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HTML5 + JS: The Future of Open Education

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HTML5 + JS: The Future of Open Education

  1. 1. HTML5 + JS: The Keys to Open Education The Karma Project http://www.karmaeducation.org [email_address] License: CC-BY 3.0
  2. 2. Demo First, Talk Later <ul><li>Before you wade your way though 55+ slides, please take a look at the demo. If you are a web developer, please take a look at the code. </li></ul>http://karma.sugarlabs.org/examples/adding_up_to_10/index.html
  3. 3. Everybody wants Education 2.0 <ul><li>Lots of universities, schools, governments want to use software in education
  4. 4. Kids around the world, particularly in poor countries, need interactive, free materials
  5. 5. The current method of education in much of the developing world is: </li></ul>Teacher Speaks, Kids Repeat
  6. 6. An Education Myth ” Rote Learning is good for you, look at all those successful asians in the US” <ul><li>Large percentage of those asians attended private schools or special public schools that look a lot like western schools, but often more rigorous
  7. 7. Those who attended public schools have largely succeeded on their own merits not because they had to memorize whole books as children </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Missing Teachers Who is going to teach all these kids algebra?
  9. 9. The Missing Teachers Talented teachers won't move to rural India, Pakistan, Nepal, Africa for another generation. Vast majority of people who know maths, English, good writing emigrate or go into private sector NOT teaching in a village
  10. 10. <ul><li>We need to fill this gigantic learning void
  11. 11. We need to empower good teachers and accommodate those learners that don't have access to good teachers
  12. 12. And You Can Help! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Bryan Berry, CTO of OLE Nepal, had interesting experience on one visit to a Nepali school. He asked a 3 rd grader what the sum of 3 + 1 is. The child enthusiastically responded “4!” Bryan then asked the child what the sum of 1 + 3 is. The child had no idea. The child had memorized addition problems but had no actual understanding of arithmetic Anecdote
  14. 14. Problems with Current Approaches <ul><li>Most interactive educational software today suffers from one or more problems:
  15. 15. Proprietary (Flash)
  16. 16. Tied to a particular platform </li></ul><ul><ul><li>KDEedu (KDE)
  17. 17. Pygame +PyGTK (gnome) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Very small educational dev communities – gcompris, KDEedu, Squeak </li></ul>
  18. 18. But Flash is the Standard! ” Flash is the standard for developing proprietary educational software” But the open-source Flash community is small and not very active Even Worse: <ul><li>i18n mechanism too complicated
  19. 19. Doesn't render indic fonts properly – sorry 2 billion people! </li></ul>
  20. 20. PyGame+PyGTK are great but . . . <ul><li>Time consuming to set up development environment
  21. 21. You can't show off your creations through the browser
  22. 22. Separate markup, presentation, and code? Nope
  23. 23. Very, very few programmers in developing countries know these technologies </li></ul>
  24. 24. If You hadn't Guessed HTML5 + Javascript are the answer <ul><li>Lots of programmers in developing countries know these technologies due to outsourcing boom
  25. 25. Great unicode and font-rendering support
  26. 26. Low barrier to entry, new coder only needs text editor and browser to get started </li></ul>
  27. 27. A Lot of Work Ahead <ul><li>JS still lacks standard high-level drawing functions
  28. 28. Browser performance is very inconsistent, particularly for certain kinds operations
  29. 29. Lack of good i18n mechanisms that don't require a server </li></ul>
  30. 30. Road to Karma 1 <ul><li>Open Learning Exchange Nepal (OLE Nepal) is a Nepali NGO implementing the OLPC project in Nepal
  31. 31. 2000 XO laptops deployed so far
  32. 32. More importantly, several hundred teachers trained how to use XO's in classroom
  33. 33. Educational content aligned with curriculum critical to project success </li></ul>
  34. 34. Road to Karma 2 <ul><li>OLE Nepal has been producing open-source educational software for 2 years now
  35. 35. Tried squeak and pygame + pyGTK but development too time-consuming
  36. 36. OLE Nepal has been using Flash for last 18 months and happy with it, BUT . . . </li></ul>
  37. 37. Lack of External Support <ul><li>To date, not one single developer outside of OLE Nepal team has submitted a patch despite our best efforts
  38. 38. Relative to the huge # of devs working w/ flash </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IRC, mailing list traffic low
  39. 39. Limited open-source tooling and supporting documentation </li></ul></ul>The Open-Source Flash Community will likely remain small
  40. 40. Lack of External Support Despite the great work of the free software community on projects like Gnash and the GameSWF library, there is very little in terms of sharing and collaboration of free software Flash projects.
  41. 41. Insult to Injury OLE Nepal has to use images for Nepali text because Flash Player 10 does not render unicode indic fonts properly
  42. 42. All the Same OLE Nepal has created some amazing content using Flash It will take a ton of work to implement the same functionality in html5+js
  43. 43. OLE Nepal's Mission To provide comprehensive, high-quality education to every Nepali child. Must cover grades 1-8 with teacher training and interactive, high-quality, digital content aligned with national curriculum
  44. 44. That's a lot of Content OLE Nepal will never, ever, ever be able to create all this content on its own Creating an international movement around standard tools is a more realistic goal
  45. 45. Good News <ul>There are lots of people around the world interested in creating this content </ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Uruguay
  46. 46. Paraguay
  47. 47. UK
  48. 48. USA, etc </li></ul></ul></ul><ul>They just need a common, open, ”easy” toolset </ul>
  49. 49. Karmic Inspiration <ul><li>OLE Nepal needs to move from Flash to openweb technologies => Karma
  50. 50. Karma has generated more interest in just 4 months of existence than did 2 years of flash work
  51. 51. And there is only one basic example . . . </li></ul>
  52. 52. A SugarLabs Subproject <ul><li>Karma is a subproject of Sugarlabs
  53. 53. Started as Googe Summer of Code project – thanks Google!
  54. 54. But Karma lessons designed to run within any html5 compliant browser, not just within Sugar
  55. 55. Code is MIT-licensed, content CC-BY-SA </li></ul>
  56. 56. A SugarLabs Subproject <ul><li>OLE Nepal and others in Sugar community realize that to maximize amount of content created, karma can't be specific to a particular desktop environment </li></ul>
  57. 57. Who's Working on It? <ul><li>Created by Bryan Berry, CTO of OLE Nepal
  58. 58. Main contributors so far </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GsoC student Felipe López Toledo
  59. 59. Christoph Derndorfer, co-founder of OLPC Austria </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A group of passionate people who know relatively little about web tech </li></ul>
  60. 60. Who's Working on It? <ul><li>OLE Nepal has a full-time paid development team consisting of 3 teachers, 3 graphic designers, and 6 programmers
  61. 61. Why aren't they all working on Karma?
  62. 62. The government of Nepal has contracted OLE Nepal to produce a certain amount of content according to a set schedule. Shifting all development resources to Karma would jeopardize that schedule </li></ul>
  63. 63. More Requirements <ul><li>Everything must work both offline and online
  64. 64. Only dependency should be a browser with good html5 support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Browse and Surf under the XO </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EASY i18n, gettext doesn't play well w/ MVC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Text in markup needs to be easily localized
  65. 65. We won't have server-side templates, forget Gears </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Helper scripts like the django admin.py and rails ”rails” script </li></ul>
  66. 66. Requirements for Toolset <ul><li>Use only open-source components
  67. 67. Libraries for high-level drawing functions, audio manipulation, common bits of lesson functionality, etc.
  68. 68. Low Barrier to Entry
  69. 69. Use webdev paradigms
  70. 70. Convention-over-configuration a la ruby-on-rails, django </li></ul>
  71. 71. Requirements for Toolset <ul><li>Web dev paradigms </li><ul><ul><ul><li>Separate presentation, markup, and code
  72. 72. Unobtrusive javascript
  73. 73. Use utf-8 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  74. 74. What We Don't Need Exciting 3D Graphics High-quality video Simple 2D is enough And this needs to run on cheap computing devices And 3D doesn't make that much of a difference, think gameplay, gameplay, gameplay
  75. 75. How You Can Help <ul><li>High-Level libraries to ease manipulation of html5 <audio>, <canvas>, <video>
  76. 76. Better i18n mechanism
  77. 77. A JS rockstar to step up and advise the Karma project </li></ul>
  78. 78. More Specifically <ul><li>Optimizing animation performance in the browser
  79. 79. Help with web workers
  80. 80. Help w/ local storage to store student progress
  81. 81. Lesson-specific functionality
  82. 82. i18n </li></ul><ul><ul><li>without server-side template
  83. 83. Capture text in the markup and html attributes like <img alt=””> and <meta tags=””> </li></ul></ul>
  84. 84. Logical Layout of a Karma Bundle <ul><li>The base unit of karma is the ” lesson ”
  85. 85. Lessons are organized by grade, subject, and optional time component in a Karma bundle
  86. 86. Each lesson includes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesson Plan and Teacher's Note for teacher
  87. 87. Tutorial – introduce concept
  88. 88. Exercise – do exercises to test knowledge
  89. 89. Optional game – more free form opportunity to work with ideas in the lesson </li></ul></ul>
  90. 90. Anatomy of Karma codebase <ul><li>Jquery plugins
  91. 91. Helper scripts – presently using narwhal + rhino
  92. 92. Example lessons
  93. 93. Templates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Starting page – Chakra
  94. 94. Lesson Navigation
  95. 95. Karma lesson </li></ul></ul>
  96. 96. Anatomy of Karma cont'd <ul><li>A formal specification (under rapid development): wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Karma/Specifications
  97. 97. Set of conventions for most common configurations very much in the style of ruby-on-rails and django
  98. 98. No server-side components or even server-side emulation like Gears </li></ul>
  99. 99. The Kurrent Karma Plugin
  100. 100. Karma Animation <ul><li>Canvas manipulation
  101. 101. Presently not using SVG. When should we use svg? When use canvas? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The content must run under OLPC XO-1
  102. 102. SVG tests crashed the XO-1
  103. 103. Canvas tests works better under XO-1 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Created own plugin: jquery.karma.js </li></ul>
  104. 104. Karma Animation Felipe tried RaphaelJS (http://raphaeljs.com/) demos to test SVG animations on the XO but it either crashed or suffered horrible performance Since canvas is low level, better performance … But it's really easy to manipulate SVG Objects Karma doesn't support SVG as of version 0.1 but we would like to in the future
  105. 105. Karma Animation 2 <ul><li>Need something simple and high-level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>processing.js great but complex to use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It uses processing syntax.
  106. 106. It uses a parser, so it’s slower than JS.
  107. 107. It’s not designed to work on low-power machines like the XO (433 Mhz processor, 256 MB RAM). </li></ul></ul></ul>
  108. 108. Browser Optimization <ul><li>Karma lessons must run on the XO-1. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Default browser: Sugar Browse ( based on Gecko )
  109. 109. Experimental: Surf ( based on webkit )
  110. 110. No problem rendering HTML common elements
  111. 111. Canvas rendering may be slow Quadrilaterals demo
  112. 112. Several lag on Browse (unusable)
  113. 113. Works nice on Surf </li></ul></ul>
  114. 114. Browser Optimization 2 <ul><li>It’s preferable to spend cpu than spend memory.
  115. 115. Emphasize rendering speed over quality
  116. 116. image-rendering / firefox 3.6 alpha
  117. 117. webkit has nothing </li></ul>
  118. 118. Web Workers <ul><li>An animation core as web worker? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trying to combine actions with predictable behaviour. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Problems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it's not possible to send functions as worker messages, so, it's hard to use callbacks.
  119. 119. how to share memory (variables) between the root document and the worker thread without copying that data? </li></ul></ul>
  120. 120. Local Storage <ul><li>We need to store results from exercises in Karma lessons
  121. 121. Later synchronize them with moodle or another learning management system next time student can connect </li></ul>
  122. 122. i18n <ul><li>i18n is too hard
  123. 123. Current i18n mechanisms require a server-side template – smarty, erb, django's? –
  124. 124. Or putting all your strings in js code
  125. 125. Gettext's _(””) works for js code but not for markup
  126. 126. We need something more intuitive </li></ul>
  127. 127. Specific i18n Needs <ul><li>Need to translate text in markup not just stuff marked _(””), even including inline markup
  128. 128. Need to use native numerals – Arabic, Hindi, Nepali use different symbols for digits
  129. 129. Need to change out audio, images, and even numerals per locale </li></ul>
  130. 130. More i18n <ul><li>Gettext should translate all strings in <body> unless marked explicitly otherwise – perhaps using lang attribute?
  131. 131. The markup still needs to be valid html5!
  132. 132. Plus, need to translate certain attributes such as <img alt=””> and tags in header such as title, meta
  133. 133. CSS background images and fonts </li></ul>
  134. 134. Doing Everything on document.ready() <ul><li>Since we can't use something like a server-side template, all localization has to happen in function called on document.ready() </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Switching out images
  135. 135. Audio
  136. 136. Text </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Will this actually work for a complex pages on machines with limited resources like the OLPC XO-1? </li></ul>
  137. 137. Inline markup is a headache <ul><li><div>the <big>Highest<big> score is <label id=”highScore”></label></div>
  138. 138. We need grab everything between <div> . . . </div>, put it in the .pot file, and later write back the translated HTML on page load, not just text
  139. 139. Anyone got a better idea? </li></ul>
  140. 140. Could you help? <ul><li>Animation core </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Translation
  141. 141. Rotation
  142. 142. Skew
  143. 143. Masks
  144. 144. Image sprite support
  145. 145. TimeLine </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Mechanish to resize the whole html content when resizing the window </li></ul>
  146. 146. Could you help? <ul><li>i18n: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Html2po (supporting inline elements)
  147. 147. Html2json?
  148. 148. Internationalizing javascript code is much easier that internationalizing HTML </li></ul></ul>
  149. 149. Could you help? <ul><li>Web collaboration: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>using only JS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Only under XO?
  150. 150. Have to rely on frameworks like Telepathy? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early ideas on http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/WebCollab </li></ul></ul>
  151. 151. Request for Counsel <ul><li>We could really use advice from 1+
  152. 152. JS Rockstars on a biweekly basis </li></ul>
  153. 153. Not just for Rockstars <ul><li>We are a bunch of monkeys ourselves.
  154. 154. We would love help from any interested parties </li></ul>
  155. 155. Getting Started <ul><li>Join our Launchpad Project http://launchpad.net/karma
  156. 156. We use the main sugar-developers mailing list </li></ul>there is a lot of traffic so if you only want to know about karma, filter for messages w/ [Karma] in the subject line <ul><li>IRC: #sugar on irc.freenode.net </li></ul>
  157. 157. Getting Started <ul><li>Web site: http://www.karmaeducation.org
  158. 158. Wiki page: http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/karma
  159. 159. Code: http://git.sugarlabs.org/project/karma
  160. 160. Contact: [email_address] </li></ul>Thanks to: OLE Nepal, SugarLabs, Google <ul>for their support </ul>