Community Summit Discussion Notes: Creating WordPress Curriculum and Educational Experiences

From the session schedule:

One important way to welcome new users, builders, and extenders of all ages is to create excellent curriculum or educational experiences around WordPress. To address this gap, the WordPress community has held KidsCamps and launched Learn WordPress. This discussion will focus on the future of WordPress education, from topics to teach, to levels of experience, to curriculum for specific age groups.

Facilitator: Benjamin Evans (@bsanevans)

Notetaker 1: Courtney Robertson (@courane01)

Notetaker 2: Kim Coleman (@kimannwall)

Raw Notes

  • When people meet WordPress, they need to learn WordPress
    • Education can extend beyond that
  • Gap: Learn content isn’t connected to WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. itself.
  • Learn / Training content translation effort is huge.
    • Noted that if we do connect the admin to the learn content, to link to the translated version based on their admin language.
  • Confusion when in different locales and different themes (page builders).
    • Every WordPress site is deeply unique, educational content is a challenge in that different WordPress versions have different educational needs.
  • Beginners mindset
    • Acknowledge that it’s hard for us (people who know) to remember what it was like not to know.
  • Tracks – Learning Pathways
  • Certification
    • This topic has a history of contention in the community.
    • Community team has tried to organize workshops for high school age students and were consistently asked about “certificates”.
    • Are organizations not including WordPress education as part of their training because we lack a “certification”.
    • The community mood has shifted from 2015 Community Summit topic about certifications. More people are favorable about that now as a way to power the ecosystem AND also to assist outreach to youth. 
    • CertifyWP ( was raised as a non-profit/third-party partner to offer certification.
      • Organization is doing the “field research”/legwork of talking to employers and individuals.
    • WPConnects is another group that is offering support for veterans and retraining –
    • Could Learn maintain the educational content, while these organizations offer the certification or exploration.
    • Could a model like “boating certification” where the government hands off the certification to a validated list of paid training programs.
    • How are other Open SourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. certification programs doing this?
      • Leverage our community member who supported this in the Drupal OS project.
    • Current Learn courses have “course completion”.
    • Individual shared issues with certification they have learned (Joomla):
      • AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). ( determining the “cost” of the training was difficult and inaccessible. (barriers)
      • Content Protection: devoted a lot of energy to maintain the integrity of the assessment so people didn’t share answers.
      • Maintainability: planning for scope and ongoing updates 
  • Some educational content is outside of our control / 20 years worth of WordPress content all over the internet.
    • MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. issue of how to train people to find trustworthy/accurate resources.
  • Learn WordPress website needs to be more user friendly. Learning pathways need to be at the start. See Minecraft education site. 
  • How can Learn content be leveraged by product companies as part of their customer training/education as an unbiased/neutral resource and maintained by the community.
  • Tech conference rounds, an individual has observed that the youth don’t think “WordPress is cool.” We need a perception shift before we can bring in younger developers.
    • “Is that still a thing?”
    • PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. is dead
    • It isn’t “real code”, it’s “just a CMS”.
    • “Yedi mind trick” the kids. Give them ideas that they think are their own. In particular for children.
    • Would WordPress be “cooler” if people know they could make money doing it?
      • Would this support our “image” to make it clear that you can make money with these skills.
  • Integration between Learn and Docs
    • The more we can do this the better.
    • Learn links to Docs alot.
    • Docs hasn’t linked to Learn as much
    • Docs team is open to it, but it is the onus of the Learn team right now to do due to capacity in the Docs team.
  • “WordPress should be considered a Life Skill with how large the market share is.”
    • Market the value of WP certification 
    • Microsoft has inroads into public education
  • Educational experiences are improved when we have people with professional education backgrounds or backgrounds in instructional design to ensure high quality materials 
  • Helping learners identify where they are in the process
  • Project based learning and portfolio projects
    • Is the goal of educational content accomplishing something / building something vs. completing an “assessment”.
    • An individual present advocates for accomplishments and building something.
    • Process of learning, vs. accumulating knowledge without “doing”.
    • Apply knowledge.
    • Objective assessments of PBL (rubric) 
  • KidsCamp should have some assistance from Training for the materials – processes and procedures 
  • Leverage the The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. User Profile to merge in Learn content
  • Is the foundation potentially open to paid courses on

Key Points

#summit, #summit-2023