Get To Know the Teach The Web Talks

Lucy Harris


Our goal at the beginning of this year was to support  our incredible community by finding an interesting and accessible way for mentors, and those who share a passion for education and web literacy, to connect and develop their skills.

After speaking to community members, Hive leaders, and partner organizations we decided to create our very own speaker series, inspired by the likes of Ted Talks, where we would invite industry leaders from organizations around the world to share a skill that mentors could take back to their communities to become better makers and teachers of the web.

The Talks

When we launched the Talks in winter 2014 it was really important for us to find topics that would be engaging to individual Webmaker mentors, but also to those working libraries, code clubs, and schools who wanted to grow the skills of their organization; and to find speakers who are inspiring in their work, and in their presentation styles.

When piloting the program, we invited Evan Jones from the Connected Learning Alliance to present on the basics of building an online community (watch here). Since then we also celebrated Data Privacy Day with Mozilla’s Director of Privacy, Stacy Martin, who discussed being smart about privacy and how to teach privacy in your community (watch here).

The pilot Teach The Web Talk with Evan Jones

The pilot Teach The Web Talk with Evan Jones

We’re quickly learning what’s working (and isn’t working) for our audience. For example, we’ve moved from an online hangout with a formal presentation to an interview style talk which allows for much more engagement during the talks. Our priorities are making the talks interesting, accessible and valuable and we’re continuing to experiment and improve those aspects moving forward.

You can now listen to and subscribe to the Teach The Web Podcast!

You can now listen to and subscribe to the Teach The Web Podcast!

Of course, we also learned that many individuals tune into the talks after the fact to watch the recordings. For their easy digest, we introduced the Teach The Web Podcast which is an edited, storied version of the live talks which you can listen to and subscribe to here.


The next Teach The Web Talk is February 26th where we will be talking to Angela Popplewell, and JP Pullos from 100cameras about how you can use photography to share the story of your event. This talk will focus on helping our community improve their photography skills to tell the best story and deliver the best pictures. You can find more details on how to attend the live talk at

Feel free to share your questions for 100cameras with us on Twitter using #TeachTheWeb or  Discourse and listen to the Podcast version which will be released in the first week of March at

In the next few months we are excited to continue to experiment with the format and to explore new topics with new speakers and would love to hear your ideas about topics  or people you would like to see on the talks in the future. Please email us at

Digital Age Skills for Educators

An-Me Chung


Within 10 years there will be five billion citizens of the web. Learning to read, write and participate in the digital world has become the 4th basic foundational skill next to the three Rs – reading, writing, and arithmetic in a rapidly evolving, networked world. In the 21st century, learning can take place anytime, anywhere, at any pace, and with the learner at the center.

GGC Seattle

This is not new to us at Mozilla. Our mission is to provide people with open access to the skills and know-how needed to use the web to improve their lives, careers, and organizations. Individuals need to have the ability to develop new knowledge, and the new basics combined with 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity everywhere and any time. These skills are quickly becoming inextricable and for the sake of simplicity, I am for now calling this combination of web literacy and 21st century skills – digital age skills.

In traditional U.S. education settings, this notion is still at an early stage, and discovering ways to put the student at the center and make learning that happens inside and outside of school “count” is a growing conversation in K-12 and higher education. The conversation has moved beyond subjects and grades to considering the skills and competencies that are needed for one to actually be college- and career-ready.

We have recently kicked off two exciting new planning projects to help in and out of school educators identify and teach digital-age skills, and to prototype badges with clear learning and achievement outcomes related to those skills. We’ll work with an advisory group drawn from our Mozilla community, industry, higher education, policymakers, and others to ensure the content and evidence is grounded in real-world application. Finally, we’ll make sure to document lessons learned for broader reach and information back to interested stakeholders.

The Leveraging Linked Learning and Career-ready Badges project, funded by the Irvine Foundation, will create and prototype digital badges with Linked Learning educators in California. The Afterschool, Digital Age Skills Badges and Competency-based Learning project, funded by the Mott Foundation, will also create a set of digital badges for prototyping and piloting, as well as to influence policymakers on the important role of afterschool programs in supporting and supplementing learning.

Over the next year and a half, these projects will work in alignment with the Learning Networks team to refine and strengthen the curriculum, training and badges to empower educators, and all learners, to grow their digital age skills. Stay tuned for more updates as the projects progress!

Community Insights on Web Literacy Clubs

An-Me Chung


The emergence of Web Literacy Clubs began with the question: “How can we deepen how people teach the web with Mozilla, so that their teaching experience with us is of higher quality, their learners learn more, and their community leadership is fostered?”

To get started, we asked 45 community leaders and organizations ranging from the Hive Learning Networks, Maker Party partners, classroom teachers, afterschool educators, and librarians from around the world to share with us their insights, hopes, and concerns about this approach. What we got back were rich conversations filled with expert knowledge, very thoughtful feedback, and great ideas. The information is tremendously useful, and is helping us to shape our next steps. We are deeply grateful to all who participated, and plan to conduct these interviews on a regular basis.

Here is a snapshot of the findings:

Here are a few more highlights, or you can read the full data summary and results here.

  • Successful ongoing engagement might involve: the ability to learn cohesive, connected, and meaningful skills; having access to incentives such as competition, awards, or badges; and giving club leaders platforms to share/adapt/network in-person and online.
  • Ideas for sustaining web literacy clubs include: working directly with schools; allowing for different kinds of curriculum for different learning styles; meeting often, and for shorter periods of time.
  • The best curriculum and resources can exist, but good coaching/mentoring is critical for success.
  • Create modular curriculum that is flexible to mentor/learner needs.
  • Develop resources that are both online and offline, and printable.

What’s Next?

  • The first section of our Web Literacy Basics curriculum is being field-tested, consisting of two 45 minute activities designed by our community hero, MOUSE.
  • The second section of the curriculum is in active development and will be ready for testing starting next week.
  • We will be facilitating working groups in curriculum creation, localization, professional development and leadership, and best practices.

Webmaker’s Field Research Report from Kenya

Laura de Reynal


Student - Kenya

Student – Kenya

After completing our first research trip in Bangladesh, Webmaker went to Kenya!

These trips are part of an ongoing research program we are conducting to study technology and design approaches that enable greater participation on the mobile Web and help grow the creation of local content. 

We spent three weeks in November between Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nakuru, to understand how people adopt, use and leverage the Web in their personal and professional lives.

We conducted in-depth interviews with 59 research participants from all walks of life (artists, students, teenagers, business owners …) and organised a Design Day  with 14 university students, where we brainstormed about content creation, and paper prototyped mobile apps.

From this experience, we extracted findings such as:

* Many people are not aware that a greater Internet exists beyond Whatsapp, and are limiting their use of the Web to Social Media, 

* People in Kenya have a unique way of using mobile data, almost like a currency, 

* There is a crucial lack of local content, blocking non-english speakers to access the Web, 

* Making, as an activity, is not considered cool,

* Remixing is viewed as a crime,

and more !

Based on this research, we mapped Webmaker‘s potential users according to their digital literacy levels and their motivations and constraints when using the Web, and we wrote a set of personas portraits, to understand better who we are designing for.
You can discover all of this research in the Webmaker’s Field Research Report from Kenya.
We are currently in India doing our next phase of research. Watch this space for our report from that trip and please contact us with any feedback at:

What we’re working on this sprint

Matt Thompson


Jan 30 demos video. Check out Andrew and Bobby’s presentation starting at 56:00. Great analysis and take-aways on recent efforts like on-boarding, login and more.

What we got done last sprint

What we’re doing this sprint

Continue reading …

MoFo Marketing in 2015

Paul Johnson


We launch into our 2015 Mozilla Learning plan with lots of momentum. We have a strong, engaged base of contributors built on the ground through solid partnerships, strong and growing Hive learning networks, and our popular annual Maker Party. Our marketing objective in 2015: capitalize on this momentum and expand to reach a broader audience.

It’s worth noting that there are important elements of both marketing and sales in our approach. Marketing will be used to reach individuals through our broadcast channels – think Mozilla’s equivalent of a super bowl ad, the snippet – and have them engage with our Webmaker product. Sales will be used to take our program offerings to new and existing partners and demonstrate the value to them of incorporating the Mozilla Learning network approach into their work.

Our Goals

We’ll implement a two-pronged approach, building on what’s been working within our sales and partnership channels while reaching for a new, mass market of individual learners through marketing. The assumption is we can do two things at once and do them well: target an audience of learners and mentors in parallel, likely in different channels with slightly different messages. With this approach we aim to:

  • Have 250,000 people actively making and learning with the Webmaker desktop tool and mobile app through increased marketing activity.
  • Expand our the global footprint of our learning networks to 500 cities by running a Maker Party campaign, launching the club model, and adding more Hive Learning Network locations through successful sales and partnership engagements.

Branding: One Mozilla

Wrapped around this marketing and partnership outreach will be an ongoing branding and communications effort that seeks to align more closely with the larger Mozilla brand and establish our leadership in a global digital literacy movement.

With our on-the ground programs and online products, we’re taking the opportunity to evaluate our branding position across all of the Foundation’s initiatives. In practice, this means moving towards aligning products and programs in a way that is more similar to the Firefox-Mozilla architecture. The working version of this is Webmaker as our product tied to an individual’s desire to make and Mozilla Learning Network as the product tied to a community’s desire to change how digital literacy education works.

There are nuances of course — brand architecture questions to be worked through and naming and positioning to be established — but an efficient, thoughtful process that leads to a crisp, cohesive brand framework is the P1 this quarter.

Communications: Broadened awareness & thought leadership

With a working version of branding sorted out, another key umbrella for all product and programmatic activity is building and deploying a better communications plan. One that positions and establishes Mozilla as a leader in the global movement to keep the Web open, empowers users in emerging markets to become creators, not just consumers, and differentiates our literacy efforts as innovative, unrivaled and impactful. To get there, we’ll be focused on a few specific things over the next few months:

  • Improved long-term planning
  • Expanding our capacity by adding a Comms Manager
  • Better integration with Mozilla-wide opportunities
  • More earned media and public recognition
  • More strategic use of social media

Webmaker product marketing: Engagement, growth and impact

Our goal for the Webmaker product this year is to achieve real scale by reaching a mass market, defined as anyone who wants to make something on the web. That’s quite a “mass” when you consider the number of people already creating blogs, making .gifs, selling goods on Etsy, or editing and sharing photos on Instagram.

In our experience the best way to equip people with skills for this digital age is to empower them to become makers. Learning and skills development is something that happens as part of the experience. With this in mind, the Webmaker product team is building a free, simple-to-use and fun tool for creating on the web. It’s localized for their communities, relevant to their social, economic and cultural needs, allows for making on any type of device, and enables them to learn new skills.

As the new tool emerges over the next 3 months, we’ll engage in a variety of marketing activities to hone our go-to-market approach and kick-off a new era of learning with Webmaker. Here are some of the specific projects and initiatives taking shape over the next two quarters:

  • Honing a maker-focused value proposition
  • Testing and optimizing conversion and onboarding
  • Successfully launching beta at Mobile World Congress
  • Building buzz and attention around new Webmaker product
  • Testing new App acquisition channels
  • Better integration and prominence within Mozilla-wide campaigns
  • Localizing our marketing

Learning Network sales: quality growth

Foundationally, our learning network presence on the ground works. We continue to have a compelling offering that allows us to reach a global audience that includes professional educators teaching tech, educators interested in tech, individuals with passion for teaching others, and casual mentors who like to share skills with their personal networks.

Mozilla’s connected learning networks offer access to teaching resources, organizational support, recognition and rewards systems, and access to a global community of fellow teachers to have greater impact in the world. We want to continue to build upon what’s working and try some new ways to expand our reach and footprint along the way.

Working off two tiers of engagement — the developing “Webmaker clubs” model currently being piloted and the established Hive network model —  the Learning Networks team is already busy growing this area of our work. As those plans take shape, we can grow sales of our learning netwok offering to partners and support ongoing promotion and engagement through marketing by focusing on:

  • Building ongoing engagement campaigns for existing contributors
  • Creating buzz and attention around the launch of Webmaker Clubs inside the teaching community
  • Taking better advantage of existing and new partnerships by building out a robust sales pipeline
  • Using 2015’s Maker Party campaign as a way to attract new partners and re-engage existing mentors

Looking Forward

There are lots of moving pieces to wrangle, tough branding questions to be resolved, and new messages to be honed. In many ways, we are approaching Q1 as a test-bed to get these things right. With a methodical approach to testing, optimization and planning in the next few months, we’re optimistic we’ll be in a strong position to launch our new products and programs in a big way — bigger, better and more impactful than anything we’ve done before.

A/B Testing New Designs for the homepage

Adam Lofting


This is a quick post to share the results of an A/B test the Webmaker Product Team recently ran on the homepage.

The team designed and built four variations of a new homepage. The homepage was the same for all users except for the blue ‘Splash page’ area seen in the screenshots below where we tested different images and text.

First we’ll look at how these designed performed against each other…

Variation A

Variation A

Variation B

Variation B

Variation C

Variation C

Variation D

Variation D


Before you look at the results below, which design and messaging do you think will result in the most users joining Webmaker?


The results:

Variant Traffic Conversions Conversion Rate
Variation A 11,913 903 7.58%
Variation B 11,950 1,066 8.92% This is a statistically significant
winner against A or C
Variation C 11,714 748 6.39%
Variation D 11,896 1,034 8.69% This is a statistically significant
winner against A or C

Variation B & D are equal winners. Although B reports slightly higher in these results, the difference in performance between variation B and D is not statistically significant, so we can use either of these versions as our new default homepage.

One of the goals of this test was to explore the relative impact of how we talk about Webmaker to new users, and whether we focus on it’s place in relation to personal user benefit, of the Mozilla mission and these results give us a starting point in that research. But we should not jump to any conclusions from the results of a single test like this.

For example, we were testing a photo versus an illustration in this experiment. Variation A and D have the same text, but A has a photo background, and D has the illustration. Comparing the results of these two variations tells us that this illustration performs better than this photo. Not that all illustrations perform better than all photos, or even that the best option will always be an illustration. It could even be the positioning of the text that made the difference (left versus right on the screen).

What matters though is that we now have a combination of content for the homepage that we know is working well. We make this our new default (the ‘champion’ in testing terminology) and when we want to work further on this page we put up new designs as ‘challengers’ and test the page again. Given that this is our first round of testing, it is likely we can find many more gains over time.

What was the impact overall?

It’s interesting to compare these pages to each other, but what is even more dramatic is this impact this design had when compared to our previous homepage which was not included in the test variations. You can tell from the graph of Conversion Rate below which date this new homepage went live…

Homepage conversion rate

That’s it for now, but as we run more tests, we’ll share more results here too.

Privacy Matters, Today and Everyday

Mozilla Webmaker


Today is Data Privacy Day and we think it’s a great opportunity to get smart about your online privacy. If you are anything like us, you probably spend a large part of your daily life online which means understanding and controlling our online privacy is one of the most important skills of our age. It’s critical to the future of the open Web.

We are celebrating Data Privacy Day with a few simple actions you can take – resources to help raise your privacy IQ, some simple activities so you can help others learn more about their privacy online and ways to participate with the Mozilla community as we explore the privacy issue. Learn more about each below:

  • Visit our Data Privacy Day website to learn more about privacy issues with four easy steps to help you get smart on privacy.
  • Gather a group of friends, family or students and complete the Webmaker “Private Eye” activity. It’s a quick lesson that can create a real “Wizard of Oz” moment by pulling back the curtain to see who’s watching you on the Web.
  • Join us for a real-time privacy conversation on Twitter. Our Executive Director, Mark Surman, will be answering questions during a Twitter chat today at 2:00 pm EST, along with thought leaders from Duck Duck Go, McAfee, and the Center for Democracy and Progress. Just be sure to tweet @Mozilla or follow along at #PrivacyChat!
  • Participate in our monthly Teach the Web talk today at 3 pm EST. Stacy Martin, Senior Manager for Privacy and Engagement, will be joining us to talk about how to be smart with your Privacy online. Join the google hangout here.

Empowering people to be in control of their online lives is an important part of  our mission – it is core to our principles and it’s why we want everyone to be smart on privacy. If you feel like we’ve helped raise your privacy IQ, help your friends and family raise theirs. It’s as easy as starting a conversation.