Maker Party 2015: Our Best Party Yet

Amira Dhalla

At a recent event hosted in Nashik, India, Mayur Patil asked participants to raise their hands if they were enjoying Maker Party. With smiles on their faces and two hands in the air, their response was nothing short of inspiring:

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Raising our hands in Nashik, India. Credit: Mehul Patel

It’s been an amazing two weeks. During our global celebration of teaching and learning on the Web, the community engaged in a range of hands-on activities: we built robotic hummingbirds, sketched HTML on chalkboards, created music apps, tinkered with 3D printers and more. And people in England, India, Nigeria, Spain, Sweden, China, the US and beyond came together to learn how to read, write and participate online.

Creating circuits at a Maker Party in Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: Åke Nygren

Creating circuits at a Maker Party in Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: Åke Nygren

Every Maker Party event had its own flair and personality. Here’s a recap of just a few great happenings from around the globe:

In Canada: Mozilla Hive Toronto brought together young women ages 7-18 from the local YWCA and neighborhood library. The group hacked and remixed their favorite websites and built creations using Makey Makey kits. Special guests included folks from STEAM Labs and the Royal Ontario Museum.

In Stockholm, Montreal and Chattanooga: Maker Parties from three different countries connected online for a truly international event. Young learners created content using their smartphones; built insects using arts and crafts; and may have picked up some foreign vocabulary, too. “[Maker Party] is a way of introducing open web thinking and tinkering,” an event host in Stockholm told us.  

In Nashik, India: Dozens of educators and students came together to teach the Web. They learned about IPs, HTML, virtual reality and more. For a closer look, check out their excellent video.  

The community hosted hundreds of Maker Parties like these world-wide. And they made a difference: when people can meaningfully participate on the Web, they unlock all sorts of opportunities. And the Web becomes a better place.

Writing HTML on chalkboards at a lo-fi Maker Party in India. Credit: Arun Kuppusamy Shanmugam

Writing HTML on chalkboards at a lo-fi Maker Party in India. Credit: Arun Kuppusamy Shanmugam

So, what’s next? The fun doesn’t have to stop: Maker Parties can be hosted anytime, anywhere. They are a unique and celebratory way to get communities activated and working together to experience the full potential of the Web. We’ve also seen how they can serve as a catalyst for further engagement and impact, like hosting a series of events throughout the year. More Maker Party events are already planned over the next few months in Bangladesh, Uganda, Indonesia, Brazil, Canada and Egypt.

You can join in! To get started, visit our activities page to find fun, interactive lessons to teach the Web. With Mozilla’s curriculum, you can teach the basics of online privacy, coding, design, remixing and more. You can also use Mozilla’s tools for teaching the Web, which help learners create their own content online. And remember to tell us about your event by using the hashtag #MakerParty.

Thanks for making this year’s Maker Party — and all the ones to come — so special! We can’t wait to hear what you do and make next. Reach us anytime on Twitter @MozTeach, or by emailing makerparty@mozilla.org.

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Mozilla Learning Strategy Slides

Mark Surman

Developing a long term Mozilla Learning strategy has been my big focus over the last three months. Working closely with people across our community, we’ve come up with a clear, simple goal for our work: universal web literacy. We’ve also defined ‘leadership’ and ‘advocacy’ as our two top level strategies for pursuing this goal. The use of ‘partnerships and networks’ will also be key to our efforts. These are the core elements that will make up the Mozilla Learning strategy.

Over the last month, I’ve summarized our thinking on Mozilla Learning for the Mozilla Board and a number of other internal audiences. This video is based on these presentations:

As you’ll see in the slides, our goal for Mozilla Learning is an ambitious one: make sure everyone knows how to read, write and participate on the web. In this case, everyone = the five billion people who will be online by 2025.

Our top level thinking on how to do this includes:

1. Develop leaders who teach and advocate for web literacy.

Concretely, we will integrate our Clubs, Hive and Fellows initiatives into a single, world class learning and leadership program.

2. Shift thinking: everyone understands the web / internet.

Concretely, this means we will invest more in advocacy, thought leadership and user education. We may also design ways to encourage web literacy more aggressively in our products.

3. Build a global web literacy network.

Mozilla can’t create universal web literacy on its own. All of our leadership and advocacy work will involve ‘open source’ partners with whom we’ll create a global network committed to universal web literacy.

Process-wise: we arrived at this high level strategy by looking at our existing programs and assets. We’ve been working on web literacy, leadership development and open internet advocacy for about five years now. So, we already have a lot in play. What’s needed right now is a way to focus all of our efforts in a way that will increase their impact — and that will build a real snowball of people, organizations and governments working on the web literacy agenda.

The next phase of Mozilla Learning strategy development will dig deeper on ‘how’ we will do this. I’ll provide a quick intro post on that next step in the coming days.

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Building a Big Tent (for Web Literacy)

Mark Surman

Building a global network of partners will be key to the success of our Mozilla Learning initiative. A network like this will give us the energy, reach and diversity we need to truly scale our web literacy agenda. And, more important, it will demonstrate the kind of distributed leadership and creativity at the heart of Mozilla’s vision of the web.

networks

As I said in my last two posts, leadership development and advocacy will be the two core strategies we employ to promote universal web literacy. Presumably, Mozilla could do these things on its own. However, a distributed, networked approach to these strategies is more likely to scale and succeed.

Luckily, partners and networks are already central to many of our programs. What we need to do at this stage of the Mozilla Learning strategy process is determine how to leverage and refine the best aspects of these networks into something that can be bigger and higher impact over time. This post is meant to frame the discussion on this topic.

The basics

As a part of the Mozilla Learning strategy process, we’ve looked at how we’re currently working with partners and using networks. There are three key things we’ve noticed:

  1. Partners and networks are a part of almost all of our current programs. We’ve designed networks into our work from early on.
  1. Partners fuel our work: they produce learning content; they host fellows; they run campaigns with us. In a very real way, partners are huge contributors (a la open source) to our work.
  1. Many of our partners specialize in learning and advocacy ‘on the ground’. We shouldn’t compete with them in this space — we should support them.

With these things in mind, we’ve agreed we need to hold all of our program designs up to this principle:

Design principle = build partners and networks into everything.

We are committed to integrating partners and networks into all Mozilla Learning leadership and advocacy programs. By design, we will both draw from these networks and provide value back to our partners. This last point is especially important: partnerships need to provide value to everyone involved. As we go into the next phase of the strategy process, we’re going to engage in a set of deep conversations with our partners to ensure the programs we’re building provide real value and support to their work.

Minimum viable partnership

Over the past few years, a variety of network and partner models have developed through Mozilla’s learning and leadership work. Hives are closely knit city-wide networks of educators and orgs. Maker Party is a loose network of people and orgs around the globe working on a common campaign. Open News and Mozilla Science sit within communities of practice with a shared ethos. Mozilla Clubs are much more like a global network of local chapters. And so on.

As we develop our Mozilla Learning strategy, we need to find a way to both: a) build on the strengths of these networks; and b) develop a common architecture that makes it possible for the overall network to grow and scale.

Striking this balance starts with a simple set of categories for Mozilla Learning partners and networks. For example:

  • Member: any org participating in Mozilla Learning.
  • Partner: any org contributing to Mozilla Learning.
  • Club: a locally-run node in the Mozilla Learning network.
  • Affiliate network: group of orgs aligned with Moz Learning.
  • Core network: group of orgs coordinated by Mozilla staff.

This may not be the exact way to think about it, but it is certain that we will need some sort of common network architecture if we want to build partners and networks into everything. Working through this model will be an important part of the next phase of Mozilla Learning strategy work.

Partners = open source

In theory, one of the benefits of networks is that the people and organizations inside them can build things together in an open source-y way. For example, one set of partners could build a piece of software that they need for an immediate project. Another partner might hear about this software through the network, improve it for their own project and then give it back. The fact that the network has a common purpose means it’s more likely that this kind of open source creativity and value creation takes place.

This theory is already a reality in projects like Open News and Hive. In the news example, fellows and other members of the community post their code and documentation on the Source web page. This attracts the attention of other news developers who can leverage their work. Similarly, curriculum and practices developed by Hive members are shared on local Hive websites for others to pick up and run with. In both cases, the networks include a strong social component: you are likely to already know, or can quickly meet, the person who created a thing you’re interested in. This means it’s easy to get help or start a collaboration around a tool or idea that someone else has created.

One question that we have for Mozilla Learning overall is: can we better leverage this open source production aspect of networks in a more serious, instrumental and high impact way as we move forward? For example, could we: a) work on leadership development with partners in the internet advocacy space; b) have the fellows / leaders involved produce high quality curriculum or media; and c) use these outputs to fuel high impact global campaigns? Presumably, the answer can be ‘yes’. But we would first need to design a much more robust system of identifying priorities, providing feedback and deploying results across the network.

Questions

Whatever the specifics of our Mozilla Learning programs, it is clear that building in partnerships and networks will be a core design principle. At the very least, such networks provide us diversity, scale and a ground game. They may also be able to provide a genuine ‘open source’ style production engine for things like curriculum and campaign materials.

In order to design the partnership elements of Mozilla Learning, there are a number of questions we’ll need to dig into:

  • Who are current and desired partners? (make a map)
  • What value do they seek from us? What do they offer?
  • Specifically, do they see value in our leadership and advocacy programs?
  • What do partners want to contribute? What do they want in return?
  • What is the right network / partner architecture?

A key piece of work over the coming months will be to talk to partners about all of this. I will play a central role here, convening a set of high level discussions. People leading the different working groups will also: a) open up the overall Mozilla Learning process to partners and b) integrate partner input into their plans. And, hopefully, Laura de Reynal and others will be able to design a user research process that lets us get info from our partners in a detailed and meaningful way. More on all this in coming weeks as we develop next steps for the Mozilla Learning process.

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Advocating for Web Literacy

Mark Surman

I often throw around big numbers when I talk about web literacy: “Soon we’ll have five billion people on the web. We need to make sure they all understand how it works and how to wield it.” I believe this. And, I believe that Mozilla needs to play a key role here. But the question is: how?

Advocating for web literacy

Moving through Mozilla Learning planning, we’ve concluded we need two interlinked strategies: leadership development and large scale advocacy. Leadership development is fairly straightforward: Mozilla already has programs focused on this. Advocacy — or shifting understanding and thinking about the web — is harder. We have experience and talent here, but it is more nascent. Where to invest and how to move forward is less clear. This post lays out baseline thinking on a Mozilla Learning advocacy agenda with an aim of fueling a deeper discussion about our approach.

Impact

The first step toward figuring out where we want to invest is agreeing on the impact we want to have. At the core, it’s something like:

Impact = everyone knows how to read, write and participate on the web.

This is ultimately what we’re aiming at. It’s big and abstract, but substantively it is what we want: universal web literacy. Like universal language literacy, we will never fully reach the goal. But we can meaningfully make and measure progress across the globe.

Within this overall goal, there are specific places that might be more or less important to have impact. For example:

Impact = new internet users understand the full scope of the web.
Impact = more people know how to protect their privacy.
Impact = gov’ts, foundations and companies value web literacy.

We need to pick two or three focusing impact statements like these to guide our work, at least for the next few years. There could be dozens of impact statements like this that are worthy — but we’ll only succeed if we know which ones we’re going after, and then drive hard toward them.

Tactics

Mozilla is already doing good work that improves public understanding of the web and promote web literacy.

For example, we run advocacy campaigns on topics like net neutrality and mass surveillance. As a result, Firefox users learn about these complex issues in a simple way and are able to talk to others about them. They become more literate about the issues facing the internet today.

Or, a very different example: we give talks, create curriculum and offer software to encourage other organizations to participate in our web literacy agenda. This makes it easy for the kinds of organizations that belong to Hive or run Maker Parties — or, eventually, for governments or philanthropies — to connect the educational work they already do everyday to our cause of teaching the world the web.

While we’re already having an impact in areas like these, we want to have impact at a larger scale. What we need to do is take a look at which tactics are most impactful. Some options are:

  1. Advocating for the web: building a strong educational element into a regular series of political and advocacy campaigns. E.g. our recent net neutrality campaigns.
  1. Advocating for web literacy: promoting the importance of web literacy and giving others around the world the tools to teach it. E.g. lobbying governments and educational orgs to deploy curriculum from Mozilla Clubs, MDN, etc.
  1. Consumer education: building educational messages about topics like privacy into our product channels, advertising or other places where we have a large audience. E.g. Smart On campaigns or internet onboarding programs w/ phone carriers.
  1. Ambient learning: putting features and cues inside our mainstream consumer software in ways that are likely to help people better understand the web. E.g. tinker mode in Webmaker or private browsing in Firefox.
  1. Thought leadership: defining an agenda around the future of the web or web literacy and then talking about it loudly in public. E.g. a more robust version of Shape of the Web backed by an extensive public relations and media campaign.

Part of our work with Mozilla Learning is to: a) look at these tactics and others; b) line them up against our impact statements; and c) decide which ones should be at the center of our overall strategy. Specific questions we’ll need to answer include:

  • What concrete impact do we want in the next three years?
  • Where are the best opportunities to reach a large audience?
  • What tactics help us grow our constituency? (aka relationships)
  • How do constituency and audience lead to impact?
  • How do we measure impact and change?

As we do this, we need to keep in mind that the ultimate goal of the Mozilla Learning strategy is universal web literacy. Whatever we do needs to be driving back to that goal in a way that we can understand and measure, at least over time.

Finding the right mix

When I think about other organizations I admire, they use an artful mix of reinforcing strategies. National Geographic mixes mass media with environmental education with adventure travel packages. The American Lung Association mixes anti-tobacco policy work with stop smoking programs with social marketing. The Sierra Club mixes environmental activism with hiking and canoeing. This kind of mix makes for effective and lasting organizations, with impacts at scale.

As we refine the Mozilla Learning plan, and our overall strategy as an organization, I think we need a mix something like:

A. Mainstream software with Mozilla’s values

complemented by

B. Leadership development
C. [still to be defined large scale advocacy efforts]

We already have A (Firefox). And we’re getting close on B (Hive, Clubs, fellows, etc.). The chunk of work we need to do now is figure out C.

As part of the next phase of Mozilla Learning strategy, Ben Moskowitz and David Ascher are going to lead a series of discussions on this ‘moving the needle on massive web literacy’ topic. Key people from MoFo’s advocacy and product teams will also play a leadership role in this process. And there will be chances along the way for anyone who has interest to join the conversation. More info will be available when the process kicks off in mid-August. In the meantime, I wanted to throw out these questions for discussion and debate.

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Web Literacy and Leadership

Mark Surman

We’ve been talking about ‘leadership development’ since early on in the Mozilla Learning (aka Academy) planning process. Basically, the idea is to get more people to teach and advocate for web literacy. If we can create a global network of these people — and help them be great at what they do — our whole web literacy agenda moves faster and is more likely to succeed.

 

leaders

This sort of leadership development is something we’ve been doing through Hive and fellowships for years. What’s become increasingly clear over the last month or so is: a) this has become one of our core strengths and b) it is one of the biggest places we could have impact going forward. This has lead us to the conclusion that leadership development should be one of the core elements of our overall learning strategy. With this in mind, I want to lay out some initial thinking about what we mean by ‘leadership’, describe the kind of impact we’re trying to have and pose some questions we need to answer.

The basics

Let’s start with some basic definitions. For discussion purposes, the kind of ‘leaders’ we want to find and develop are:

Leaders = people who in one way or another are helping others to read, write and participate on the web (aka ‘web literacy‘).

These leaders could be helping others through teaching or mentoring. Or through organizational change or learning projects. Or by explicitly designing and organizing programs to promote web literacy. I consider all of these to be acts of leadership that advance our cause.

When we talk about ‘leadership development’, we are describing the process of:

Leadership development = helping these people become more skilled, self aware and networked by getting them working on concrete projects.

The approach that we’ve been using — and will continue to develop — borrows from the field of service learning. We focus on hands-on, experiential learning where people develop skills by working on a project in service of a bigger goal aligned with Mozilla’s mission. These experiences simultaneously: a) help people become better at hard skills (e.g. coding or research); b) provide opportunities to learn soft skills (e.g. teamwork or mentoring); and c) contribute concretely to the work of Mozilla or a partner organization.

Impact

Ultimately, there are two core places where we hope this part of our strategy will have an impact:

Global = more people teach and advocate for web literacy.
Personal = individuals have more skills, confidence and opportunity.

Combined, these things create both a talent pool and motivational economics that will build momentum. And, ultimately, they make it more likely that we will succeed with our overall agenda of universal web literacy.

On the global level, we are already having a meaningful impact. Hive, Mozilla Clubs and our fellowships are already resulting in:

  • University students sharing web skills with friends. (Maker Party)
  • Educators weaving web literacy into their teaching. (Hive)
  • Scientists teaching other scientists about open data. (Science Lab)
  • Coders helping activist organizations adopt open tools and thinking. (Advocacy Fellows)
  • Organizers bringing together others to teach web literacy. (Mozilla Clubs)

The question we have to answer at this stage isn’t ‘can we get more people doing this stuff?’ but rather ‘how many people? and with what sort of downstream impact?’

Which brings us to the second point about giving people more skills, confidence and opportunity. We do this on some level already through our existing programs, but not systematically. I believe we need:

Learning experiences and curriculum that help people a) develop strong open source leadership skills that b) make them more effective and c) open up new personal or career opportunities.

In some sense, this is simply about helping people hone certain aspects of their web literacy skills on a very deep level. One person might want to develop better research (read), open data management (write) and knowledge sharing (participate) skills so they can mentor their peers. Another might want to develop better content harvesting (read), web design (write) and online community management (participate) skills to create a piece of interactive online curriculum. And so on.

In both examples, these are skills that are a) useful in the kind of web literacy work we want people doing and b) highly valued in the job market. A key part of creating a robust leadership development strategy is implementing a method to consistently help people hone these skills and find opportunities to use them both in our work and on the job market. This is a part of the process that Mozilla is not yet skilled at as an organization.

Questions

We’re nearing the end of phase one of our Mozilla Learning (aka Academy) planning process. I’ll post an update on this later next week.

In the meantime, I can say with confidence: leadership development will be one of the key strategies Mozilla invests in to advance web literacy.

I’ve outlined the ‘why?’ (more people teaching and advocating) and the ‘what?’ (service learning programs that develop leaders) above. What we need to do in the next phase is map the ‘what?’ to the ‘how?’. Key questions about leadership development programs will be:

  • What specific impact do we want to have here? By when?
  • What skills and mindsets do we need to develop to have this impact?
  • What skills and experiences do emerging leaders want? Partners?
  • What curriculum and experiences are needed to develop these skills?
  • Pragmatically, how do we align and integrate our existing programs?

The good news is that the existing Hive, Mozilla Clubs, Science Lab and Advocacy Fellows teams have already started to dig into these questions at our recent retreat in Whistler. For example, the Science Lab team created an initial outline of a basic ‘working in the open’ on-boarding curriculum for leaders. And the Hive / Clubs (aka Mozilla Learning Networks) teams started to develop a quite advanced operating model that integrates many of the existing activities that we have in place across these programs.

Over the next couple of months, these teams will take a next step in answering these questions and coming up with a more detailed theory of how our leadership development program will work. As I noted above, I’ll post more about the overall process next week.

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Mozilla’s Maker Party Starts Today

Amira Dhalla

It’s here: Maker Party starts today!

From July 15 – July 31, Mozilla community members around the globe will come together to teach the Web through fun, creative and hands-on activities. In past years, we’ve created everything from robots and educational browser games to original artwork and dance moves. We can’t wait to make more cool stuff this July.

MP

Over the course of the next 17 days, we’ll be sharing activities for teaching web literacy. Specifically, we’ll focus on three important digital skills: how to read, write and participate on the Web. This is a team effort: we’re working alongside like-minded organizations and individuals to achieve universal web literacy. So, attend a Maker Party or host one of your own. And make sure to invite your friends, family and community.

  • Our first Maker Party activity? The IP Address Tracer game, which helps you read the Web. With this activity, learn how your device connects to the Internet. Every device — whether a laptop, desktop or smartphone — has a unique IP address. You’ll also learn why an IP address is personal information, and how protecting it protects your privacy. If you don’t have an Internet connection, you can try our lo-fi version using just a pen and paper.
  • Our second activity is all about writing on the Web: meet Webmaker, Mozilla’s new, open-source Android app for creating and sharing original content. Webmaker allows you to create online in minutes — it’s intuitive, simple and built for smartphone users of any skill level. You can create so much: a recipe book, a birthday card, a photo album, a comic strip. And everything you create can easily be shared with and remixed by your friends. No device or Internet access? No problem. Try this lo-fi version of the activity.
  • Our third activity, Hack My Media, is all about participating on the Web. Use Mozilla’s X-Ray Goggles tool to peer at the code behind a website. Then, remix the HTML to create a version of your very own. Swap in photos, headlines and other content to make the site reflect your personal identity and reflections on the media you consume — then share the URL with your friends. If you’re offline, try the lo-fi version.

As you start planning your Maker Party, remember: we’re here to help. In addition to the above three activities, Mozilla has several other interactive ways to teach the Web. Find them on our Teaching Activities page.

Visit our Event Resources page to ensure your Maker Party is impactful: you can download all sorts of art and decorations. We’ll also help you plan your event by sharing tips for finding the perfect venue, inviting media and more. Whether your Maker Party is three friends around a kitchen table or 50 students in a classroom, we can help. Email us anytime at makerparty@mozilla.org.

And don’t forget to share your party with us — and the world. Tweet this message from your event (and send us a photo, too):

I’m taking part in @Mozilla’s #MakerParty this July! Join us to create cool stuff online and help #TeachTheWeb: mzl.la/makerparty

Thanks for reading. Now, let’s party!

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Case Study on Relationships: Hive Learning Networks

Lainie Decoursy

In the last few months, and as plans for Mozilla Learning in 2016 continue to emerge, Hive Learning Network directors have been thinking about network design and relationships as key to how Hive participates and contributes to our vision of universal web literacy.

Hive is a core component of Mozilla Learning Networks, and is a dynamic model for developing relationships at the city level. Our audience is comprised of individuals, after-school organizations, museums, libraries, schools, civic technology, and cities eager to take creative risks to transform teaching and learning in a digital age. Hive creates a base of leaders to support the change we want to see, and help move more people from basic understanding of web literacy to full participatory know-how.

Hive is a relationship engine — an intentional, designed way to build connections that last. In our experience, there are five necessary conditions for cultivating successful relationships:

  • Trust: Hive serves as a thought partner and known resource for digital literacies, so that members can bring challenges and opportunities forth
  • Stickiness: Individuals and organizations demonstrate an active commitment to Hive through transitions (e.g., job changes) because they see value in participating
  • Quality of connections: Access to wide-ranging and meaningful partnerships
  • Replicable resources and practices: Techniques, programs, curricula, etc. have broad appeal and can be implemented by others
  • Ongoing investment: Maintaining and soliciting new funders, institutions, and people

Hive is a convener, a facilitator, and a partner in building durable, purposeful connections toward achieving shared goals. Hive recognizes and benefits from the existing expertise that member bring into the network, and these relationships are instrumental and mutual. Individuals and organizations participate in a Hive ecosystem for various reasons, ranging from networking and professional development to access, expertise and funding.

The return on Hive relationships yield positive outcomes that transform systems. To facilitate this kind of return, you need time to learn with one another, the capacity to develop distributed leadership, and an engaged and active membership committed to changing systems and outcomes for youth.

Hive Chicago Buzz event, photo credit: Chicago Art Department

Relationships —-> full participation and leadership –> concrete outputs

Building from basic web literacy to full participation is accelerated and deepened by relationships. Jackie Moore is a member of Hive Chicago whose growth as an open web leader reflects the value of building universal web literacy within the context of long-term relationships. For several years she has been attending Hive Chicago monthly meet-ups to network, learn and share with other educators across the city. In 2014 she attended MozFest as an ambassador and advocate for Hive. She further developed her leadership within the network as an accountable member on the local Moonshot working group focused on transportation constraints for youth. Moonshots provide a focusing framework to collectively identify and solve shared problems.

At the Hive Chicago Buzz event in January, Jackie and several other participants in this particular Moonshot group gathered youth input and devised plans to address youth transportation challenges. That collective effort inspired a later entry to the Urban Sustainability Apps Competition from which an authentic output emerged: a youth ride-sharing app called RideW/Me.
Jackie‘s relationship with Hive is one of many relationships that extend throughout these success stories. The return on the relationship in this example is clear–her full  participation, a resulting web-scale project with a systems-level solution, and growth in her capacity as a leader for the open Web.

Hive NYC Meet-Up

Hive relationships, projects and models fuel Mozilla’s web literacy efforts

Hive leverages trusted relationships and draws from tested projects and practices to feed the Mozilla Learning Network pipeline, have a larger impact on the city, and prepare more youth and educators to read/write/participate on the Web. Two concrete examples of Hive feeding Mozilla’s broader efforts are Maker Party — the annual campaign that evolved from the Hive Pop-Up event model — and the curricular modules for Mozilla Clubs, which were developed in collaboration with Hive members and organizations. Hive NYC‘s work with the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Post Secondary Readiness illustrates the amplifying effects that can result from a mutually beneficial relationship across networks.

Through a multi-year partnership with Hive NYC and the Digital Ready initiative, 30 local organizations have become ambassadors working with 15 public middle and high schools, reaching 1,500 students and bringing hands-on learning experiences with more intentional uses of the Web and technology. Hive facilitated these relationships as an intermediary to provide tested programs and practices to participating schools. In so doing, Hive NYC draws upon its unique relationships with educators and organizations, who apply their expertise and experience in Hive’s open-source learning labs to “teach it forward” with others.

These are just a few examples of how Hive serves as an engine for developing powerful relationships. With a shared vision for change and a focus on helping leaders achieve outcomes that matter, Hive cities continue to work towards our ultimate goal of universal web literacy.

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Pledge to teach web literacy!

Lainie Decoursy

We recently launched a new site for people interested in helping others read, write and participate on the Web. Here, you’ll find guides for hosting your first Maker Party event, details on how to start a Mozilla Club, lesson plans for teaching web literacy skills, and much more. In the coming months, we’ll be adding more content, as well as new ways for our global community to connect with one another.

If you’re committed to maintaining the Web as an open public resource for all, and want to share your knowledge with others, please take a moment to pledge to teach web literacy!

By taking this pledge on the Mozilla Learning Network website, you’ll be signaling your interest to help us achieve our goal of universal web literacy. We truly can’t do it without your help.

More people need to know and understand the full potential of the Web. At Mozilla, we believe web literacy is as important as reading, writing and arithmetic. When you know how the Web works, you can use it as a creative platform. You can better understand what/how/who you’re sharing information with. And you can help share and shape its future.

Here’s how it works:

1. Visit teach.mozilla.org and click “Pledge to Teach”
2. Submit your email address to take the pledge
3. Share your pledge on Facebook and Twitter

Pledge to teach the web

We’ll follow up to learn a bit more about how we can help you fulfill your pledge, whether it’s pointing you to opportunities to develop your own leadership and mentoring skills, sharing free activities and lesson plans to teach web literacy skills to your learners, or connecting you with others in your region to have even greater impact in your local community.

Thanks in advance for joining us to #teachtheweb!

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Webmaker and Local Content Creation in Cambodia and Rwanda

Webmaker

In January, the Mozilla Foundation partnered with Souktel Mobile Solutions to pilot new mobile content creation software in two countries: Cambodia and Rwanda. We showed that it’s possible for youth of any skill level to quickly become content creators and read, write and participate on the Web.

With the same 60 participants, we have now started the next phase: a case study that explores web literacy and local content creation using Mozilla Webmaker. It’s part of our partnership with GSMA.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 8.48.07 AM

Participants range from ages 18 to 37, are a mix of both genders, and are mainly first-time smartphone owners. The majority of participants access the Internet through mobile data, which is why Mozilla has worked hard to develop Webmaker for mobile.

This second phase started in June with a workshop led by local Mozillians. Each participant was gifted a smartphone running Android 4.2 with Webmaker pre-installed. Participants were also given a basic introduction to the Webmaker app.

Over the next four weeks, participants will be invited to create and share with the Webmaker app on their new smartphones. We will be observing their use of the Webmaker platform and individual profiles in order to better understand how people create local content, participate on the Web, and share in their community. Findings will shared in a report published with GSMA.

So far, early interviews provided great insight into how people are using the Web. For example, 73% of participants are interested in using the Internet to learn skills and open up employment opportunities.

More at the end of July!

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Webmaker for Android: Now Available in the Google Play Store

Andrew Sliwinski

Today, Mozilla’s efforts to empower Web users around the globe are taking an exciting step forward: we’re debuting Webmaker for Android in the Google Play Store.

You can download the beta version for free at mzl.la/webmaker.

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Webmaker is a tool to help smartphone users of any skill level read, write and participate on the Web. The app makes creating original content in your local language simple — you can drag, drop and personalize photos, text and more to build unique projects like interactive scrapbooks, comic strips, games and memes. While Webmaker is designed first and foremost to be fun and easy-to-use, we’ve already seen the community leverage it in very practical ways as well. Teachers can build lesson plans for their students, students can create class projects, and communities can launch a platform for sharing local happenings.

Creating on Webmaker is just the beginning. You can also share your projects with friends and neighbors, who are able to remix and add their own additions. You can discover cool projects around you through Webmaker’s discovery gallery, and experience local content made by your community and in your language. And Webmaker is free and open, always.

We built Webmaker with the hopes of creating a fun, hands-on tool for helping individuals move beyond a read-only version of the Web. And our community played a vital role in this process: volunteers in Bangladesh, Kenya, Brazil, India and elsewhere pitched in to help. When you have a minute, try out Webmaker Beta and share your experiences — we’d love to hear what you think. Reach us at help@webmaker.org or @Webmaker.

Stay tuned for more exciting news and updates: we’ll be unveiling Webmaker for Android 1.0 later this month and a desktop browser version and code editor are on the way!

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