#teachtheweb: An Online Course

Today we officially kicked off **[#teachtheweb](http://hivenyc.org/teachtheweb/), a massive open online course (“MOOC”) dedicated to helping people teach the web.** It’s convening nearly **3,000 participants** to share their practice, teaching materials and to learn and hack on the way.

A huge shout-out goes to [Laura Hilliger](http://www.zythepsary.com/), fellow MOOC conspirator, for her leadership and savvy to pull this together! And to the [Webmaker Mentor team](https://webmaker.org/en-US/teach/) for the wisdom and support.

Here are a few lessons from the course worth highlighting so far.

## The Makes

We’re firm believers that **you learn best by making.**

That’s why there’s no formal instruction or lecturing in this course. **Instead, each week we share a prompt that you can respond to with a “make”.**

To start, we invited participants to:

> Introduce yourself [Webmaker](http://webmaker.org) style by using [Popcorn Maker, Thimble or the X-Ray Goggles](https://webmaker.org/en-US/tools) and share your make with [#teachtheweb](https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/106022863174952221205).

Already there are loads of great hacks from the community. And in this way, people both **learn how to use the tools and mess around with code, and they can also express themselves creatively while getting to know one another.**

Check out some of them:

## The Study Groups

The other thing about MOOCs is that they are massive. And fire-hose-y. There’s a lot of information on a lot of channels with a lot of people.

**So one way we’re mitigating that is with [study groups](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Al0Wg7eR7tHcdDRGVEJCMEFXbmRwV3RUamhHRVlfRHc#gid=0).**

Groups are formed based on:

* **interests:** like [toymaking](https://etherpad.mozilla.org/fzShojy5gL), [libraries](https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/104292232972063505719), or mobile HTML
* **language:** like [French](https://plus.google.com/communities/108645377203835982910), [German](https://plus.google.com/communities/117034979428844533147) and [Spanish](https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/117295659466157448578)
* **geography:** like [Webmakers in the UK](http://www.meetup.com/mozilla/London-UK/), [Indonesia](http://hive.mozilla.web.id), and the Balkans.

We also encourage people to organize physical meet-ups, so they can connect with fellow learners and build a local network.

And if they don’t see a group on a topic they care about, it’s all hackable. So they can go in and [add one!](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Al0Wg7eR7tHcdDRGVEJCMEFXbmRwV3RUamhHRVlfRHc#gid=0)

## The Chatter

**The communication channels of the MOOC can be quite overwhelming.** We’re trying to meet people where they are, while also playing to the strengths of different tools.

So far, the most important channels are:

* **[the Google Plus community](https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/106022863174952221205)**
* **the [#teachtheweb hashtag](https://twitter.com/search?q=%23teachtheweb) on Twitter**
* **and the [Teach the Web website](http://hivenyc.org/teachtheweb/) itself**

We made this **diagram to help explain how the channels work together** and definitely welcome feedback on how to improve them!

## The Super Mentors

**The people that really make this course run are the [Webmaker Super Mentors](http://hivenyc.org/teachtheweb/be-a-super-mentor/).**

These are passionate people experienced in teaching the web, running events and/or creating teaching materials.

The Super Mentors are:

* **[shaping the course](http://hivenyc.org/teachtheweb/planning/)** each week by developing and giving feedback on the curriculum
* **[leading study groups](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Al0Wg7eR7tHcdDRGVEJCMEFXbmRwV3RUamhHRVlfRHc#gid=0)** and surfacing great makes and conversations for the larger group
* **[providing tech support](https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/106022863174952221205/stream/5dba436e-8723-4ca0-822f-56380150cbb0)**
* and in general **being warm and friendly faces in the course**

It’s been so inspiring working with these **90+ Super Mentors so far.** It feels like they’re really the heart and soul of Webmaker.

## Keep Learning

**As a MOOC facilitator, I’m really learning a lot about helping people online** and encouraging learning & making. **Simplification is key,** as is emphasizing how the experience is flexible and adaptable to participants’ needs.

I’m also keen to **learn from legendary MOOC facilitators** like [Philipp Schmidt](http://sharing-nicely.net/) and [Mitch Resnick](http://web.media.mit.edu/~mres/) from [MIT’s Learning Creative Learning](http://learn.media.mit.edu/) and other online learning experiences like [#etmooc](http://etmooc.org/).

If you’re interested in joining the #teachtheweb experiment, hop onto our **[G+ community](https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/106022863174952221205)** and **[follow the #teachtheweb hashtag!](https://twitter.com/search?q=%23teachtheweb)**

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