Web Literacy Skills For Library Staff Project Kick-Off

An-Me Chung
  • adapt and refine Mozilla’s Web Literacy skills, curriculum, tools, and resources for public library staff and pilot in 5 public library systems and one library school of information;
  • connect and convey these  core web literacy skills with digital badges; and
  • develop a strategy for scale to other public libraries across the country.

At the launch meeting held in Washington DC, the project advisory board —consisting of representatives of IMLS, Mozilla, and an impressive group of experts in digital literacy, professional development, other kinds of innovative work and learning in libraries—came together to guide and shape the project. The meeting began with a spectrogram activity that allowed us to surface and discuss different/similar beliefs, ideas, and concerns about web literacy and libraries.

The advisory board had the opportunity to learn more about Mozilla’s mission, goals, and resources for learning and teaching web literacy skills. The discussions that emerged were rich and engaging. Key recommendations include: 1) keeping the primary purpose of the training in this project focused on equipping library staff with web literacy skills, and teaching to others secondary, and 2) presenting badges as connectors and an option, and not the driving force for professional development.

Opportunities and Challenges

We brainstormed opportunities and challenges to be aware of as we shape the project. A few opportunities discussed:

  • Creating opportunities for librarians to become expert curators of content and online learning experiences
  • Providing library schools information graduates (and graduates from other programs working as library professionals) the opportunity to learn new technologies, and how to scan the environment for new technologies
  • Leveraging membership associations as entities that can provide professional development opportunities to their member organizations and their individual library staff members
  • Connecting to existing certifications provided by state library systems
  • Equipping often under-resourced human resource departments with quality open source learning opportunities for staff

Challenges surfaced include:

  • Engaging unionized workers as partners in empowering staff to develop new skills
  • Empowering staff to gain new and update existing skills
  • Finding time to learn new skills
  • Establishing a culture of lifelong learning for the library profession
  • Navigating the decentralized nature of library systems

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 6.16.58 PM

Next Steps

Board members joined three subcommittees: pilot selection, evaluation, and scale/sustainability.  The immediate next step is  finalizing the selection criteria for pilots which will adapt and co-create with Mozilla open source web literacy curricula to develop training, tools and credentials for staff in public libraries. The potential to collaborate with Mozilla provides library staff the opportunity to be leaders, innovators, and advocates. Criteria will include:

  • Diversity of staff in geographic distribution as well as diversity of experience, knowledge, and specializations
  • Diversity of types of systems (e.g., rural/urban, main/branch, union/nonunion, consortia/non-consortia)
  • Buy-in from the library leadership
  • Willingness to contribute, refine and remix curriculum and tools
  • Willingness to share experiences with other sites and collaborate as a group

The meeting concluded with a thoughtful discussion about scale and sustainability with several themes emerging:

  • Leveraging opportunities for building the web literacy competencies into the professional development and credentials for library staff
  • Reaching out to organizations and leaders who should be engaged and/or informed of the project and its goals
  • Building on existing infrastructures and levers, such as associations, brands, library information schools, and current assessment tools
  • Understanding challenges of technology infrastructures
  • Engaging future leadership now for long-term benefits


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“Open world, open web”

Chad Sansing

This past weekend, over fifty teens joined mentors, sponsors, and judges for the first ever SPARK Hackathon at St. Anne’s-Belfield School (STAB) in Charlottesville, VA. Participants came from six different area high schools and formed teams to tackle real-world problems posed by sponsors, including Mozilla. Every team did amazing work and the consensus among the judges and mentors seemed to be that the quality of work produced by hackathon attendees rivaled that of undergraduate students working in areas like computer science and biomedical engineering.

The SPARK Hackathon crew

The SPARK Hackathon crew, by STAB

We challenged students to create a “Fight for the Open Web” adventure, map, or mod inside the insanely popular, open-world, sandbox game, Minecraft. With over 70 million copies sold, Minecraft is both a cultural and educational phenomenon. Players can progress from simple, “vanilla” gameplay to run their own servers, build their own maps, and code their own mods for the game that add new assets and functionality. Players share their creations online, so we’re deeply curious about how we can use Minecraft to educate – and activate – its community around issues of freedom, privacy, and web literacy.

Our problem had three parts.

  1. What is the Open Web?
  2. What challenges does it face?
  3. How can those challenges be built as gameplay and story in Minecraft?

Before students split into problem-based teams, they had a chance to meet with each sponsor, ask questions about each problem, and share their ideas for solutions. I heard so many sharp ideas during this round-robin briefing that I knew we would have fantastic work to share coming out of the hackathon. Students suggested:

  • Using the Minecraft UI to represent the player’s information security, so that higher levels make a character more difficult to track or hit.
  • Making a character become increasingly transparent as his or her privacy and security stats rise.
  • Using dynamic signs to ‘publish’ information about characters’ inventories, locations, and stats inside the game, and then letting players craft items and gain levels that hide their information from the signs.
  • Building persistent cookies that players receive for accepting free items inside the game and making it so that each cookie permanently occupies inventory space, limiting players’ resource management.
  • Using portals to other zones – like “the Ender Zone” and “the Nether” – as ISP gateways and hubs.
  • Using ‘mobs’ – or monsters from the game – as cookies that surround and follow the player instead of attacking him or her, making it difficult to fit through small passages.

    Spider cookie

    Spider cookie

  • Using foot races along parallel paths to illustrate throttling by filling one path with blocks that slow character movement (such as webs or “Soul Sand”) and by using command blocks to apply the “Swiftness” effect to characters who pay diamonds, emeralds, or gold nuggets to use the faster path.
  • Creating a map with more freedom, but fewer resources, the further you travel away from a highly regulated central zone full of pay-to-play mini-games and surveillance measures.

Out of those brainstorming and Q&A sessions, two groups of six formed around our problem.

Both groups characterized the Open Web as a place where people came together to work and share without losing their sense of privacy or being watched by companies or governments. Without any help from mentors, our students identified the major challenges facing the Open Web as:

  • Threats to Net Neutrality and zero-rating.
  • Pay-to-play schemes.
  • Censorship and walled gardens.
  • Surveillance.

Then each group began to build. As one student put it, they had to make an experience about the Open Web “without being terrible like educational games.” The big idea, again, coming from one of our participants, was to create a game that made one thing clear: “Open world, open web.”

Team Open World at work

Team Open World at work, by STAB

Continue reading …

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Mozilla’s Continued Commitment to Open Badges

Mark Surman

At Mozilla, we’re devoted to empowering individuals on the Web. This means creating tools and communities that teach important digital-age skills. It also means helping to build a technical ecosystem for recognizing and showcasing these skills.

In 2011, Mozilla and the MacArthur Foundation set out to create exactly this. We collaborated to build the Open Badges project, which developed an approach to reward learners with digital badges for their efforts. It’s an ambitious task: the Open Badges project aimed to spark a transformation of how we recognize learning.

The project has come a long way. Since 2011, Open Badges has developed a devoted and international community, attracted partners from around the world and demonstrated the possibilities of an open credentialing ecosystem.

The road to create an Open Badges ecosystem has also been challenging, and we’ve learned valuable lessons. Perhaps no surprise to some, we learned badges cannot exist in a vacuum — to flourish, they need active communities and compelling educational content. And we learned that building a technical infrastructure for a universal badge network is a complex task. Mozilla’s place in Open Badges is not in operating the core services that make up this infrastructure. Instead, Mozilla’s best contribution to the growing ecosystem is to play a smaller, committed role as one of many players.

It’s important to reflect on the progress we’ve made since launching the initiative.

In 2011, Mozilla and MacArthur engaged with over 300 nonprofit organizations, government agencies and others about informal learning, breaking down education monopolies and fuelling individual motivation. We also created the Open Badge Infrastructure (OBI) public beta, a technical framework for the collection and sharing of badges. Much of this work was guided by “Open Badges for Lifelong Learning,” an early working paper we created with the MacArthur Foundation. Badges became an important part of what people worked on at MozFest, as well.

In 2012, we launched Open Badges 1.0, an improved ecosystem for badges. We also partnered with the City of Chicago to launch The Chicago Summer of Learning (CSOL), a badges initiative to keep local youth ages four to 24 active and engaged during the summer. Institutions and organizations like Purdue University, MOUSE and the U.K.-based DigitalME adopted badges, and we saw international interest in badging programs from Australia and Italy to China and Scotland.

In 2013, over 1,450 organizations were issuing badges. Our partnership with Chicago had grown into the Cities of Learning Initiative, an opportunity to apply CSOL’s success across the country. We also began to develop a fully functional badge system at Mozilla via our Hive Learning Networks.

In 2014, we launched The Badge Alliance, a network of organizations and individuals committed to building the open badging ecosystem and advancing the Open Badges specification. Founding members include Mozilla, the MacArthur Foundation, DigitalME, Sprout Fund, National Writing Project, Blackboard and others. More than 650 organizations from six continents had signed up through the Badge Alliance to contribute to the Open Badges ecosystem.

Open Badges has continued to evolve. In mid-2015, the Badge Alliance spun out and became a part of Collective Shift, a nonprofit devoted to redesigning social systems for a connected world. The Badge Alliance will work in concert with another Collective Shift project, LRNG, which is creating a global ecosystem of in-school, out-of-school, employer-based and online learning that includes a technology platform for badges. With continuing support for the Badge Alliance and LRNG’s push to make badges part of connected learning experiences for youth, the Open Badges community remains active and growing. Nate Otto, Director of the Badge Alliance, leads standard development efforts, while a growing band of implementers cooperate to improve the options for using Open Badges to recognize learning across many environments.

What’s Ahead

In 2016, Mozilla will continue to support the Open Badges ecosystem we helped seed. We’re taking on a smaller role, and working alongside several players, but remain committed to the initiative. We’ll also apply what we learned: Open Badges can evolve best as a collaborative, community-driven effort. Its future is brightest when the community comes together to carry it forward.

Mozilla will continue to collaborate with the Badge Alliance and the rest of the Open Badges community. Mark Surman, Mozilla’s Executive Director, serves on the Badge Alliance Steering Committee alongside Connie Yowell and Rob Abel. Mozilla will also pass control of openbadges.org to the Badge Alliance, who will update the resource. Mozilla and the Badge Alliance will also collaborate to plan for the future of BadgeKit.org.

We will also reconsider the role of the Badge Backpack. Mozilla will continue to host user data in the Backpack, and ensure that data is appropriately protected. But the Backpack was never intended to be the central hub for Open Badges — it was a prototype, and the hope has forever been a more federated and user-controlled model. Getting there will take time: the Backpack houses user data, and privacy and security are paramount to Mozilla. We need to get the next iteration of Backpack just right. We are seeking a capable person to help facilitate this effort and participate in the badges technical community. Of course, we welcome code contributions to the Backpack; a great example is the work done by DigitalMe.

We want this to be an open and productive process. Over the next few months, we’ll be writing more, and listening, about the future of badges. We look forward to your ideas, thoughts and feedback.

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Improving the X-Ray Goggles Onboarding Experience

Hannah Kane

by Kristina Shu, Mozilla Foundation designer

X-Ray Goggles has been out in the world helping people kick off their code curiosities for a couple years now, but installing them has always been a pain point for many users. Ensuring users have a seamless experience is crucial for a good first impression and continued use. This post will take a look under the hood at how we redesigned the X-Ray Goggles onboarding experience.

Designer Jam Session

Sabrina, Luke, Natalie and I got together to brainstorm. Our main focus was on usability and finding the simplest way to show users how to install and use Goggles. In the end we decided on two separate web experiences: one for installing Goggles and another for teaching people how to use it.

handdrawn sketch showing relationship between landing page and activity pageWireframe of the two separate pages:

wireframes showing content areas of install page and activity page The Install Goggles page:

annotated version of install page highlighting different content areasBrand Alignment

In an effort to align Mozilla’s brand across Foundation projects we mirrored the look and feel of Thimble’s landing page. This helps create brand awareness through continuity and makes it easier for users to become familiar with our tools. Maybe you’ll notice some similarities?

annotated version of Thimble homepage, showing similarities to Goggles, e.g. "Same typeface" Let’s Get Technical

Working with Pomax, Software Engineer at the foundation, we created simple graphics to lead users through the steps to install the Goggles bookmark. With Pomax’s mad coding skills and browser detection, we are able to determine a user’s operating system and browser. Utilizing this, the site can now offer up graphics specific to a user and the system they are most familiar with. For example:

installation instructions for Firefox on Mac and WindowsActivity Page

Now the fun part, putting Goggles to use! We decided a simple mix-and-match game was the best way to engage users and the perfect opportunity to show off Goggles features like using code to swap out images. It’s eye-catching and fun, but simple enough for a first-time user to complete fairly quickly. Sticking with the Mozilla theme we chose a fox (for Firefox of course), a dino for Mozilla and a Thunderbird. Our fox has gone on to influence further design projects, such as the end of year fundraising campaign and has been christened the ‘dapper fox’.

fox, dinosaur, and bird illustrations, and three versions with top/middle/bottom body parts interchangedTo create an integrated and interactive walk-through tutorial, Pomax was able to overlay instructional bubbles overtop of the activity. We also limited the number of steps and kept the amount of text to a minimum in an effort to not overwhelm users.

screenshot of tutorial in action, with edit pane exposed and pop-up with instructionsTry Them On

Try out the new X-Ray Goggles at goggles.mozilla.org and let us know what you think in the comments below or by tweeting @mozteach. There is always room for improvement so if you have any suggestions or want to contribute to these products, check out our repo!

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Community Spotlight: San Emmanuel James

Kristina Gorr

At Mozilla, we have been cultivating a global network of web literacy leaders who are teaching and learning the most important skills of our age: the ability to read, write and participate in the digital world. Many people across the globe have joined us in this effort, and we are constantly inspired by how they bring their knowledge and experiences back to their communities.

San Emmanuel James

San Emmanuel James at MozFestEA 2015.

One of those people, San Emmanuel James, has illustrated this kind of impact by being an early pioneer for Mozilla Uganda, MozFestEA, and localization projects. We interviewed San James to learn more about his journey towards web literacy leadership. Here’s what he had to say:

What is your background with the web? With Mozilla?

Growing up, computers were not accessible to everyone, the internet was an even scarcer resource. I first interacted with the web during my high school vacation while I was waiting to join the university. My love affair with the web began when I joined the University to pursue a degree in computer science.

In my final year at university, we embarked on a project to localize Mozilla Firefox, then version 3.0 to Luganda, a local language in Uganda. At the time, we were introduced to Pootle and the translate toolkit by a team from Translate.org.za. The project was fascinating. It was exciting to do the localization and build the language packs. Mozilla Firefox in Luganda became an official build in version 3.6.

At the launch, we were joined by various guests including the prime minister and the minister of state for ICT. The Reps program and the Mozilla community in Kenya were still new. When they had about the launch, Alex Wafula led a team to join us at the launch and there after we talked about birthing a Mozilla community in Uganda. That was 5 years ago in 2011. I started the local community in Uganda and was the first Mozilla Rep.
Today, we have over 10 Reps and 2 mentors and over 40 active community members, plus hundreds of others who join us occasionally at our community events. From localization, we have contributed to other functional areas such as Webmaker, Womoz, Firefox OS, Developer Relations, among others.

San Emmanuel James

San Emmanuel James (3rd row from front, 7th from left) with MozFestEA 2015 participants.

What is your most noteworthy #teachtheweb accomplishment?

In its second year, I believe MozFestEA has been my most noteworthy accomplishment. MozFest EA has turned out to be a major launch pad for local innovations and a key platform collaboration and technological development. It has attracted the attention of local and foreign partners, as well as government. Participants come from across the region and beyond to celebrate the awesomeness of Mozilla and learn more about how we contribute to nurturing the open web. At the event we run a number of #teachtheweb sessions. MozFest EA has the potential to become the largest tech event in the region.

San Emmanuel James

San Emmanuel James speaks with a participant at MozFestEA 2015.

How are you inspiring others to #teachtheweb/join in the Mozilla cause?

By sharing my experience and the experience of others. The way we teach the web in Mozilla is novel and revolutionary in places like Uganda where learning is mostly theoretical and classroom based. Using, train-the-trainer approach and practical/illustrative learning techniques, I help new and existing community members increase their knowledge and learn how to teach others. Mozilla has a wealth of learning resources it has created over time and I have made it a point to bring these to the attention of the community members so they can benefit from it. I have been quite keen on teach.mozilla.org and developer relation resources I see impact the local community.

You can learn more about MozFest EA here, and the Mozilla Uganda community here.

Do you know someone that has made tremendous strides towards global web literacy or has made an impact through a Mozilla Club, classroom, or the #teachtheweb community at large? Share the story with us.

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Mozilla Announces Expansion of Gigabit Innovation Program at US Ignite Event in Washington, DC


Today, Mozilla representatives are in Washington, DC with our partners from the National Science Foundation and US Ignite announcing the opening of the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund for 2016. $300,000 will be made available for pilot projects that show how high-speed networks can be leveraged for learning in the two pioneering gigabit cities of Kansas City and Chattanooga, TN. From robots that can be controlled from across town without lag to virtual reality applications that transport students across the globe, Gigabit Community Fund projects will explore how next-generation technologies can make learning more immediate, equitable, and immersive. Application details and deadlines are available at https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/gigabit/apply/.

Since 2011, Mozilla has partnered with US Ignite and the National Science Foundation to move gigabit innovations out of the lab and into communities. As more and more cities benefit from high-speed networks and the national gigabit ecosystem grows, projects like the Gigabit Community Fund are critical to increasing participation in next-gen innovation. This program brings new voices into the conversation about what the future of the Web should look like and fuels Mozilla’s mission of supporting an Internet where all people are empowered, safe, and independent.

Community members beta test a Gigabit Fund project at Chattanooga’s first Mini Maker Faire. (Photo Credit: Jason Oswald)

Community members beta test a Gigabit Fund project at Chattanooga’s first Mini Maker Faire. (Photo Credit: Jason Oswald)

To date, the Fund has supported the development of 17 pilot projects in Kansas City and Chattanooga, engaging teachers, students, informal educators, and technologists of all stripes as co-creators and beta-testers of gigabit technologies.

“From relatively small grants have come huge impacts, as these projects continue as yearlong courses in our schools or even as full-fledged gigabit tech startups,” said Mozilla Gigabit City Lead Lindsey Frost. “Pilots have allowed students in these communities to collaboratively mix music, create media-rich videos that compile instantly, and even build a water-quality monitoring system that streams data in real time to local researchers.”

Gigabit Community Fund grant applicants can be companies, institutions or nonprofits eager to leverage gigabit Internet to improve education and workforce development. Though pilots must take place in Chattanooga or Kansas City, technologists and educators from all over the United States can apply, and cross-city grants are available.

Students at a Maker Party in New York test out The Gigabots, a Kansas City Gigabit Fund Project (Photo Credit: Hive NYC)

Students at a Maker Party in New York test out The Gigabots, a Kansas City Gigabit Fund Project (Photo Credit: Hive NYC)

These cross-city grants are not the only way we’re expanding the geographic reach of Mozilla’s gigabit innovation work. In partnership with the National Science Foundation and US Ignite, we’re also announcing at today’s event that we’re expanding the Gigabit Community Fund to three additional cities by 2018, with the first city to be announced in May 2016. Selected cities will receive support and staffing from Mozilla as well as $150,000 in Gigabit Community Fund innovation funding.

“There are more than thirty Smart Gigabit Communities from all over the United States represented at today’s event,” said US Ignite Executive Director Bill Wallace. “The Gigabit Community Fund presents a tremendous opportunity for them and for all gigabit communities to explore how next-generation applications can enhance education and workforce development.”

To submit your city for consideration to become the next Gigabit Community Fund city or to learn more about the 2016 Gigabit Community Fund grant cycle, visit mozilla.org/gigabit.

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#TeachTheWeb Reflections from 2015

Kristina Gorr

The team that oversees Mozilla Clubs, Hive Learning Networks, Maker Party, MozFest and all things web literacy and #teachtheweb recently came together to reflect on 2015–to share major highlights, key learnings, and what we’re looking forward to in our work in 2016.

A few highlights from 2015:

  • We launched a brand-new program with Mozilla Clubs. The first cohort of Regional Coordinators joined us in January and helped us cultivate growing interest from partners and participants across the globe. By the end of the year we counted 150 Mozilla Clubs and 28 Regional Coordinators.For more, read: Mozilla Clubs Year End Reflection
  • We released a new site! In April, teach.mozilla.org was launched as a place to find free activities for teaching web literacy skills, as well as information about Mozilla Clubs and other programs.
  • We re-released Thimble with lots of updates and user-centric features. Over the past few years, this became a popular tool for educators and others to create and remix content on the Web. We’ll continue to make improvements to this educational code editor that helps people learn and play with HTML, CSS and Javascript.
  • We won a Digital Innovation in Learning Award! Mozilla Hive Chicago was awarded the Better Together DILA Award for their amazing work to improve the Chicago community by cultivating web literacy leaders who advance reading, writing and participation in the digital world.

  • We launched a localization campaign to bring web literacy to more languages and locations around the world. We started with Web Literacy Basics I–comprised of six activities that are now available in 10 other languages including Bengali, Hindi, Portuguese, Swedish and others – all available soon on teach.mozilla.org.
  • The sixth-annual MozFest — Mozilla’s celebration of the open Web — convened hackers, teachers and organizers from across the globe to address some of the most pressing issues facing the Web today. Together, we explored how we can act as leaders in the tech, policy and social spheres to create a better Web for everyone.
  • We furthered our commitment to Gigabit cities and the web’s future by expanding the Gigabit team and our partnership with the National Science Foundation.

Children at Mini Maker Faire Chattanooga, which showcased Gigabit Community Fund projects

Some important things we learned and re-confirmed along the way:

  • We are at our best when we listen to our community and focus on what value we can add.
  • Our local communities are open to experimenting with new tools, exploring new ideas and being incredibly productive in the process.
  • It’s important to communicate our challenges and ask for help creating solutions.

What we’re looking forward to in 2016:

  • Expanding on our efforts to localize more content and curriculum to reach broader audiences.
  • Continuing to improve our Mozilla Clubs program by offering more resources and support.
  • Growing Gigabit to new cities by building processes and systems for a seamless expansion. Building Connected Credentials work with Hive NYC organizations and partners to think, examine, share and produce documentation and big thinking about doing connected learning in trusted environments.
  • Offering Leadership Curriculum 1.0 and launching Web Lit Map 2.0 on teach.mozilla.org.
  • Working more closely with other programs like Mozilla Science Lab and Open News to share best practices and identify new opportunities and experiences for web leaders across various contexts and interests.

We’d love to hear about your #teachtheweb reflections from 2015 as well as what you’re looking forward to this year. Share your thoughts with us on our community forum.

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Sparking co-design with local youth

Chad Sansing

Later this month, Mozilla joins local educators and community sponsors from central Virginia to support SPARK, a two-day hackathon for fifty young people interested in problem-solving with technology. Day one begins with a ‘learnathon’ of STEM workshops on topics like agile development, design thinking, and web literacy. There’s a break in the action mid-afternoon when sponsors, like Mozilla, pitch problems for participants to solve using their leveled-up skills from the learnathon. That evening, attendees split into teams and begin brainstorming solutions to their adopted problems before calling it quits for the night.

An image of young people hacking wearable sensors on gloves

Youth hacking on wearable sensors, CC-BY-SA Hive NYC

On day two, teams reassemble to iterate and test solutions until it’s time for the closing ‘Presentation expo,’ a celebration and exhibition like the MozFest Science Fair.

Inspired by the Royal Foundation’s conservation-themed Minecraft mod #wearetherangers, and by Hive NYC’s Hunger Games-themed Hungercraft events, the Mozilla Foundation is sponsoring a problem called “Fight for the Open Web.” Here’s a bit of the pitch:

…what would Minecraft be like without the Open Web? What if there wasn’t a way to get online or share your adventures, maps, mods, and servers with others? What if a company shut Minecraft’s doors to anyone who couldn’t pay an extra free (or who wouldn’t accept ads in their dungeons) for every block they mined, message they typed, or skin they downloaded? What if Minecraft was only for YouTubers with at least 100,000 subscribers and a dozen sponsors? What would Minecraft be like on the ‘Closed Web?’

After you adopt this problem, you’ll research the Open Web and then design prototypes of game assets for a map, mod, and/or resource pack called, ‘Fight for the Open Web.’ The big idea is to represent the Open Web inside Minecraft and to use the game as a tool for teaching others about how the web works through adventure, exploration, narrative, and play.

Minecraft is not only a massive online, global community – it’s an educational juggernaut that spirals players through learning basic recipes for in-game survival through setting up and modding servers that greatly add to or alter the course of normal play. It’s a deeply responsive educational platform that rewards exploration and graduating to new levels of play and meta-play that can involve manipulating the game’s code, itself.

Even as we develop a dynamic web literacy curriculum with a distinctive, participatory, and Mozilla-like style, it’s important to acknowledge and employ other web literacy technologies, like Minecraft, that engage countless users in learning through online community and game-play experiences across all types of devices. We want to go where our users are. We want to teach and learn with them in ways that are locally and individually relevant to their interests and affinities. Our SPARK hackathon sponsorship gives us the chance to do just that.

Working with local partners in central Virginia and teenage designers and developers from area schools, we’re going to start learning what’s possible in community co-design around a Minecraft experience that teaches players what’s at stake when we fight for the Open Web IRL. What does open mean to you? What does the web look like in your eyes? What makes for a compelling, game-based call-to-action in defense of a web that should remain a public resource open to all?

We don’t know how all of this looks to the next generation of web citizens, but by working alongside them through events like SPARK we plan to prototype and share increasingly dynamic, interactive, and relevant web literacy experiences that surpass our own notions of curriculum and our own place in time.

Look for an update – a lots of inspiration – soon!

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Teachable Moment: Privacy Month

Kristina Gorr

In our efforts to increase global web literacy and empower future generations of web citizens, we continue to explore opportunities that connect skills development with interests and issues that affect learners both on and offline.

January is #PrivacyMonth, a community-driven, international campaign, and there’s no better time to teach and create awareness around online privacy. When people understand more about online privacy, and what steps they can take to protect it, we’re in a better position to ensure the Internet remains a global, public resource for all.

“Privacy Month is the first of many steps we’ll be taking this year in an effort to empower the users of the web to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint.” – Ankit Gadgil, Mozilla Reps Council

Privacy Month

How to Get Involved with #PrivacyMonth:

  • Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to use hashtags #PrivacyMonth and #Advocate4Privacy.
  • Join in the #PrivacyMonth conversation on our community forum, Discourse.

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Our Creative Community: Thimble Remixes

Kristina Gorr

Our online code editor, Thimble, makes it easy to create and publish your own web pages while learning HTML, CSS & JavaScript.

There are currently six featured and easy-to-follow tutorials available for anyone to use, whether a beginner coder or web master.

Mozilla Thimble

Mozilla Thimble

These remix projects are taken to the next level in the hands of our community. We love seeing the extremely creative, fun, and oftentimes instructional remix projects being shared across the web. Here are some of our recent favorites:

Games – two old-school favorites transformed for a remix generation!


Mozilla Thimble Simon


Educational – educators creating projects for their students to remix

Mozilla Thimble Awesome Animals
Just for Fun


Mozilla Thimble Brooklyn Craze Generator
There are tons of Thimble projects currently in development and undergoing testing, so keep the remixes coming! Do you have a Thimble remix project you’d like to share? Post it on our forum and join in the conversation.

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