[Readme] Areas to get involved

At Learning Equality, we recognize that the execution of great ideas is a community effort, and our work is no exception. Learning Equality has been fortunate to receive support from a large community of volunteers over the years. These supporters have contributed in many ways to our Kolibri Product Ecosystem, stemming back from our co-founders who started development work on KA Lite as volunteers — well before Learning Equality was incorporated into a non-profit organization in 2013. Our work is, quite literally, built on the foundation of volunteer support.

The open nature of our product ecosystem lends itself to organic discovery and facilitates easy opportunities for community support and contributions. Many of those who have contributed to our work have found us through our GitHub repository or our community of translation volunteers, or through collaborative initiatives, such as our work this year on the “Translate a Story” storybook translation sprint with collaborators like Verizon and the Global Digital Library. To share the reach of these contributions, there have been:

  • 7 volunteers contributing bug fixes to the latest patch release of Kolibri, v0.14.4, on Kolibri’s GitHub repository
  • 24 languages of the Kolibri user interface made available through our translator community
  • 6,641 books translated through Translate a Story into 100+ languages across 4 platforms, which are currently being evaluated for quality and incorporated into the Kolibri Content Library

Are you interested in using your skills to join our community of volunteers and supporting these efforts to help make learning more equitable? Here are four ways where you can contribute to the Kolibri Product Ecosystem and how to get started:

1. Support Open Source: Improve the Kolibri Learning Platform via GitHub

The Kolibri Learning Platform is open source, and its GitHub repository contains “beginner-friendly,” self-contained issues that are great for volunteers with Python or Javascript skills to pick up and submit a contribution (even with limited experience with this particular codebase).

Get started here: https://tinyurl.com/klp-beginner

We’re also working to improve the mobile user experience as we prepare for the public release of the Kolibri Android App, especially for devices found in low resource contexts globally where Kolibri is used. We have conducted user testing, and filed issues on GitHub related to mobile performance and user experience for mobile form factors. If you are interested in using your Javascript, HTML or CSS skills, you would be helping to support learners around the globe who do not have access to the Internet — especially important during COVID-19 when learners are at home.

Get started here: https://tinyurl.com/klp-ux-mobile

Join members of this community and share in their excitement to use their technical development skills to support learners globally.

2. Help us to make Kolibri fly in other languages: Join our community of translators!

Learning Equality’s products are available in several different languages thanks to an amazing community of translators. Translation projects are overseen by Learning Equality’s Internationalization team but are driven through a combination of crowdsourced efforts and collaborations with organizations such as Natakallam and Translators without Borders.

Anyone can translate our platforms without formal training, provided they have:

  • Experience using apps, software and technology in their day-to-day lives
  • Solid understanding of the English language, and are fluent in at least one other language

Get started by completing our volunteer translator onboarding form, which takes about an hour. Once you’re done, our Internationalization Lead will be in touch to discuss availability and share our translation guidelines.

3. Test, test, test: Conduct pre-release beta testing

We believe in taking a needs-driven approach in the design of our products, and recognize the importance in engaging our community in the development process in order to ensure quality and reliability. One way that we approach this is by encouraging interested users to test beta versions of our products leading up to public release. If you are interested in reviewing different user journeys, identifying edge cases, reporting bugs and giving feedback on an as needed basis, this is the opportunity for you!

  • Kolibri Learning Platform testing program: Interested individuals should fill out this 5 question form. We have historically put out 2–3 major releases each year, and would ask you to test some of the beta versions at those intervals to check for bugs and performance issues, before we do a final release to the public.
  • Kolibri Studio testing program: Interested individuals should fill out this short form. If you meet the specific criteria for this project, Learning Equality will give you access to the Kolibri Studio “testing” server, a playground of upcoming changes to Kolibri Studio used just for testing.
  • Testing for Kolibri Android App preparations: Learning Equality expedited an initial private version of Kolibri Android App to support individual use by learners and educators at home during COVID-19; it is the Kolibri you already know but with the added ability to share supported content via messaging tools from within the App. This version is being made available to users who meet a certain set of criteria, to ensure that the current functionalities and experience meet the general needs of the anticipated use case.

If you are interested in learning more about this, please contact us at android-inquiries@learningequality.org.

4. Review our Kolibri EdTech Toolkit!

We are always interested in feedback from the community on our Kolibri Edtech Toolkit used to facilitate do-it-yourself adoption and implementation of Kolibri (e.g., technical guidance on how to use the Kolibri product as well as our Toolkit that includes hardware suggestions, training materials, teacher resources and blended learning strategies, and more to support grassroots users).

To see some of what we’ve been working on in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, check out our newest Toolkit resources:

If you are interested in sharing your experiences leveraging the Toolkit, would like to provide feedback, or have suggestions for new materials, please email us at implementations@learningequality.org.

Have other ideas not listed here? We’d love to hear from you! Reach out to us at info@learningequality.org.

As a way to show our thanks, we highlight all of these contributions in our Kolibri release blog posts, on social media, in our newsletters, and sometimes directly in the products themselves. We greatly appreciate the efforts of all volunteers to make Kolibri fly and could not do this without your support. If you are interested in supporting our work beyond skills-based volunteering, we hope you will consider a donation.