Sep 27 2012

Seeking Educators Who Get the Web

Mozilla, News

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On the heels of the successful Mozilla Summer Code Party campaign – nearly 700 events in 80+ countries reaching over 5,000 people – and an all-hands meeting of the MoFo (Mozilla Foundation employee) minds two weeks ago, Mark Surman wrote a post yesterday that outlined what he believes are the key elements that will define and drive the next stage of growth for Webmaker.

Hive NYC embraced the Summer Code Party wholeheartedly, and hosted six events to help activate our ecosystem of educators and youth around the city. From peer-to-peer skillshares with less than 10 teen participants, to a Summer Quest event at the Bronx YMCA with 150+ middle school students, we lit a spark under a growing, local community of webmakers.

Although Summer has come to an end (welcome Fall!) we’re only just getting warmed up. Our members have already started to think about how they can use and remix Mozilla’s tools and project-based approach to coding for interest-based youth learning opportunities.

It’s this trend – educators as evangelists for continued creativity on the web – that Mark points out as integral to Mozilla’s mission.

Educators are also a key audience.

During the last thee months, almost 700 people organized Mozilla Webmaker Summer Code Party events. Whether they gathered 100 people or simply brought a few friends around a kitchen table, these people have played a critical role in getting Mozilla Webmaker off the ground. And they have done so because they care about inspiring and educating others about the creative potential of the web.

Personally, I hadn’t really thought about this group as one of our key audiences before. But clearly they are. These are the first people to ‘get’ what we’re trying to do with Webmaker and to feed back in to help improve it. Like the early adopters who first installed Firefox on other people’s computers, these grassroots educators and evangelists could be the core of our global community. Over the next couple of months, we need to figure out ways to more actively help them and bring them into what we’re building.

Hive is a fundamental building block in this effort moving forward. Our community of activated, innovative educators is the seed for this larger movement of those who recognize the importance of the open web, and want to help others create things they care about while also developing digital/web literacy skills and guiding them towards more opportunities and pathways for growth and success.

To this end, we’re planning a “Hacktivate Learning” theme at Mozilla Festival in London in November. There will be learning labs, workshops, discussions and lots of hacking between educators and youth, designers and developers, as we begin to catalyze this larger community of people who want to teach others to harness the creative and open source power of the web. Details are shaping up here, and we hope you’ll be able to join us!

Of course there will be other ways to participate and contribute. Please comment here if you’re interested in becoming a “hacktivator” or have thoughts about what we are building. We look forward to webmaking with you!

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