table..."

It would be a real (social) networking ordeal. Just think of the parallels of accomplishing such a task as they relate to non-centralized business models that use various tools to accomplish a project using world wide resources...

It would be interesting project to see if this could be done. Somewhere you could pull together and set up classses based on online courses/material.

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I think this is a great idea. I hope it gets off the ground.

if you really want to get it off the ground then give him a hand with it lol

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I was looking into what my current host already has available for install, and it got my researching down the path of Drupal.

In my haste It looks like it has the capability to do the digg/reddit clone type deal I was talking about.

Drigg

It also looks like it has the ability to be used as a classroom tool.

Drupal ED

From what I have gathered Drupal has a STEEP learning curve. If this project takes this turn, I'm going to need some REAL F'n Help.

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So I was on IRC batting around an idea in my head and with the rest of the channel, it's an idea that would need significant refinement but I think it's an interesting idea nonetheless.

It's quite hard to describe I think, I originally described it as "a sort of night-school style hacker-space-cum-classroom, a mini teaser course in a whole bunch of stuff to get people interested thinking outside of the warranty (so to speak)" but I found that description both too narrow, too broad and too irrelevant all at the same time.

I eventually condensed it down to "taking a conference talk, squeezing it down, throwing in a workshop, some social interaction and some group discussion" which I think is likely more accurate for what I was thinking, and it avoids the dreaded H-word which certainly wouldn't help anyone in trying to imagine what this would all be about. The idea would be to give those who wouldn't know what this whole seemingly shady world actually can provide rather than just vegging out in front of the news being told that everyone who uses a computer for more than MS Word steals credit cards and identities and hacks into Russian banks. A sort of informational buffet if you will, a selection of topics from various areas of computing and general technical knowledge which may inspire attendees to progress onto courses that would go into detail about their preferred areas of interest.

I then progressed onto thinking about the possibility of a sort of workshop roadshow, though if anything of the sort did happen I'm sure it would be many years before a roadshow occurred, but a nice thought for the future, and it's not a huge jump from existing traveling IT trucks which travel the country and allow people to experience computing and I would imagine complete short courses in the basics.

Well, that's about all I have for now, but l3db3tt3r thought that what I was saying meshed very well with what he was saying in this thread, it seemed appropriate that I should spew forth my hairball of an idea right here and see how the whole thing pans out. Thoughts and ideas welcomed, and bonus points if they combine both mine and l3db3tt3r's ideas.

--------------------

Edit: Ideas could include how to find the information you really want, "it's ok to break the warranty seal"/why dead kit doesn't always mean dead kit/basic troubleshooting, why security is important, what you really get for your money when you take your computer for a checkup, alternative OSs and what they might be used for/how computers are used in datacenters/what's in that cupboard in the IT dept's office with all the blinking lights, unusual uses for tech/computers. I'm sure you could think of many more but I'm not nearly caffeinated enough, those are just some basic answers to the inevitable "well, like what sort of teasers/info?"

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I was looking into what my current host already has available for install, and it got my researching down the path of Drupal.

In my haste It looks like it has the capability to do the digg/reddit clone type deal I was talking about.

Drigg

It also looks like it has the ability to be used as a classroom tool.

Drupal ED

From what I have gathered Drupal has a STEEP learning curve. If this project takes this turn, I'm going to need some REAL F'n Help.

Drupal isn't hard to install; however, if you want your website to do something a little 1337, you're going to be researching stuff like which modules can do something like what you want, and how to change them into what you really do want. Basically, the KISS rule works really well here--keep your site really basic, and drupal will be easy to manage. Try to make it include easy things like forums and avatar pictures, and you'll be fine. But if you see some snazzy bells and whistles that your site just has to have, you'll often be working at it for a while, hacking it together. Although I've never used it myself, I think Drigg looks like a straightforward module to add, with only a few caveats such as clean URLs. Given access to an Apache server, I could set up a Drigg Drupal site up for you in an hour or two.

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I think that Moonlit is tracking on several ideas that I also share with him on one level or another.

The ultimate vision that I have is to create a tighter knit community. To add the social aspect. If I dare say Social Networking site, I know this has the same dreaded H-word mentality when uttered.

There is a lot of talk about using specific tools for collaboration, on many different styles of projects. Looking at the Hak5 community we collectively use the forum, IRC, Wiki... and Dev5 (I'm not too familiar with what Dev5 is/does) Other tools are brought up as well, like the hak5radio, ustream, that can be used to accomplish a lot of the fundamental ideas...

I keep hitting this idea head on in my thoughts as well as in discussion with others. The tools. They are already sitting here at my, and the communities, disposal.

The issues are these,

1) The tools that are currently used do not have a common thread and are vaguely tied together.

2) Frame of time. This issue comes up ALL the time in one form of another, the obvious being the time zones in which people work/play/sleep. The frame of time I would like to address as an issue, is as it relates to information presented and disseminate through the different tools. Nevermind the TYPE of information. I want to talk about the LIFETIME of a conversation/discussion, like talking on IRC, vs say on the forum, vs information presented in a wiki, vs live broadcast radio/video, vs whatever communication type. The issues come up when new ideas are presented. (I'm learning more and more about this as I undertake THIS idea.) And when questions come up about completed projects. Yes, bad ideas are quickly filtered to the way side, but good/great ideas also have trouble to find a foothold.

3) Collaborating PEOPLE, the real knowledge base, the work force to accomplish a project.

I want to make a platform that minimizes or kills these issues dead. Where as a user, a member, of the community all the tools are presented to you upfront, and are tied together. Where you can track projects you are interested in. Where questions, discussions, commentary, can be easily tracked and monitored. Where the progress and direction of projects can be seen. Where completed projects can be searched. Where you can SHARE your projects, and tie them to the how-to, giving tips, and differences in design. A place to where you can plan to interact with people IRL, meatspace. Organization.

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My mind works a little different then most. It's a little more spacial. I constantly draw/doodle. I love schematics!

I can, and often do, put complex ideas and theories into diagram form...

So guess what, I have been doing this as I have been brain storming and researching this project. I should try to make a more finalized diagram/drawing to put together and see if all these ideas come together better then what my words are capable of relaying.

(note: how cool would an online "blackboard" be for this task alone..)

Then perhaps I can get some feedback on what's missing/(un)needed

And then! maybe someone can help me build what I have envisioned.

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My mind works a little different then most. It's a little more spacial. I constantly draw/doodle. I love schematics!

I can, and often do, put complex ideas and theories into diagram form...

So guess what, I have been doing this as I have been brain storming and researching this project. I should try to make a more finalized diagram/drawing to put together and see if all these ideas come together better then what my words are capable of relaying.

(note: how cool would an online "blackboard" be for this task alone..)

Then perhaps I can get some feedback on what's missing/(un)needed

And then! maybe someone can help me build what I have envisioned.

Cool idea! Do you envision this to be like a tribal society with roving bands, or to have more hierarchical structure?

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Cool idea! Do you envision this to be like a tribal society with roving bands, or to have more hierarchical structure?

I certainly believe that it would be a peer society, and naturally that a hierarchy will present itself, as peoples talents are played to the best of their abilities.

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I think this could turn out really well. The hardest part isn't launching these projects, but keeping them going.

Yeah. My original post for Standford University ( http://hak5.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=9912 ) was so others could take a look and get some free training or an introduction to Computer Science and programming. I never intended to make it a community project. This is still a good idea though. I just hope that for those who work on organizing it understand that the hardest part is just keeping people involved and giving/getting feedback, participation for the most part, etc. Most team leaders who work on projects like this usually end up doing all the work, while others come in just for the quick fix or to ask questions on how to fix something they don't understand.

This being about self education and not "how do I get this to work" or "I get this error when running such and such" means people really have to dig in put forth an effort. Its for your own benefit if you want to really learn something. Hopefully people will share their skills and help others as new people come to participate.

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A good approach to this type of course which is covered on a weekly basis(ie:3 lectures and an assignment and reading each week) rather than having a start date for each iteration of the course(have a start date for the first run obviously) is to set up a subforum for each week of the course along with wiki entires and/or web pages so people can jump in and out when they have time. Have a number of regular irc times available to fit various time zones - I know there are other web technologies that could be used but this is a good start.

Then people who have done the course or are even just a few weeks ahead can act as mentors/peer helpers as well as any regular course admins.

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