[Edu-sig] Lets work on the adgenda

Steve Morris smorris@nexen.com
Mon, 7 Feb 2000 11:17:37 -0500 (EST)

Tim Peters writes:
 > [Guido]
 > > ...
 > > Now, let's go back to our educational focus...
 > Hmm.  I'm not sure how to tell a relevant topic from noise.

If true maybe that's what we should be talking about. I can offer some

o - If the word education comes up infrequently in the discussion it is a
topic probably better discussed elsewhere. 

o - The more technical the subject the less likely it will be of value
to a general discussion of python in education.

The topic of whether case (in)sensitivity is needed is "on point." The
issues of how it should be implemented or its impact on the installed
base of python software etc. etc. are clearly "off point." They are
important topics but more relevent to the technical python community.

I've seen this happen often on other lists. Everybody wants to
contribute but most don't have anything unique to say. A subject that
everyone recognizes comes up and all the lurkers jump in with both
feet beating the subject to death. Case sensitivity is an example. We
all type. We all have a shift key on our keyboard. We all have an
opinion on the proper use of case. We all care about it. We don't need
to understand anything about education to talk about upper case and
lower case. It is not the subject so much that causes the problem as
its over-discussion, swamping more central business.

Here in a new group the overriding topic should be setting up an
adgenda and charter. To do that we need to try out some issues,
finding which have meat, which have relevence to the subscriber base.
Unlike Mr Terry "walk out in a huff" we need to have some patience
with each other while we work this out.

I'd like to see people posting their list of ideas about what they
think should be the adgenda of this discussion group, trying not to
get too deep yet in the details of how the discussion should go.

So far we have had some pretty focused requests for various on the
ground support for packaging, lesson plans etc. We have also had some
longer term discussion of what we might like in a perfect world. What
else? How do we move forward? Where do we want to go? Does anyone want
to volunteer to go through the archives and try to extract potential
adgenda topics from previous posts? It seems to me there's juice in
there already. If we can make a list then we can start prioritizing.
We need a keeper of the list who will collect ideas and repost the
list to the list once in a while. Volunteers? I would volunteer but I
am too biased and inflamatory to be neutral and neutrality would be
important in this role.

Personally I think a good way to focus our thinking is to think in
terms of what work needs to be done and how that work should progress.
We should be defining projects big and small, short term and long, and
recruiting people to work on them. If we don't actually do anything
edu-sig will become a waste of time and bits. We should create a
community of people helping each other use python in education.