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README.md

The Playground

This is a distributed learning community creating new learning infrastructure. We're embarking on 6-week long learning adventures to create knowledge and explore the future of learning.

Table of Contents

Motivation and Vision

Today's learning institutions are floundering. They divide ideas and people into arbitrary silos, creating barriers against collaboration in the pursuit of knowledge.

The tools and systems available today allow us to do better. We can build structures that enable individuals to organize without intermediation, working towards the goals that matter to them.

This is a community to explore this future

The Playground challenges you to envision your ideal learning environment, build it, and connect it to others. By enabling these connections we're creating a community empowering learning above all, and spawing novel learning structures that will scale and propagate throughout society.


What's a Learning Adventure?

The Playground is composed of learning adventures. These are 6-week long journeys exploring the future of learning. Each learner on an adventure defines its goal and structure, what they're learning and how.

An adventure could be:

  • original research into learning and public transport
  • a study group around a textbook with a protocol to federate with other study groups
  • an exploration of a niche subject with a new research system
  • or anything else you can imagine.

Through its goal or structure it's exploring a future of learning.

Adventures are documented in /adventures.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to embark on their own adventure. This community is here to support you, hold you accountable, and foster connections.

If you're looking for some inspiration check out some ideas, and adventures.

Step 1. Propose an Adventure

Your adventures can be anything exploring learning! Hence, for a proposal you need to decide how best to describe your adventure.

Here are some things you might need to explain:

A Goal:

Every adventure is a journey towards knowledge. What do you want to learn about? What interests, excites or inspires you? To coordinate around your adventure the playground community needs to understand what you're setting out to learn.

Structures:

How are you going to learn? What are the systems and processes that will best create knowledge for you? What are the resources you will use? These can be rigid or open-ended, but should be clearly defined.

Community:

An adventure does not exist in isolation. It should build upon, connect to, support, and involve other adventures and the broader community. Who are you working with, who are the people who will support you? How will your learning connect to others?

Artifacts and Outcomes:

Finally, adventures result in artifacts. Producing something concrete is a powerful anchor for learning. It can be anything from software created to a log of your experiences. These artifacts should be openly-licensed and accessible to all.

Once you've figured this all out you can submit your adventure by opening a Merge Request to add an adventure document.

Step 2. Get your proposal merged in

Once you create a proposal, it's public. Others can comment on it, fork it, or suggest changes. You can mark your proposal as Work-In-Progress (or WIP) if you would like for it to be public but not yet merged in.

Criteria:

We're not here to pass value judgements. It's up to you to decide what you think is important to explore. Instead, the community validates the following:

  • Is it a learning adventure?
  • Is your adventure well defined and explicit?
  • Is it realistic? (Are you trying to do something impossible or unreasonable?)
  • Is it novel? (or have you connected it to others who are doing something similar?)
  • Are you committed?

Anyone who has completed an adventure in the last 2 months can verify your proposal and merge it in.

Step 3. Embark on Your Adventure

Once your adventure actually begins, what it looks like is entirely how you define it. This is the most exciting part.

Good Things To Do:

  • Keep a public log of your learning experience
  • Talk to other people on similar adventures!
  • Set sub-goals for yourself
  • Find some people to hold you accountable and check in on you
  • Find some newer adventurers and support them!

You're a part of this community, talking to other adventurers, creating the educational systems of the future.

Step 4. Get Credentials

Credentials are a powerful tool within The Playground. We use the fathom-protocol to collaboratively create and issue credentials in any concept or subject that we need to.

Other adventurers who have gone before you in similar fields act as assessors of your experience, and once you're assessed you can do the same for those who come after. These are supportive, growing credentials defined by community consensus, not by a central authority.

You can use these credentials both within The Playground, to shape and connect your learning experience, and outside of it, to communicate that experience to others.

The Fathom Network:

The Playground and the Fathom Network are tied together. We are the first users of this protocol. Creating new concepts, and coming to consensus on what they mean and how they can be assessed, is integral to leveraging credentials in your adventures.

Funded Adventures

Anyone can start an adventure of their own volition and using whatever resources they have.

To empower and support ambitious adventures, we are aiming to offer a series of grants to adventurers. Each of these will have their own application process and criteria behind them to encourage a diversity of directions. While The Playground itself welcomes all adventures in any field or direction (as long as it's structured for learning), grants can be constrained to specific domains or types.

Sponsoring Adventure Grants

We're looking for individuals and insitutions to sponsor adventures. If you're in need of better learning systems in the world (aren't we all) or want to see specific kinds of adventures run, please reach out, either by creating an issue in this repository or sending an email to contact(at)fathom.network.

Current Grants

Adventures-In-Residence:

This is a grants program offering $5000 for pioneering adventures in The Playground. If you're interested, reach out with your adventure proposal to contact(at)fathom.network.

Growing The Playground

Right now The Playground is small. As we spawn and run adventures we want to reflect, iterate, and transform The Playground into a solid foundation.

This document is the source of truth for the playground community. Anyone can propose changes to it by opening up a Merge Request. As such, we hope that it will develop to reflect the values and processes that drive our community.

Questions

We have some questions we want to answer to inform this process. These are meant to guide changes to The Playground and the tools it uses.

Questions about Playground Parameters and Structures:

  • Are the constraints around adventures optimal?
  • Are the tools and systems we're using to collaborate working towards our goals?
  • Is our review process effective and fair, both for grants and for regular adventures?
  • Is the playground process reproducible/forkable/scalable?
  • What kinds of adventures are succeeding/failing?

Questions about Fathom:

While the fathom protocol is not core to The Playground, it is a tool we are using and building on. As such, we want to explore how it's working and how we can improve it.

  • What tools and systems are neccessary for interacting with the fathom protocol?
  • What are the use-cases for fathom credentials in The Playground?
  • Are we able to come to consensus on assessments?
  • Are the parameters of the Fathom Network appropriate for our use, including the following?:
    • Consensus Distance
    • Minimum Size
    • Inflation Rate
    • Challenge Periods

Getting Data

All adventures and discussions in this repo are public, and so are an excellent source of data to answer these questions. However, we also want to capture more in-depth data in the form of interviews with adventurers. These will be publicly compiled and shared in their own repository (or could even become an adventure of their own).