I spent this past weekend at my very first MozFest. There were many highlights but I want to share the top four things I learned. Some are new and some are hunches confirmed by the communities we work with.
- People want to teach the web now
- People are using Maker Party to teach the web in different ways
- The Hive Learning Network model has global spread
- Hive Toronto community are superstars
What is MozFest?
“The Mozilla Festival is where many of Mozilla’s best and most innovative ideas spring to life. It’s where passionate thinkers and inventors come together to learn from one another and engage in a conversation about how the web can do more, and do better.” – Mark Surman
Goals for MozFest
- Make things with the tools Mozilla and others are creating.
- Learn who is building what, how we can share and help each other.
- Imagine making in 100 years: what future are we building?
- Design the things we want to build next, especially for mobile.
- Fuel leaders who want to invent, teach and organize.
Even though I expected an amazing and intense weekend of learning, sharing, and growing, the creativity, the collaboration, and the people made my first MozFest an experience that far exceeded my expectations.
1. People want to teach the web now
Whether it’s teaching the web through Webmaker, building teaching kits to decrease gender barriers to webmaking like Stephanie Guthrie did, starting a Hive, hosting a Maker Party, or finding a totally new way to teach the web, it is clear that people are already doing this work.
I spent a large part of my weekend figuring out how Mozilla can support this emerging community of mentors.
2. People are using Maker Party to teach the web in different ways
Maker Party is Mozilla’s global campaign to celebrate making, create together and share
it on the web.
The purpose of the MozFest Maker Party was twofold: To give London youth connected learning and making opportunities as well as to build the global community of phenomenal educators who are doing this work.
Through conversations with people who hosted Maker Party events and through my own experience with Hive Toronto, I realized that there are several other ways people are using Maker Parties to teach the web:
- To run train-the-trainer workshops
- To create teaching kits so learning can be shared and remixed beyond the event.
- To bring educators and organizations together to test for interest and ability to collaborate on Hive learning network
- To generate interest in growing the Mentor Community
3. The Hive Learning Network model has global spread
MozFest brought together many existing Hives (Hive Toronto, Hive NYC, Hive Chicago, Hive Pittsburgh) as well as some blossoming Hives including (Hive Indonesia, Hive India, Hive Bay Area, Hive Athens.)
Hives are communities of youth-serving organizations united by the principles of connected learning.
Hive members collaborate to launch projects that shift the focus of youth learning from the consumption of information to the creation of projects and ideas. Participating organizations build and launch joint program offerings, design and implement common assessment models, share research and best practices, and host youth events.
Hives are highly remixable which allows for the model to be customized based on communities’ needs.
Through the Connect your City track it became evident that people want to bring connected learning to life in their own community through the Hive Model.
4. The Hive Toronto community are superstars
I’m biased but the Hive Toronto community really shone at MozFest. We had three members join us from Toronto: Juan Gonzalez from FabSpaces, Andy Forest from MakerKids and Téa Forest, a youth educator and his 12 year old daughter, and Neil Price from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. Karen Smith who works with Hive as a researcher and community liaison as well.
Members led sessions, hosted Maker Party stations, and hacked with others.
MozFest was an incredible opportunity for the Mozilla to consult with the growing Mentor Community to figure out what needs to happen next.
We’re still reflecting and filtering through the many rich conversations that have happened but my three main MozFest takeaways are:
- Grow the community
- Support the community
- Acknowledge the community
What were your highlights and takeaways?