Community Literacies #1: Your educational content, featured!

Kat Braybrooke

Editor’s Note: Community Literacies is a new series by Curation Lead Kat Braybrooke that builds on the legacy of Webmaker’s Hottest, last year’s featurette of your most inspiring content. Each issue, we focus on new user stories and creations. Have a story you want us to share? Get in touch below.

Paper prototyping with Appmaker

This year, the web celebrated its 25th birthday. In an environment that has transformed from a few static pages linked together to a huge and complex ecosystem, how do we empower learners to create their own content for today’s open web?

Here is a highlight of three of this month’s most inspiring teaching activities built by Webmaker community members, revealing the unexpected ways that hands-on curriculum can make teaching the web fun for a variety of learners and settings.

Designing for the web with weather, font and code

Webmaker community member Stefan Bohacek (@fourtonfish) built his Creating for the Modern Web teaching kit for educators around the world to give back to the community that had helped him in the first place.

“As a self-taught web developer,” Stefan writes, “I really appreciate all the educational content freely available on the web. Many people devote their free time to create resources for anyone willing to learn, and I thought making this kit might be a way to contribute.” The kit, built through many drafts, edits and emailed discussions with Webmaker staff and community members, introduces modern web technologies through making, from a weather web app to web typography-creation to creating social media buttons.

“Writing the activities was a lot of fun, but there were some frustrations too. I ran into browser compatibility issues, limitations of Webmaker itself, and even ended up writing my own web service for one of the tutorials. But overall, it was a great learning experience. I really appreciated the help from the Webmaker community — from Kat Braybrooke and Laura Hilliger to everyone who supported me on Twitter and the Webmaker Google+ group.”

Reflecting the energetic spirit of the larger community, the kit is already in the process of being remixed. “When I shared the kit on a recent #TeachTheWeb community call, I connected with Dave Crusoe from Boys & Girls Clubs of America who asked me to help them create a simpler version of the tutorial, which I’m really looking forward to.”

A lesson in Javascript using french toast

Toast JavascriptHow can we show kids how Javascript works across the web using methods that are fun and easily accessible? How about by filling their favourite webpages with french toast?

Enter the “Hey French Toast” Javascript takeover, a fun bookmarklet mixer that changes the faces of webpages and allows learners to create their own bookmarklets in response.

The best part is that this creation is a true collaborative effort, built at a MOUSE Corps maker night in NYC from the vision of Webmaker community member Meredith Summs, who was inspired by the popular Hey Girl Ryan Gosling bookmarklet. With the help of Mozilla developers Atul Varma and Mike Larsson, the idea was brought to life as a true illustration of community-envisioned remix. “This is just a quick snapshot of some of the content we’ll add to webmaker.org this summer!” adds Meredith.

Paper-based activities for lo-fi learning

lo fi teaching kit plans

The third project we got excited about this month focused on creative webmaking methods in places where web connectivity isn’t a given for the Lo-Fi, No-Fi! Teaching Kit, made collaboratively through a diverse gathering of educators and makers around the world.

Key highlights of this movement include a groundbreaking mobile ideation kit currently in progress by Jess Klein and Bobby Richter, a Code Thief card game that teaches Javascript on paper by educator Chad Sansing, a Web Mechanics Speed Dating activity by Hive NYC’s Julia Vallera, and an Offline Web Literacy Bingo game by Karen Smith at the University of Toronto.

“The mobile design kit is being built to give participants the opportunity to identify opportunities and solutions to real world problems, evaluate the appropriate medium for their design and take advantage of Appmaker to realize their vision. As a result, we have a ton of activities that work in low fidelity and high speed internet environments, and we’re excited to get others involved,” says Mozilla designer Jess Klein.

It’s been a great few weeks in the world of community-generated web literacy content, and we are already looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

Get involved!

  • Have you made a great piece of web literacy content that you want us to feature? Get in touch via @Webmaker on Twitter.
  • Want help getting started? Add your idea to the list of kits in progress and we’ll set you up with the right collaborators!
  • Or join one of our free training sessions to learn how to make and use your own content!

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