There are not enough project based learning (PBL) formats available for DEVs to become blockchain DEVs and deliver on the work ahead.
Innovative PBL concept to empower developers to build on Cardano, incl. opportunity to access peer-experience & feedback & network
This is the total amount allocated to Empower thru Project Based Learning
The PBL (project based learning) approach is an effective hands on learning experience that focuses on -learning by doing- action-taking participation - an efficient way for a lasting learning experience - enabling practitioners a direct application of what has been learned.
James has been started to develop those concepts for the Cardano community since July 2020 and successfully implemented:
a. Gimbalabs Playground: this is a weekly meeting format, where community and (not-yet community) members can share ideas, present a project and obtain multi-peer feedback.
b. Project Based Learning series: piloting "Plutus Project-Based Learning" (PPBL) giving developers an entry point to gain hands on experience with Plutus by working on real projects. The output of such PPBL cohorts are documentation and task suggestions for additional developers to learn Plutus by using it. Further PBLs are planned and been piloted, e.g. Tokenomics PBL, or Self Sovereign Identity PBL which pretend to leverage on tools like Atala Prism and Dandelion (https://www.gimbalabs.com/gimbalgrid/6).
The educational solution is directly linked to some guiding questions of the Challenge, namely:
a. How can we ensure future efforts benefit from the work that is funded today?: PBL formats set a unprecedented ground for executing on the educational work needed to empower developers (and non- developers) to build out their skills and projects leading to provide infrastructure, dapps, knowledge content helping to grow Cardano positioning it as a true economic network.
b. How can we develop a sustainable ecosystem while sharing knowledge and efforts?: PBL is creating a innovative ecosystem to develop an idea - but also offering a network to the broader community to build out a viable business model, taking the idea to the next level. This way the proposed solution is:
The solution covers the following directions of the Challenge:
Lack of PBL expertise to execute
Since July 2020, James is full time dedicated to this work which he will continue to maintain and build out further. For the very unlikely situation that the proposal will not be executed by James, there is already the initiative taking place to educate 2-3 developers who are being prepared to leverage the concept of PBL.
Missing out of participants to join PBL/playgrounds
The risk of missing out people who want to participate in PBL/playgrounds is very unlikely. Past year has shown that the PBL program has shown to be more and more attractive to developers (e.g. Plutus PBL - version 1 had 3 participants, version 3 had 40+ people subscribing). Still to mitigate the risk communication around the PBL/playground formats need to be intensified.
May 2022 - Oct 2022
PBL expert compensation of James: $5000 per month x 6 months: $30000
Infrastructure (Canvas (6 month subscription), Miro, Mailing): $6000
Teacher, coach, and facilitator with a passion for helping people gain agency in problem solving.
James creates learning experiences by running development courses, creating asynchronous learning resources, and helping to launch experiments that allow people to contribute their diverse talent to share goals. He is also the front-end developer of gimbalabs.com and is working to create resilient, reusable components that help other people to launch their work.
Relevant Experience: diverse experience in creating systems and tools that support students and teachers to learn by doing. During his 11 years teaching high school math, computer science, creative writing, and bike repair, James experimented successfully with project-based learning and mastery-based grading, showing how systems like these can change the way students approach learning. He was named a Master Teacher by both Math for America and by BetterLesson, where he published two math curricula that are still in use today. Before founding Gimbalabs, James focused on teacher training at BetterLesson and then at MIND Research Institute, in both cases building successful programs while supporting teachers to use new tools facilitate deeper learning, and is excited to apply lessons from those experiences to the project of sharing Cardano with the world.
Progress is measured on a weekly basis since all formats (playground and PBL) are held on e weekly basis. Furthermore Plutus PBL will have a defined learning goal driven curricular which can is self-tracked by all participants. In addition Catalyst reporting will be complied.
Success for the Cardano community - build up capabilities (development & education)
James is already engaging with developers to share his experience and facilitation skills to engaged Developers who would like to start facilitating PBLs - representing this a key milestone of success for this project. It is about to leverage the capabilities of the community to be able to empower more and more developers to build on Cardano.
Success for ideas to become business - create innovative micro-environment and connect to broader network
A developer being able to innovate in a safe environment, having the opportunity to get challenged by peers is an important step towards developing real-world applications or services that serves a need. The network within Gimbalabs and the catalyst ecosystem is providing a divers set of experts or expert groups that can help build those future businesses.
Both aspects stated above require to be further developed in various dimensions: PBL program design, curricular, focus topics; infrastructure sophistication to support efficient processes and documentation; build out facilitator capabilities to train more developer; work towards network build out by fostering relations with individuals and groups within the Catlayst/Cardano community. This summarizes the ambition James is focusing on in a mid-to-long term perspective (which again ties back to guiding questions of the Challenge).
The proposal is focusing on providing funds to the intellectual work and operations James is required to invest in context of providing playground, actual and future PBL formats.
Said that it is a NEW proposal.
James Dunseith (co-founder Gimbalabs) with proven track record of onboarding devs to the Cardano ecosystem by providing essential open-source learning opportunities to upskill devs to become Blockchain devs.