Webmaker Community in 2014

Here’s a post looking at the principles of the Mozilla Webmaker community and the top-level ways we collectively further these efforts in 2014.

Lots of people are shaping this work, and by next year hopefully many more will have joined in and help Mozilla’s mission spread and scale even more.

Below is a draft of what Chris Lawrence and I nicknamed the “meta-narrative”. It’s an attempt to describe what we’ll be up to in 2014 and why. Thoughts and hacks very welcome!

Our Principles

We believe that empowering human collaboration across open platforms is essential to individual growth and our collective future.

The Webmaker Community team is committed to Mozilla’s mission to build an Internet that is:

  • Knowable: it’s transparent–we can see it and understand it
  • Interoperable: it presents opportunity to play and innovate
  • Ours: it’s open to everyone and we define it

We will be guided by the Connected Learning principles that advocate for learning that is:

  • Production centered: it results in deeper learning through making
  • Openly networked: it is linked and supported across school, home and community
  • Shared purpose: it harnesses the power of the web to foster collaboration around common interests

Weaving together these principles, we aim to:

  • Shape environments around creativity, innovation and collaboration
  • Build products, programs and practices that help more people learn through making
  • Empower communities to participate and iterate on this work
  • Teach and learn in ways that are open and give people agency over their own lives

Why Web Literacy

Our experiences, whether digital or analog, are informed by the web. It has become integral to how we see the world and interact with one another. Whether unconsciously or overtly, the web is making us, and we are making it.

Teaching and learning is not immune to this shift; often, people are fearful rather than empowered. How do we improve how people learn with, about and because of the web?

We believe it is essential to become web literate. This means growing our understanding of the:

  • culture of the web
  • mechanics of the web
  • citizenship of the web

Importantly, web literacy is a holistic worldview. It goes beyond simply “learning to code”.

Instead, web literacy acknowledges the blurring between online and offline, and it uses the web to interplay with the world in complex ways.

The Story So far

To address this, we are convening individuals and organizations through networked practice to lead a movement to know more, do more and do better.

In January 2013, we launched our first iteration. The Webmaker Community began testing strategies and programs to catalyze a global web literacy movement with local roots.

We teamed up existing initiatives, like the Hive Learning Network and the Summer Code Party, as well as piloted new offerings, like the Teach the Web MOOC and a map for web literacy.

Now, one year later, these programs continue to spread and scale.

The Webmaker Community

Our community members seek to:

  • level up their web literacy
  • build and share tools for teaching
  • gain peers and networks of practice
  • participate in coordinated actions
  • identify with a movement that’s globally leveraged and locally contextualized

Below is a graph of our “lead users”. These are the types of community members who are most invested in the project. The graph is merely illustrative, not exhaustive. Its purpose is to sample the motivations of our community members and visualize how those compare to one another.

Our Team

In return, we offer our community:

  • An open network of networks. Connect to people and organizations seeking to collaborate and innovate.
  • Webmaker.org. A holistic and impactful product offering focused on Web Literacy. We will constantly iterate on this offering to surface curricula, tools, badges and user channels that allow our users to become producers of the web. With this product, we will create a differentiated “Web Literacy” space that is parallel to the “learn to code” movement. (webmaker.org)
  • Web Literacy. Thought leadership around the skills and competencies of being web literate. (Web Literacy Map)
  • Professional development. Improve skills and methods to teach in the open. (Teach the Web)
  • Campaigns. Coordinated action that spreads and scales our making-as-learning practices. (Maker Party)
  • A contextualized identity. Brands that are globally leveraged and locally adaptable. (Hive Learning Network)

With a more detailed roadmap coming soon.

Here is an overview of the staff supporting and building these offerings:

2014 Events

In 2014, we will facilitate:

  • #teachtheweb trainings: January – ongoing, select locations and online
  • Hive Summit: February, location tbd
  • Webmaker Community Team Work Week: end of the first quarter (tentative), location tbd
  • Maker Party: June – September, global
  • Mozfest: late October, London

And loads more events in the making.

While this is just a start to our year planning, we really welcome your feedback on the principles and top-level projects. And if you’re interested, do drop a line and get involved!

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