2015 ‘Better Together’ Award to Mozilla Hive Chicago


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Today, Digital Promise and EdSurge have announced their annual Digital Innovation in Learning Awards (DILAs) and have recognized Mozilla Hive Chicago with its 2015 Better Together Award for its development of networked calls-to-action, or Moonshots.  See the announcement here and the press release here

We are proud of this exciting recognition of Mozilla’s leadership development efforts through Hive Learning Networks. Hives are peer-to-peer professional learning communities that advance reading, writing, and participation on the web for youth and adults.  The Better Together Award recognizes work that “includes various users and stakeholders in product/initiative design, implementation, and feedback mechanisms for continuous improvement.”

We thank all of the members of the Hive Chicago Learning Network for their many contributions to this work, from concept to active implementation.  Special thanks to our partners at the Hive Chicago Fund for Connected Learning at the Chicago Community Trust for their ongoing support of Hive’s collaborative fund, and to Nat Soti at the Chicago Art Department for the winning video, which you can view at the link above.  Huge hat tip to current and former Hive Chicago staff, Robert Friedman and (now at After School Matters) Elsa Rodriguez, for their impassioned co-development and stewardship of this work.

Read recent blog posts about Mozilla’s work in Hive Chicago, New York City, and beyond:

The Web as a Human Platform
Poetry Machines and Other Surprising Collaborations



Mozilla Learning Network and LRNG


Want just the FAQ’s Ma’am? Find them here

Hello Hive!

Some of you may have seen the announcement earlier this week about the launch of LRNG. It is a project of Collective Shift, a new nonprofit dedicated to “redesigning social systems for the connected age.” Funded in part by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, it is led by Connie Yowell, former Director of Education at MacArthur, and Jessica Lindl, former Executive Director of GlassLab.

Mozilla is excited about LRNG, its potential to impact more youth in more cities across the US, and how Hive members and networks can both contribute to and benefit from this initiative. After attending the LRNG launch in Washington, DC I am writing to share updates about Mozilla’s role in this work and what it means for our Hive Networks. Definitely part of a larger, ongoing conversation, this post invites you to ask questions and offer suggestions for ways to contribute to, and benefit from this new effort.

Connected Learning is at the heart of this
With MacArthur Foundation funding, Connected Learning has been central to Mozilla’s learning initiatives – from catalyzing innovative collaborations with schools and government agencies, to shaping our Maker Party campaigns, Open Badges work, and involvement in Cities of Learning, particularly in Chicago over the past two years. As part of its recent planning, MacArthur President Julia Stasch recognized Hive Learning Networks as an exemplar of connected learning and praised its strong track record as a project incubator and professional development learning resource. She also shared that the scale of Connected Learning requires a more diverse set of investors and partners with alternative funding models and mechanisms (see more here), and a more entrepreneurial way of operating than is possible as a foundation program. As a result, MacArthur has provided seed-funding for a new organization, Collective Shift, in order to take on this work.

Continuing a dynamic partnership in a new way
Mozilla has joined as an early partner with Collective Shift to test and support their first project, the LRNG platform. LRNG is a social enterprise that works collaboratively with schools, businesses, cities, and community institutions to redesign learning for the 21st century so all youth have the opportunity to succeed. Mozilla is contributing relevant Mozilla-generated and incubated educational materials (more on LRNG partnership here). This is best exemplified by MOUSE’s work in their Web Literacy Institute and Hive Toronto’s Protect Your Data curriculum (sample activities and badges). Our hope is that by engaging early, we can better leverage this unique opportunity and help expand its utility for members and our broader network. To that end, we’d love to have broader conversations about Hive’s role here as a convener and a learning network, and LRNG as a platform to spread and scale our collective work. For example, we can learn from Bay Area Video Coalition’s (BAVC) role as a local organizational partner in this initiative.

Mozilla and Collective Shift are partners in the the Open Badge Alliance. Mozilla Executive Director Mark Surman and Collective Shift CEO Connie Yowell are steering committee members along with IMS Global for Open Badge Alliance. The Open Badge Alliance builds upon the groundbreaking Open Badges work initiated by Mozilla and the MacArthur Foundation

In the meantime, here are a few direct ways that Hive members can get  involved with LRNG:

Subscribe to the LRNG newsletter (scroll to bottom of page): https://www.lrng.org/
To contribute content to LRNG: https://www.lrng.org/join-us?interest=contribute_learning
To create badges for LRNG : https://www.lrng.org/join-us?interest=create_badges
To become a LRNG partner: https://www.lrng.org/join-us?interest=become_partner

Please see our FAQ for more detail: http://mzl.la/1jeNvPu

VP Learning, Mozilla Foundation

Expanding the Hive Map


In 2014, Hive Learning Networks went global. We crafted a developmental model that addressed a real demand from individuals and organizations who were interested in bringing Hive to their city. We created an informational hub site that began to lay the framework for local networks becoming globally connected by a shared set of values. We also hosted our first-ever Hive Global meet-up at MozFest, with over 100 attendees from nearly 20 cities around the world.


To achieve these goals this quarter we have been focused on the following:

Getting more clarity  about how we determine when a city moves into the Hive Learning Community phase. Building on the developmental model, we’ve identified a few additional benchmarks by which individuals or teams working together become ready to take on official Hive status.

First, they have a team in place to help drive the work forward, and a stated mission that is at once connected to Hive Global but also highly localized, to meet the needs of their community, or to address specific local concerns or opportunities. They may even have a few community partners on-board as collaborators who also help facilitate programs and events. They are meeting with some regularity and are making concerted efforts to seek funding or other means for growing and sustaining their community.

In this specific case, we’ve heard that having a presence on the global hub site is an integral asset that lends credibility and marks their connection to a larger effort. 

Bringing Meghan McDermott on-board as Director of Hive City Strategy. She works closely with Mozilla staff and Hive leadership to envision how to sustainably impact current Hive locations as well as to develop strategy to support growing Hive activities in 30 cities by the end of 2015.
Explaining her role, she shared that “alignment with municipal policies, the philanthropic community, and other stakeholders who range from colleague networks to community organizers will be key to Hive’s ambitious goals to mobilize more educators, create amazing content and projects, catalyze innovations across cities, and to grow its national presence as a network for new learning.”

We have also built and further developed tools and systems to support Hive growth.

Better opportunities to connect:
  • We are now hosting monthly community calls, as a way to connect cities to each other, and to share experiences and issues that might arise and new communities come on board. On each call, a representative from an emerging Hive Learning Community provides an update on their progress and challenges, and we also hear from a member organization from an existing Hive Learning Network, who shares specific information about programs they work on as part of Hive, as well as what it means to their organization to be part of their local Hive community.  
  • We have also been working to build out the functionality of a global Hive Directory.  Not only is it a way to see “who” (organizations and individuals) is involved with Hive in different cities, but the Expertise Exchange feature aims to pair those looking for certain skills and expertise with those who can offer and share it. The directory is currently being used in a few existing Hives, but the hope is that as new Hive Learning Communities join the network, they will also participate and find it easier to connect across cities. We’ll continue to enhance the directory, in both design and functionality into Q2.

Providing easier access to resources:

  • We recently updated the Hive Cookbook , a resource meant to explain the Hive model, ways to get involved, examples of successful programs and how to engage your community partners and stakeholders. We consulted with several emerging Hive communities to ensure the document was easy to navigate and included key information requested. It is a living document that we’ll continue to add to as new resources are generated.
  • At the very end of 2014, we also launched a new Resources page on the Hive Global site, to surface some key documents, templates, logos and other useful materials. Here you’ll find everything from a sample invitation for a Hive Pop-Up event and the Hive WordPress theme, to a slide presentation for a first convening of stakeholders to help identify shared and localized goals for moving your community forward. 
Better documentation:
  • Please sign up for the Hive Global newsletter! Each month we’re sharing updates from across Hive cities, and have plans to showcase more individuals and projects to provide a clearer picture of where we’re having impact and who is behind making it all happen. 
  • In addition to sharing updates from Hive Global, we’ve also instituted a new simple form for emerging communities to keep us up-to-speed on progress in their city. This way, we can stay apprised of upcoming events, new partners and projects, and also help provide supports when necessary. 

So far, community calls and monthly updates have enabled us to better understand what’s going well in the process of starting a new Hive, as well as what challenges people face as they look to bring on stakeholders, seek funding, etc. Moving into Q2, we’ll be working to create best practices and other models of success from across existing Hive Learning Networks, that will help inform and inspire other communities, and support their growth. 

We’re also excited about the newest Hive Learning Communities in Denver, Mombasa, Vancouver and  Bangalore. Stay tuned, in a few weeks we’ll share updates on what’s happening in each of these cities.
The Hive Learning Network is a dynamic, global community of passionate  educators, makers, innovators and youth, and we’ll continue to build platforms, resources and opportunities for this diverse group of people to share, learn and work together. 

2015 Mozilla Learning Network


“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.”

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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

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.

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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:

  1. A collection of modular activities to learn about reading, writing and participating on the web.
  2. Simple processes and platforms for connecting with other clubs & mentors to celebrate what’s happening and to help people learn from one another.
  3. Frameworks and tools that enable clubs to to be locally relevant and globally united.
  4. 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.

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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.

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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:

Coming Soon:

  • Portland
  • Mombasa
  • Seattle

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

Chris Larry’s Top 10 TeeVee Shows of 2014


So much (to much?) good TeeVee!!! Here is my top 10+ for 2014. A few perennial shows had sub-par seasons and dropped off the list (I am looking at you Justified and Parks & Recreation). Others just straight switched to sucking like Parenthood. I had no network shows in my top ten and two shows available only on the web, which is remarkable. The list below are shows that I think about for weeks, want to talk about with other people and devour any web-content about. These shows are constant sources of joy, escapism, laughs and gasps for me. Enjoy.

1) Game of Thrones (HBO)

Improbably this deep nerd swords & sorcery epic has captured America’s imagination. Intrigue, moral ambiguity, despair and hot sex action are the norm, but this season had series highlights like the Viper vs The Mountain, Brienne vs The Hound and Giants with Mastodons vs an ice wall. And it had Tyrion.

2) Transparent (Amazon Prime)

Amazon comes out swinging with Jill Soloway’s bougie west coast story of a family with rampant ego-centrism with a patriarch who comes out as a matriarch. Jeffrey Tambor (Hey Now) has never been better, which is saying something with the character actor career he has had. The rest of the cast is terrific and these 5 hours are better than anything Parenthood has attempted on 3 previous seasons. Warm, funny, smart, addictive and arresting. I can’t wait for season 2.

3) Broad City (Comedy Central)

I love gross out stoner comedies and Abbi and IIana breathe new vape smoke all over the genre in their premiere season. Set in the same Brooklyn state-of-mind as Girls but with so much more soul and humor. Expectations for the follow-up season are edibles high, but I am still coming down off season 1.


4) Vikings (History)

This is one brutally entertaining show. Season 1 was solid, especially the back half, but season 2 is a Nordic thrill ride from scene to bloody scene. Donal Logue steps in for Gabriel Byrne for monarch star power and we add in some polyamory and more intrigue from the British Isles. The scene where Ragnar torture sacrifices a rival by flaying him alive was maybe the most disturbing thing I saw on TV all year. But then they balance that out with Ragnar petting baby goats and dealing with two hot wives.

5) TIE: Maron (IFC) Louie (FX)

Are there two other stand up comediennes who own the cultural zeitgeist like Maron and Louie? (OK probably Chris Rock) I had to make these a tie because how similar the shows are in DNA and outlook. So much so that Maron uttered Louie’s own lines back to him on his show in one classic scene from this season.

I was more positive on the the premier season of Maron then most loyal WTF listeners, but season two saw this show find a new gear. The Ray Romano, Yoga and Record Store episodes were an absolute pleasure to watch and have Maron finding comfort in his TV skin.

Louie experimented with form this season telling stories over multiple episodes, doing an After-School special and looking deeply into power dynamics of men and women. Not everything worked, but scenes like the flood in Manhattan, the misadventures on Long Island and Jeremy Renner as a Boston goombah pot dealer all were vintage Louie.


6) Mad Men (AMC)

Its not Mad Men’s fault that AMC wanted to stretch the final season over two years Breaking Bad style. We still got 7 fantastic episodes that have the cocktail tray ready for a the concluding run later this year. Loved the 2001 allusions, Burt’s exit, Harry Hamlin and the Sally/Don exchanges.

Loved this psychedelic trailer for Season 7.5:


7) Nathan For You (Comedy Central)

Comedienne Nathan Fielder won’t be able to continue this schtick for much longer as he will suffer the Ali G disease: to many people knowing about the joke to continue catching rubes unaware. But while he still can he is making it rain comedy. The Dumb Starbucks episode alone gets this into the list, but the whole season is just awkward comedy bliss. Also P.S Comedy Central is back. They have been on fire with the two shows on this list plus Key & Peele, Krull Show, Review and others.



8) True Detective (HB0)

Yes the hype got crazy, but it was still so fun watching Woody, Matthew and weird stick art. Excited for Vince Vaughn in season 2.

9) Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

HBO period pieces historically don’t get to exit on their own terms. Yes I am still bitter about Deadwood. But Nucky and crue had some memorable curtains calls. My faves were Al Capone with his son and Van Alden. This show wrapped just perfectly and told a tight, entertaining yarn throughout.

10. Walking Dead (AMC)

Third show runner is a charm as TWD hit its stride in 2014. No other show had me as thrilled to watch alone and in the dark each week. When in doubt hire actors from the Wire.



“New to me” honorable mentions:

Black Mirror- (UK/Channel 4/Netflix) Wow. Thank you Netflix for not making me Pirate Bay these. Also technically the Christmas Episode was 2014, so…..

High Maintenance (Vimeo) This web series about a Brooklyn Pot delivery guy is brilliant. Go watch it.

HIve NYC and Digital Ready Maker Party


New Learning Times (from Teachers College at Columbia University) attended Hive NYC’s Digital Ready Maker Party in June, and here is the awesome video that I think really captures the spirit of Maker Party.

Hive NYC co-hosted this event with the NYC Department of Education’s Digital Ready program, which paired Hive NYC members with 10 high schools across the city, to help them better use technology and student-centered learning to improve their students’ readiness for college and careers.

This was a culminating event that gave students from these schools an opportunity to showcase the projects they’d worked on during the year, share their knowledge with peers, learn new skills, and as you can see, have a ton of fun while doing it.

It’s a beautiful representation of a Hive Pop-Up/Maker Party and I hope you enjoy it.


Hive Learning Networks helping drive Mozilla’s Maker Party

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Hive Learning Networks across the US hosted key Maker Party events this past weekend in Chattanooga, Chicago, New York and Pittsburgh. In each city, local organizations joined forces to facilitate activities for hundreds of youth and their families to make and learn together. In doing so, they bring connected learning to life, with opportunities for young people to explore new interests, gain hands-on experience with art, technology, science, engineering, media and the web, discover afterschool and other local programs where they can further their learning and mastery of new skills, and of course, have fun. These types of events, sometimes also referred to as Hive Pop-Ups, have also been catalysts in helping new Hive communities emerge, and Maker Party is a great time for exploring sustained community organizing around spreading digital skills and web literacy.


August 1st

Hacker Play Spaze in the Bronx

On Friday, youth from the Mid-Bronx Summer Day Camp experienced their first-ever Hacker Play Spaze at the Andrew Freeman Home, a local community center (housed in a former mansion!) that focuses on the arts, dance, music and performance with a special emphasis education and training. Activities led by Black Girls CODE, Hive NYC, BeatFarmUSA, Building Beat, the Living Remix Project and more, introduced youth to the notion of remix, and the idea that “hacking” can be a way to change something so it better serves their community’s needs.



 More photos here and here

 August 2nd

Hive Chattanooga Maker Party

Members of Mozilla’s Hive Chattanooga participated in a Maker Party event at the Bronx Library Center in New York a few weeks back, then brought back some learning and a few activities to their own Maker Party hosted at The Chattanooga Public Library this past Saturday. DEV DEV code camp graduates and educators from across the region were on hand to help participants build, explore, and create on the web. Partners from The Chattanooga Public Library, Creative Discovery Museum, Girls Inc. of Chattanooga, and Maker Faire Chattanooga  had great hands-on activities to share. Young participants left with new web literacy skills, information about digitally-focused after school programs for the upcoming school year, and resources to keep exploring the web. Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, even said,


“We live in the innovation century and to be successful, we must continue to grow our talent and utilize our unique assets, like our Gigabit infrastructure. Both upcoming events – the DevDev graduation and Mozilla Maker Party – help to position Chattanooga as leaders in technology and innovation.”



Photos here


August 2nd

Chicago Southside Mini Maker Faire

Hive Chicago members LevelUP Makerspace and the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry organized a mini Maker Faire at the Ford City Mall on the southwest side of Chicago this past weekend. The event enabled youth to blend physical and digital making with Webmaker tools and engineering design. Thanks to the support of Google Chicago, Hive Chicago, Art of Science Learning, Smart Chicago, and other local supporters, over 700 attendees were treated to 40 different maker projects from organizations across the city. Attendees of all ages had the opportunity to make ornaments from vinyl stickers (YOUmedia), cardboard creations with digital outputs (CodeCreate), lanterns (Adler Teen Program), SCCOOGLE thimble project (Mikva Challenge), and artificial intelligence for Finch Robots (LevelUP). A complete list of makers can be found here.


Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 3.06.21 PMMore photos here

August 2nd

Hive Pittsburgh’s Second Annual Maker Party with the Society for Contemporary Crafts featured making stations where hundreds of youth experimented with activities that delved into the arts and technology: created DIY Pop Art screen prints with the Andy Warhol Museum, made seed bombs for secret gardens with Gardweeno, hacked the New York Times webpage with Webmaker and the Remake Learning Digital Corps, wrote-shot-edited videos with Steeltown Entertainment, launched marshmallows with Techshop, threw clay with the Union Project, put on a puppet performance with Schmutz Company, and created magical ceramic tiles with Society for Contemporary Craft.

Some local news coverage:

Announcing the new Hive Community Member badge!


Hive Learning Networks are a growing constellation of communities around the globe that are championing digital skills and web literacy through connected learning. We’re excited to announce that we’re now recognizing the individuals who contribute to Hive’s growth and success with the Hive Community Member badge on webmaker.org. It’s the first in a coming series of Hive badges.

Any Hive generally consists of organizations: museums, non-profits, government agencies, schools, and others. However, it’s the individual from these organizations who help us achieve our collective goals and really breathe life into the Hive. Their professional engagement and peer-to-peer learning is what translates into amazing opportunities and experiences for young people.

Hundreds of educators, designers, makers, artists, technologies, librarians and teachers in cities from Berlin to Vancouver contribute their time, resources and expertise to help Hive communities–and the youth they serve–thrive. Together, these professionals join forces within an active community of practice to create opportunities for young people to learn within and beyond the confines of traditional classroom experiences.

Through openly-networked collaboration that includes Peer Observation, Resource Sharing, and Process Documentation, educational designers and leaders create and scale innovations in learning. Some of the actions that define these characteristics of open practice include collaborating on Hive projects or programs, facilitating hands-on learning stations at Hive Pop-Ups or Maker Party events, sharing documentation of Hive programs and processes through blog posts, toolkits or teaching kits, etc. You can read more details about the Hive badge requirements here.

Hive is a big driver of the global Webmaker community–individuals that contribute to their local Hive bring expertise in connected learning principles and are also at the foreground of spreading web literacy by developing content, tools, curriculum and practice for others to use and remix. You can see some examples in the Hive NYC and Hive Chicago portfolios, as well as on the Hive Toronto blog.

2014 Open Badges Summit to Reconnect Learning, where initial planning for the Hive badge began. Photo credit: The Sprout Fund

2014 Open Badges Summit to Reconnect Learning, where initial planning for the Hive badge began. Photo credit: The Sprout Fund

The Hive badge is issued, claimed and displayed on Webmaker.org, and soon, recipients of this badge will also have the ability to issue web literacy badges to peers–including colleagues from their organization or other program collaborators–as well as youth. We’ll also be further developing a Hive family of badges, and will look to the growing, global Hive community to help us identify the core skills, competencies and practices we’d like Hive badges to endorse.

In applying for and receiving the Hive Community Member badge, you’ll help us define a global Hive culture, facilitate more equitable access and opportunity, and demonstrate that we’re achieving our mission, to:

  • Mobilize more educators to adopt connected learning practices and teach web literacy within a growing constellation of Hive Learning Networks around the world;
  • Create high-quality connected learning and web literacy tools, content, curriculum and practices for broad use;
  • Catalyze schools, youth programs, and city agencies to provide rich connected learning and web literacy programs, especially in under-served communities; and
  • Grow demand for Hive Learning Events, Communities and Networks in new locations and sectors.

How to get involved:

  • Apply! If you are an active contributor to a Hive in your community, apply for your Hive Community Member badge at webmaker.org. Simply create a Webmaker account with an existing email address, add notes and links to illustrate your qualifications, then once approved and issued, find your badge displayed within your Webmaker profile (see below).
  • Spread the word. Encourage your peers and collaborators to apply for the badge to recognize their Hive contributions. Be sure to add hashtag #hivebuzz to signal our growing global Hive community.
  • Learn more about Hive Learning Networks.

Hive badge on Webmaker profile page

Hive badge on Webmaker profile page

Maker Party Officially Launched This Week


A quick note to let you know that Maker Party officially kicked off this week!

See here and here for great resources to get started!

In a recent interview, Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman said, “Coding is just the tip of the iceberg. This is about full-scale digital literacy. How to build things with code, design and video and photography. And there are a set of creative, social and cognitive skills — participation, design thinking. These are the skills you need to find your way in the digital world.”

Maker Party is also an example of how engaging learning becomes when it is interest-driven and production-centered, two core principles of an approach called Connected Learning. The approach leverages the advances of the digital age to customize education to the learner — and is being celebrated as part of the Summer to Make, Play and Connect.

Hive Learning Networks  provide much of the fuel for Maker Party. It truly wouldn’t be possible without the hard work so thank you to those that are always helping, learning, making and sharing with us. Hive NYC specifically was an architect for the entire idea, practice and growth of the Maker Party campaign over the last 3 years.

Now, Maker Party events around the world help model what Hive is all about and serve as a way to understand and build upon connected learning and web literacy skills for hosts as well as participants. These events give youth–and all of us–a way to discover new interests and skills, make connections, be creative, and feel empowered as makers.

Check out this new Maker Party video featuring Hive Toronto


A few things I’m hoping you can do…

…to make some #hivebuzz for the summer kick-off of this global year-round campaign:

  • Please Tweet with the #MakerParty hashtag and share what you’re making and doing this summer and beyond
  • Join the Hive or Maker Party threads on Discourse and share updates of what you’re working on, what your youth are making, etc. Discourse is Mozilla’s new online forum for all things Webmaker-related and a place where we’d love for you to join in, as many Hive-curious individuals and communities will be directed there for information, inspiration, and help

Other links:

Let’s get this party started!


Hive Learning Networks Vision, Goals and Conditions for impact


We imagine a time when connected learning is ubiquitous in Hive cities across the globe, empowering educators and unlocking opportunities for all youth.

Over the next five years, the Hive’s ambitious goals in support of its vision are:

  • Create high-quality connected learning and web literacy tools, content, curriculum and practices for broad use
  • Catalyze schools, youth programs, and city agencies to provide rich connected learning and web literacy programs, especially in under-served communities
  • Grow demand for Hive Learning Events, Communities and Networks in new locations and sectors.


When more youth have access to relevant connected learning experiences and gain new digital skills, and educators and organizations make connected learning central to their practices, Hive will have realized its ambitious vision of educational transformation.

This post outlines the forward vision, core principles, goals, and attributes of Hive Learning Networks. Hive offers a clear account of its operating principles to stakeholders, communities of practice, and local Hives in cities across the globe excited to expand and develop a connected learning framework for implementing, experimenting and scaling web literacy, creative learning, and change.


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Hive Learning Networks Overview

Founded by MacArthur and Mozilla Foundations, Hive Learning Networks prepare youth to thrive in school, work, and civic life. Dedicated to unlocking opportunities for all youth, Hive Learning Networks empower educators to build connected learning experiences and teach the digital skills essential for young people to shape their world. At the city-level, and across the globe, Hive Learning Networks actively support an open source approach to learning by generating opportunities for exploration, experimentation, innovation, iteration, and shared discovery.

A bold and dynamic demonstrated model of connected learning in action, Hive Learning Networks reflect the reality and opportunities of the Internet era. Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation shares that because “connected learning is the best, fastest and deepest way to ensure that the greatest number of people can learn effectively any time, any place and at any pace, both in school and beyond,” Hive Learning Networks plan to grow over the next five years and drive essential change.

Supported by the recent Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet’s report “Learner at the Center of a Networked World,” and aligned with the principles of the newly launched Connected Learning Alliance, the Hive Learning Networks’ spread and scale is well poised to make the difference in the future of learning. “We want to create more pathways for young people to have opportunities for success — in academics, in a career, or in community engagement – by connecting the spheres of kids’ lives that they care about the most. When we bring together their social world and the thing they want to get better at, and then connect those two with something that has a payoff in the real world, we have connected learning,” explains Connie Yowell Director of Education for U.S. Programs at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Connected Learning

A growing and vibrant network of educators and organizations dedicated to advancing connected learning, web literacy and digital skills, Hive facilitates learning that is “socially embedded, interest-driven, and oriented toward educational, economic, or political opportunity” (CLA). Be it creative skill-share, collective risk-taking or timely dissemination, Hive catalyzes and leverages the ingenuity of local participants — the libraries, museums, community based organizations and individual educators and entrepreneurs in its learning networks — to engage in learning that crosses geographic boundaries and builds capacity to pilot, innovate, fail, and succeed. All of this is with the goal of ensuring authentic, transformative youth-driven, interested-based learning and participation.

Intentional and responsive, Hive fosters the spread of new ideas, tools, and digital media practices and concretely demonstrates the power and potential of connected learning to foster a “world where all young people have equitable access to learning opportunities that are social, participatory, driven by personal needs and interests, and oriented toward educational, civic and economic opportunity” (CLA). In practice, this means that many more educators and youth will experience collaboration and experimentation in spaces where youth are challenged to creatively drive their own learning, that connected learning practices flourish in Hive cities with people avidly using the great digital tools and content being created by the network, and Hive membership expanding to new cities.


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 Core Principles & Practices

Hive Learning Networks are made up of organizations and individuals working with a wide range of missions, youth populations, institutional sizes, media art forms, and engagement strategies, but who all share a clear set of values and aspirations. Hive Learning Networks act on and advance core principles and practices in their programs, in their partnerships, and throughout the network itself. Taken together, they support learning that is highly-engaging, participatory, and self-directed because, as the Connected Learning Alliance recognizes, it takes place in the context of social interaction. These principles and practices are:

  • Creative & Innovative: supporting inventive solutions and imaginative approaches to     learning.
  • Collaborative & Catalytic: multidisciplinary teams (learners) have shared goals, shared     purpose, and objectives to nurture new ideas, new ways of working, new partnerships, or as the Aspen Institute Task Force recommends, “innovations can be shared across networks.”
  • Relevant & Consequential: experiences address needs and potential of children, youth, and teens, with learning and interests linked to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement.
  • Equitable & Accessible: builds learning opportunities for all in a way that fosters interoperability (the ability to move freely across networks). “Adopts open standards and protocols that simplify, promote interoperability of learning resources.” (Aspen)
  • Engaging & Participatory: connects the personal with shared interests of the community to actively create, design and test new knowledge.
  • Working Open: Hive is a network that learns together. Hive works open by valuing discovery, acquisition of knowledge, and the process of remixing and sharing that learning with others.

Vision & Goals

Hive Learning Networks work to ensure that connected learning is ubiquitous in Hive cities across the globe, empowering educators and unlocking opportunities for all youth.

Hive has a clear set of aligned and complementary goals designed to accomplish its ambitious vision of ubiquitously spreading and scaling connected learning. Building across individual and institutional experiences and practices, these goals support a radically new approach to how organizations and educators “work, make, and do.” Hive Learning Networks can help transform traditional institutions, agencies and programs into communities of practice where all learners are at the center as co-designers, makers, collaborators, and creators.

Mobilize more educators adopt connected learning practices and teach web literacy within a growing constellation of Hive Learning Networks

  • Indicator  of success:  The  # of Hive organizations, adults and youth contributing to connected learning and web literacy opportunities from traditionally underserved communities and locations
  • Indicator:  # Hive identified educators in city

Create high-quality connected learning and web literacy tools, content, curriculum and practices for broad use.

  • Indicator: # and quality of curriculum, content, software and instructional models made by educators
  • Indicator: use and spread of prototypes, curriculum, practices through Hive and other networks

Catalyze schools, youth programs, and city agencies to provide rich connected learning and web literacy programs, especially in under-served communities

  • Indicator: # schools/youth programs where Hive tools, practices, curriculum are deeply integrated
  • Indicator: # of additional organizations, networks, and platforms leveraging the work of Hive

Grow demand for Hive Learning Events, Communities and Networks in new locations and sectors.

  • Indicator: # of Hive events (Pop-Ups, Maker Parties and Hack Jams) in new locations
  • Indicator: # of new emerging Hive Learning Communities
  • Indicator: # of new emerging Hive Learning Networks

Key Conditions for Hive

With shared principles of connected learning to guide the design and facilitation of learning experiences, Hive networks also have several common structural characteristics, including a strong and credible voice representing the Hive at the city level. Currently, Hive Learning can be found in eight cities domestically and six globally, each building on and generating key conditions for connected learning. With these elements in place, Hive Learning Networks flourish. They are:

  • Youth:  Youth willing and able to participate in Hive programs and activities, and a commitment to growing a cohort of youth to advise Hive operations and programs
  • Programming and Shared, Open Assets:  Ongoing development of innovative learning programs and activities that contribute to shared, open assets for wide remix
  • Professional Learning Community: A community of youth-serving educators and organizations committed to testing new ideas in a connected learning framework through web literacy and digital skills
  • Technology:  A commitment to building, supporting and advocating for open     technologies that better connect organizations, educators and youth
  • Research: Willingness to support, assist and incorporate research on the Hive model and its contributions to improved learning for youth and the     network itself
  • Badges: Exploration of digital badges as a tool for highlighting the learning that takes place in informal spaces
  • Sustainability: Financing and investment to support Hive administration and innovative programs

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