Mozilla Foundation is one of the leaders in the education innovation space. I watched some of their tools like Mozilla Open Badges and platforms like Mozilla Webmaker develop over the last few years. Mozilla Festival 2015 is coming up in November. I particularly like the way they are building an open educational resources platform. They also manage an active community on Discourse.
Mozilla Foundation Develops Global Learning Community
Global learning community may seem grandiose, however, Mozilla Foundation has taken their time to really sink their teeth into this work. They built the bandwagon several years ago that the early adopters are hustling to jump on today.
Open Educational Resources Platform
Open educational resources (OER) are free learning products that are created and shared throughout the internet. The purpose is to democratize quality education using open-source culture.
Now that the internet is a “thing” we have the opportunity to provide quality education to each human in the world. Mozilla Foundation has a series of tools and info products for people to learn anywhere there is an internet connection.
Mozilla Foundation manages a platform for learners, teachers, and a great place to get lost in a curiosity binge. You will find everything from instructions on how to throw your own Maker-Party to a web literacy teaching kit. TechCrunch featured Thimble by Mozilla and a few other products back in 2012 – just to give you an idea of how far they came.
There are also many others who have high hopes for education. A gentlemen named Sugata Mitra has a wish: “Build a School in the Cloud, where children can explore and learn from one another.” I am working on a new post including Sugata and a few others I was referred to by a new friend, Michael Soto of the network creating platform Spark Collaboration.
By the way, if you are interested in getting involved with Mozilla, learn more about the Mozilla volunteer opportunities.
Self-Organized Learning Community
As you may know, the founding team of Action Horizon Institute along with a few of the first cohort scholars launched a learning community this year. We meet weekly on Wednesday evenings at 7pm at the library for stand-up meetings and to work through any obstacles the scholars may encounter on their journey of pursuing their passion-driven personal learning plans.
Mozilla Foundation is also an advocate for learning communities. They have Mozilla Learning Clubs all over the world and their HIVE network is nationally recognized. I thought it might be good to get our Princeton learning community on the global map. I reached out to Mozilla Foundation to become a Mozilla Learning Club Captain.
A few days later, I heard back from them. They sent me a long list of questions they wanted me to answer. I am interested in working with Mozilla, but this was a seriously long list of questions! I had a few options:
- ignore the questions and the opportunity to collaborate with Mozilla Foundation and chalk it up as a “whatever”,
- take the time to reply to the email with all the answers to Kristina’s questions, or
- utilize the value of the content from the email I would be writing to Kristina and publish it as a blog post. I went with option 3 because I needed a fresh blog post on my site, I needed to answer Kristina’s questions, and I needed to update my community on the potential collaboration with Mozilla.
The remainder of this post is my response to Kristina (the person from Mozilla Foundation asking all the questions).
Hi Kristina! Hope you are doing well. As you can see, I have taken our conversation public in an effort to save time while also creating value for readers to learn about the process of collaborating with Mozilla Foundation.
On to your questions…
Tell us about your own Web journey: what’s your relationship to the web? How did you come to care about web literacy today?
- I wrote a few blog posts that discuss my web journey which dates back to a series of transformative learning experiences in August 2009. If you need more info just let me know. These posts are in sequential order:
Why do you want to host a Mozilla Club? What will you be able achieve with your club that you could not do before?
- I have been involved with learning communities since 2009. I began hosting learning communities in January 2010. More recently, I have approached the learning community more systematically. I utilize it as the engine for a larger program I am running now. These communities are essential for every person regardless of age or previous educational attainment. Each time the stability of a sector is disrupted by new technology or invention it creates the opportunity for new markets to emerge. These learning communities are essential in identifying these opportunities in each of our lives. It helps us be aware of those conditions so that we can prepare accordingly by finding the education and training necessary to .They also help us develop personally and professionally. I work with a growing constituency in Princeton every Wednesday night at our self-organized learning community.
Can you tell us more about how you’ll organize your club? i.e. where it will meet, how frequently, and the audience you want to serve
- I organize the community through the relationships I developed with the local high school, businesses, nonprofit organizations, families, and residents interested in working together to achieve greater results. We typically meet at the library, but occasionally meet at a restaurant for casual meals and conversations. I started this project by wanting to serve the local community members who do not have access to quality education.
What web literacy topics interest you most?
- New Media Composition: I teach people how to use new media to explore their surroundings, set up personal learning environments, and analyze the complexity of a given social problem.
What are your recruitment plans for participants, and for volunteers to help you mentor and facilitate?
- I began cultivating relationships with the mentors and volunteers in March of this year. I wanted to have built a support network prior to getting involved with any students. I founded the organization Cooperative Impact which hosts a social innovation conference to showcase some of the mentors and volunteers and the great work they do in the Princeton community.
- We continue our conversations with the community in our closed Facebook Group, email, and phone. We are currently getting ready to launch our Facebook Page to begin a wider outreach campaign to the general public. If you are thinking of starting a learning community in your area then you might want to think about starting a Meetup. It takes care of all the marketing for you – just create the event and input the details.
Will you host a local group of learners that meets at least three times in the next 6 months to explore how to read, write and participate with the web in an engaging and inclusive way?
- Yes. We meet every Wednesday at 7pm.
Would you like to get started on your own, or do you prefer to be matched with a volunteer Regional Coordinator who can support you in getting started? Please note: Our first cohort of Regional Coordinators is in full swing right now, so if you select this option, you’ll be added to our waiting list and we’ll match you with a Regional Coordinator as soon as we can.
- I would like to continue on the journey we started, but if you have any feedback it would be great to learn more about your ideas.
That should be everything, Kristina! Please let me know if you need any other information.
I appreciate your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.