Mozilla Labs has a plug-in for the awesome Firefox browser that helps them collect information about how people use the browser. As with all things Mozilla, the Test Pilot plug-in is open. It shows you all of the data it has collected and lets you decide whether or not to send it along to the Mozilla Labs team. Also, the folks over at Mozilla Labs are careful not to collect any personally identifiable information about individuals.
Mozilla takes openness one step further. Unlike data collected by that other browser company, the data collected by all of the Test Pilot plug-ins on the planet is freely available for download. This means that if you’re a Math or Statistics teacher, you can build lessons around Test Pilot data-sets from the real world that your students helped create by having installed the plug-in. …or you can just look at the interesting ways that others interpret the data-sets.
Take a minute to visit the Test Pilot web page and download the plug-in. Encourage your students and colleagues to do the same. You’ll be helping to make future versions of Firefox work better for you and your students, as well as making the open web a better place for all of us.
If you’re a Math teacher who has built a lesson plan around Test Pilot data, please post the lesson plan on Curriki.org, the open curriculum wiki, and leave a comment here so we can spread the word to other teachers.