Glowing reports from Maker Party 2013

MakerPartySite

As Maker Party (Mozilla’s 3-month extravaganza of global webmaking) comes to an end, reports are flooding in from event hosts around the world. Hundreds of teachers, mentors and web enthusiasts volunteered to hold Maker Parties so others could learn about the web in a fun, social and collaborative environment. Here are the elements of Maker Party 2013 that garnered the most feedback:

Tools

We’re pleased that many Maker Party hosts found Popcorn, Thimble and X-Ray Goggles well-suited to introduce learners of all ages and backgrounds to making, connecting and publishing online:

“Popcorn is particularly useful for kids who only have access to computers at school or the library, because you don’t need to download or pay for software – as long as you have an internet connection, you can use Popcorn.” — from the YWCA Toronto Girls’ Council Maker Party in Toronto, Canada

Curriculum

Teachers and mentors discovered ingenious ways integrate Maker Parties into their curricula. Even more exciting, they collaborated and created informal networks to help others teach the web.

“Stéphanie explained to me what she wanted to do and asked me whether Popcorn could do it. And it could! She was really happy to see it would be so easy, nothing to install, no matter if she was using Windows or Linux. She’s a teacher and she already plans to show Webmaker to her colleagues and her pupils.” — from the NightScience Maker Party in Paris, France

Community

Many event hosts were not formal educators. By connecting with other web enthusiasts eager to share skills, Maker Parties were a great way to gain experience and form networks.

“During my first class, I was kind of nervous but my students were awesome. They really loved the innovation experience that we shared together. I really felt it was a learning and teaching experience for all of us.” — from the Virtual United Maker Party in Chicago, USA

Joy

We heard over and over how much fun people had at this year’s Maker Party. Collaboratively exploring coding and learning to make and share things on the web proved to be an engaging, joyful process for people across the globe, regardless of their skill levels.

“At the end of this session, I asked this attendee what he thought of learning collaboratively and he said “I spent half the session teaching that other guy in CSS, and it was so much fun.”” — from the OHM Festival Maker Party in Alkmaar, Netherlands

We also received some questions:

Can I keep making?

Yes! The party continues at webmaker.org. You can inspect and remix any webpage with the X-Ray Goggles, create and share your own webpages with Thimble, and remix web video, audio and images into cool mashups with Popcorn. You can also connect with other mentors, find teaching resources and event guides to host your own party.

What’s next?

What better way is there to celebrate the last few months of webmaking than by throwing a giant party? That’s right…get ready for the mother of all Maker Parties: MozFest! This is Mozilla’s annual gathering of passionate thinkers and creators from around the world who meet in London to collaborate, create, teach and learn. Learn more about MozFest.

“You know when you throw a party, everyone’s having a good time and you don’t want it to end? Neither do we! We were blown away by Maker Party and can’t wait to continue making, teaching and partying at Mozfest in London in October.” — Michelle Thorne, Manager of Mozilla’s Global Mentor Network

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