“We imagine a time when web literacy and connected learning practices are ubiquitous in cities across the globe, empowering mentors and educators and unlocking opportunities for all citizens of the web.”
In 2014 we hit our ambitious participation goal by:
- activating more than 10K community contributors
- linking more than 500 organizations, and
- reaching 450 cities in almost 100 countries.
That success builds on our efforts over the last three years. We expanded and systematized the way we on-board people and grow key initiatives, particularly the Maker Party campaign and Hive Learning Networks. We also tested a variety of training experiences to help people across the globe “teach the web.” We have become more proactive in our outreach strategies and partner development.
In 2015, the Mozilla Hive Mentor Network will focus on cultivating local leaders and improving the quality of mentorship of those teaching the web and digital skills. We will champion web literacy skills and digital empowerment by building local networks that are globally connected. Our core offerings of Hive, Maker Party, Webmaker Clubs and more will deepen our local ground game as integrated in this global cause. Through improvements to our support systems and mentor skills development, we will help contributors be better educators, leaders and change agents.
The Hive Mentor Network Development Model below describes how we’ll get there in three parts that reinforce and support each other.
1. Mobilizing Community
On-boarding for mentors interested in teaching the web, developing their web literacy skills, and connecting with peers. Engaging those who identify with the mission and are ready for increased participation.
In 2015 we will mobilize community by connecting people with our mission, introducing them to peers, and support them in learning new skills as mentors and leaders.
Mentor Skill Development
We offer several channels to support those who want to join the movement to teach the web. Via regular, open community calls and an online discussion forum (Discourse), community members can gain skills around web literacy, teaching, leadership, community building and open practices. We also provide tools, curriculum and other resources to develop their effectiveness as learning facilitators, event hosts, and super mentors.
By blending online and offline offerings, our train-the-trainer model will evolve as mentors gain deeper skills to teach the web and participate in our community. Successful trainers go on to run their own educational events that spread the mission and repeat the training cycle.
Maker Party is our annual campaign to teach and celebrate a production-based culture with the web at its center. For the past three years, the campaign has catalyzed partnerships, mentors and local leaders teaching the web to their communities. Collectively, we spread web literacy and an open ethos to thousands of learners in hundreds of cities around the world.
Mozilla Festival is an annual, participatory event that brings together more than 1,600 educators, community-builders, technologists and creators who are passionate about building and teaching an open, global web. It’s where many of our mentors meet in person, get inspired and become deeper catalysts in their communities. It’s where we celebrate the successes of the year and prepare for the next.
Together, our efforts in mobilizing community will deepen participation within the Hive Mentor Network, by providing unique and well-supported initial engagements to connect, contribute and grow. It is the broadest entry point to our work and where we begin to cultivate leaders equipped to teach the web in their communities, whether through one-off learning events, longer-term Webmaker Clubs, or involvement with existing and emerging Hives.
2. Sustaining Engagement
Offering high-quality curriculum and deeper web literacy programs as a way to cultivate local leaders with a sense of belonging.
This year we’ll introduce a new initiative, tentatively called Webmaker Clubs, that will help us cultivate deeper, local relationships and leadership. It builds on our efforts to mobilize the community by offering more ongoing and sustainable experiences to teach web literacy skills in local contexts. This is where individuals may transition from feeling part of the broad “teach the web” community, to really making a greater impact in their own communities. Where they become more intentional champions of the web.
Specifically, this initiative will help us address:
- Contributor retention. Encourage mentors to engage in a more sustainable way.
- Higher quality teaching and learning. Improve the the teaching and learning experiences we provide/encourage for mentors and learners.
- Local community networks. Help learning communities grow stronger and more networked through Webmaker offerings.
Webmaker Clubs aim to address the need and desire to go further after that initial engagement, e.g. “We hosted a Maker Party–now what?”
With more structured curriculum and an online platform that enables community-building, Webmaker Clubs could evolve our success with one-off events and campaigns into deeper and more lasting forms of local engagement. They can also serve as a more seamless on-ramp for those who are interested in starting Hive Learning Communities, as a way to begin bringing tangible web literacy experiences to learners, and to explore potential partnerships with other local organizations.
We believe the best way forward is to design a solution in the open with lead users and partners based on their needs and interests. Therefore, we will be testing this concept and creating Webmaker Club curriculum with real mentors and learners in early Q1. We’re starting with Web Literacy Basics 101, but over time will develop deeper web literacy curriculum, as well as surface other curriculum and programs that have been incubated within Hive Learning Networks.
Webmaker Clubs are comprised of four key components:
- A collection of modular activities to learn about reading, writing and participating on the web.
- Simple processes and platforms for connecting with other clubs & mentors to celebrate what’s happening and to help people learn from one another.
- Frameworks and tools that enable clubs to to be locally relevant and globally united.
- Coaching and support to cultivate and recognize local leaders.
Individuals, organizations and networked partners may incorporate Webmaker Club activities into existing programs, or may adopt more of an affiliate model by staking a claim in their community/city with stronger brand affinity.
We will also seek to have greater impact and build a larger community of practice by seamlessly connecting Webmaker Club leaders with existing/emerging Hives. Starting a Webmaker Club may be the seed towards growing a Hive Community, and at the same time, is a rich offering for Hives to bring to their members/communities as a program for their learners.
3. Building Networks
Supporting city-based communities where educators, organizations and learners are networked for greater impact. Fueling innovation in the larger mentor ecosystem.
Hive Learning Networks are communities of educators that engage youth in innovation, digital skills, and web literacy. Hive unites the learning organizations within a city including libraries, museums, schools, after schools programs, non-profit start-ups, as well as independent artists, technologists and others to facilitate learning experiences that empower youth to thrive in our digital world.
In 2014 we introduced a tiered approach to cultivating Hives in new cities, starting with events (Maker Party and/or Hive Pop-Ups), leading to more formal Hive Learning Communities, and finally, Hive Learning Networks. Since then, we’ve seen interest in the Hive model increase significantly, illustrated by 100 people attending the first Hive Global Meet-up at MozFest in London.
Hive Learning Communities: Originally designed as a carefully curated network of complementary organizations, the Hive model has evolved into a grassroots movement with Hive Learning Communities forming around the globe. Local facilitators use a variety of tools, practices, frameworks and strategies to ensure that the unique local contexts of their communities are embedded into programming. Moving forward, Hive Mentor Network opportunities, including Teach the Web weekly call and Webmaker Clubs, will offer even more touch-points for Hive Learning Communities to share knowledge and best practices. Through hosting impactful events, programming and meet-ups that encourage meaningful community collaboration and innovation, Hive Learning Communities are a key player in sustaining our ground game.
Hive Learning Networks: This is our pinnacle of demonstrating citywide commitment to providing sustainable, connected learning and web literacy opportunities for youth and a community as a whole. As Hive Learning Communities grow in scale and scope, many of their leadership teams begin to explore how to sustain their Hive including mechanisms to seed innovative programming that can foster cross-community collaboration and innovative programming to share back with the Hive Mentor Networks at large.
We on-ramped several new Hive Learning Communities in 2014, and by the end of 2015 will aim for a total of 30 cities across the globe.
Hive Learning Networks:
Hive Learning Communities:
As a distributed learning lab, Hives develop new practices and tools for learning. Hive has also been a key driver for Mozilla initiatives including Maker Party and MozFest. In 2015 it will continue to fuel our efforts: Hive community members may lead skillshares based on their own areas of expertise during Teach the Web weekly calls; they will continue to host Maker Party events that introduce other organizations and youth to our work; they will also be a major platform for developing Webmaker Clubs, both in terms of providing deeper web literacy learning experiences in cities around the world, and also feeding innovative content into the pipeline for other club leaders to facilitate.
Note, this post was co-authored with Lainie, Simona, Amira, Lucy and Michelle