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Kick-starting the School of Data!

May 21, 2012 in Events, Featured, School of Data

Earlier this year, we announced plans to launch the School of Data. Thanks to the generous support of Open Society Foundations and the Shuttleworth Foundation, we’re now ready to go! We’re holding a kick-off sprint next week, and we invite you to get involved.

What is the School of Data?

The School of Data is led by the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) and Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU). The School will provide online training for data ‘wrangling’ skills – the ability to find, retrieve, clean, manipulate, analyze, and represent different types of data.

The School of Data is a collaborative and community-orientated project, and we welcome partners and participants. We’ve already had exciting conversations with several organisations and individuals, and we look forward to drawing upon their expertise during the development of the School. We are particularly excited to welcome the Tactical Technology Collective to our sprint next week, and look forward to benefiting from their wide-ranging experience (see e.g. their drawing by numbers project). We hope many more will join us – read on to find out how you can take part!

For more information about the School of Data, please visit our FAQs

The Kick-off Sprint

Next week, a small team of us will be gathering in Berlin for the School of Data kick-off sprint. This is a great opportunity to get to know one another, and to start building materials and resources for the School.

During the sprint we will be holding a designated virtual session, and we warmly invite you to join us online!

Details of the sprint are as follows:

When: Thursday 24th May, 12pm-4pm UTC

Where: Online, through our IRC channel (#schoolofdata on freenode)
How: Sign-up on the etherpad and then just drop in!

Everyone is welcome, and we will try to have a range of hands-on activities to suit everyone’s interests. We particularly welcome:

  • Suggestions for content and courses
  • Recommendations (or donations!) of high quality, openly licensed materials and resources, including interesting datasets to work with
  • Offers to build a specific learning challenge or track
  • ‘Testers’ willing to try out and improve the content available so far

If you can’t make the IRC session, you can still get involved. Sign-up to the School of Data mailing list and introduce yourself, or drop a quick note to schoolofdata [@] okfn.org.

In Berlin? Join the Social!

If you are located in or around Berlin, join us for our social! This will be held on the evening of Thursday 24th May at St. Oberholz, (Rosenthaler Straße, 72a). This is a great opportunity for anyone in the area with an interest in Open Data to meet casually for a drink and a chat.

To give us an idea of numbers, please sign-up here.

Get Involved in the School of Data

As well as the kick-off sprint, there are many ways to get involved with the School of Data.

Right now, we are looking for volunteers to:

  • Contribute ideas and suggestions for the curriculum.
  • Help to build individual tracks and learning challenges.
  • Help to source (or donate) high-quality, openly-licensed educational resources.

And once the School is up and running, we will also be seeking volunteers to:

  • Act as mentors for people who are taking part in virtual School of Data courses.
  • Translate materials.
  • Make the School of Data more accessible in their local area.

If you’d like to get involved in these or any other ways, please sign-up to the mailing list and introduce yourself!

You can follow us on Twitter: @SchoolofData

You may also be interested in our recent blog post about job vacancies. The Data Wrangler’s role in particular will be closely involved with the School of Data.

Finally, if you are able to contribute towards the ongoing maintenance of the School, please do feel free to donate via our secure PayPal account.


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