[python-uk] Educator-Developer forum

Tim Golden mail at timgolden.me.uk
Tue Sep 20 05:58:39 EDT 2016

("Forum" used below to mean any technical solution for people to ask &
answer questions)

Nicholas jumped in before I could ask him what the status of the
pyedu.io initiative is. My own belief is that, for such a forum [using
whatever technical solution] to be valuable or even viable, it should
have a certain "official" backing. And it needs to have a certain quorum
of support from a core team of developers and educators.

Entirely unsurprisingly, this has come up at every year's Teacher track
at PyCon UK. I would be delighted if this year it comes about. And I'd
be more than happy to advertise and support it in any way I can. But it
risks becoming a graveyard of one-off posts or "Is anybody there...?" if
it doesn't have at least enough people to give some kind of answer.

I speak as someone who's a moderator or list owner on nearly a dozen
python.org properties, including python-list, python-win32, webmaster@
and planet at . It doesn't take a lot of time, but it does need two groups
of people (who might well overlap). A group which can "manage" the
forum, in whatever way it requires: moderating posts, confirming
accounts, dealing with administrivia. And a pool of people which is big
enough that any question can be addressed, even if by a polite brush-off
or a redirect to some more suitable resource, within a reasonable space
of time. That "big enough" doesn't actually have to be very big.

This latter group should arise naturally from the community of people
which such a forum builds up. And I'm not suggesting that any more
formal process is necessary. However, if *everyone* involved in the
forum is a drive-by questioneer, then more questions will be asked than
answered and the forum will be significantly less useful.

I have no idea if this is the kind of thing planned for the
Python-in-Education site, but I personally think that having that badge
of "approval" from the PSF would help people coalesce around the
"official" forum rather than scatter in a dozen different directions.
However, I haven't been on any of the Cas forums which may be where many
teachers look or start.


On 20/09/2016 10:43, Nicholas H.Tollervey wrote:
> The Python Software Foundation is in the process of setting up a
> pythonineducation.org website (or pyedu.io).
> Perhaps a Slack channel would be an appropriate solution for this forum?
> N.
> On 20/09/16 09:16, Leo Huckvale wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>  At the "Adopt a Teacher/Developer" session at PyCon UK last weekend, I
>> and a couple of other developers met with a teacher who suggested
>> building a forum/portal/Q&A site for educators and developers to
>> interact. The main aims of this would be to provide somewhere:
>> - where educators could go and ask questions from developers (at *any*
>> level, without fear, and preferably at short notice)
>> - to continue "ed-dev" dialogue from PyCon throughout the year
>> - to build a community around teaching Python in schools
>>  It was suggested to me that this might fit somewhere under the PSF
>> mantle, and that there are already plans afoot to build an education
>> site there.
>>  One of our number is currently setting up an Askbot site, so we can get
>> a few developers and educators on board and see how it goes.
>>  Please get in touch if you have any comments or know of any similar
>> projects, or if you want to join in the fun as an educator or developer!
>> Best regards,
>> Leo Huckvale
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