Mozilla Learning at Darbar college

I’ve done a lot of events for Mozilla. Infact, I’ve lost count of the number of places I’ve spoken at. Most of these event requests come from college students/ school authorities. However, I was delighted to see an email from Mr.Praveen, an Assistant Professor in the Departmen of Computer Science at Smt. Kumudben Darbar College of Commerce, Science and Management Studies, Vijayapura (Karnataka State). It was interesting because of the fact that a teacher is interested in organizing a Mozilla event in their college for the students. We took the discussion forward and I got to know that he had read my previous blogpost on “How to organize an event“.
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Little secret: I love it when people get in touch with me after doing a thorough study about whatever it is rather than messaging me- “bro, i wanna contribute to Mozzilla!Halp” He told me that he’s interested in organizing an event and asked me how we could take it forward. Things went on quite quickly and he had put up a team of student organizers for the event. I started from Bangalore at night and got there in at around 7 AM in the morning(9 hours from Bangalore). I was welcomed by Mehriz and his friend, both students of Darbar college. They took me to the hotel and we were discussing a lot of things on our way. Mehriz is an aspiring writer who wrote his first book called “HardwareNAMA”, inspired from the very famous Akbarnama . At around 10 AM Mr.Praveen, along with the students, came to pick me and go for the event. We met the principal Mr.Grampurohith. DSC_4745
It was indeed an eye opening discussion with him on why the Karnataka state government just focuses on Bangalore and not any other city, for that matter. Be it technology, startups, education- everything is concentrated into one city. Bangalore is a very competitive and fast moving place. A student from a small city like Bijapur from a small college, who migrates to Bangalore after completing his/her education, would find it hard to get a job. Competition from students in Bangalore+students outside Bangalore who come here for work.
He told me to stay in touch with the college post my session and also thanked me for taking the effort to travel and come to their college for the event.
DSC_4765We soon started off with a good crowd of around 70 students, although midway, we had more students coming in and unfortunately had to restrict some due to seating capacity of the hall. DSC_4760
The slide used for the presentation is attached below.


Kudos to the team of organizers for putting up such a great event with good logistics.
DSC03546Some of the insights from interacting with the students are as follows:

          • Everyone is interested in Technology
          • Knowledge they have is more theoretical
          • Minimum exposure to events
          • Barriers to contribute

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Following up post event on the press report and future plan for the college. We had talked to the principal on generating more interest from people by conducting activities and sessions. The most exciting part of this conversation was to create a curriculum to integrate opensource and Web literacy in the educational curriculum. This serves as a beta test. If this works in Darbar college, we could replicate the model in the entire university level.
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The students were really friendly and they came up to me and offered to take me around the city. It was a beautiful place with lots of amazing things to see. One wouldn’t find so many culturally and historically important things in a city like Bangalore. It’s always fun to explore the city with the locals, especially since I love hearing stories, rumors and facts.

As I was leaving Bijapur to Bangalore. I met a co passenger who asked me why I was a visitor(considering the fact that I was speaking in english to people who came to see me off). I told him everything about Mozilla and what I do and he was really impressed and said that he will contribute to Mozilla. I was a happy man!

Updates: We’re having a call on the 10th of September about integrating Web literacy  Curriculum into the college syllabus. Do let us know if you have ideas and thoughts on this.
Full set of photos on Flickr here.
Mozilla Reps portal event page: https://reps.mozilla.org/e/mozilla-learning-at-bijapur/

Press Report in Kannada Newspapers:

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Firefox Clubs and Mozilla Clubs

Last month, the Mozilla Learning Networks team met at the Work Week in Whistler. Lots of things were discussed and I was fortunate enough to be a part of most of them. I, as a Regional Coordinator for Mozilla Clubs, have been conducting various calls with potential club captains to provide more understanding on the direction we’re heading to. It was announced that Maker Party is taking a new turn and how it is different from the previous year(https://blog.webmaker.org/maker-party-2015-the-evolution-of-a-year-long-party). India is a country that has one of the largest Mozilla Communities in the entire world. We’re also proud to have an equally large number of Firefox Student Ambassadors. I would say that the FSA program is one of the pillars of Mozilla since I started contributing to Mozilla as an FSA. It has a wonderful structure that is fast adapting with the ever growing number of contributors, thanks to TJ her team of executive board members+RAL’s. From various discussions that we had in India with FSA’s who were contributing to the Webmaker project, we got to know that they had a lot of questions. Here are some of the questions that they had in mind:

  • What are Mozilla Clubs?
  • How is it different from Firefox Clubs?
  • Does this mean that we are splitting Firefox Clubs according to products/projects? Ex. Webmaker, Firefox OS, Localization etc. has their own clubs?
  • Is Webmaker all about the app now?
  • What’s new with Maker Party this year?

We had a detailed discussion regarding this and we would like to provide more clarity on each of these questions that FSA’s have in mind.

What are Mozilla Clubs? A Mozilla Club is a group of learners who together meet regularly to learn how to read, write and participate on the Web in a participatory way by making projects they care about, supported by a shared set of curricula. Mozilla Clubs is a program to teach digital skills and web literacy. It focuses on regular, in-person learning tailored to the needs and opportunities of local communities. It harnesses the Web as a unique public resource to learn and grow.

How is it different from FSA Clubs? 20150626_133158 Mozilla Clubs are focused on spreading the mission of *Universal Web Literacy. Unlike FSA clubs, they are not restricted to students. Essentially, students who are a part of Firefox Clubs are already Web literate. They could start individual clubs in their regional communities or help mentor a regional community to start/facilitate/run a Mozilla Club that benefits learners who want to learn these skills. Mozilla Clubs could be started by anyone who has the time, commitment, enthusiasm and dedication to help teach the web. He/she could be a student, a teacher, a software engineer, a freelancer – basically anyone who has the willingness and passion to start and sustain a club.

Does this mean that we are splitting Firefox Clubs according to products/projects? Ex. Webmaker, Firefox OS, Localization etc. has their own club?

Let’s take an example. As a Firefox club, you might be conducting one event every week. Week 1: Web Literacy Week 2: Firefox OS Week 3: Localization Week 4: Bug fixing We do not ask you to set up a separate Mozilla Club, but utilize your Web Literacy week to teach Web skills(Refer Web literacy Map) to people who lack that. For this, you could either use the resources and curriculum given by Mozilla or create your own ones for the community to use. Apart from this, you could also incorporate the framework of reading, writing and participating across other events as well. Example:You could help articulate how Localization and bug fixing are “participation” and important as open practices. This is also the same with like minded organizations. An existing organization might be having resources and conducting meetups to teach the web. They could associate with Mozilla in order to reach a wider audience. Mozilla Clubs does not aim to strip the identity of an organization or a group. We aim to provide a structure and resources to an existing club so that they could benefit from the same.

TL:DR: A Mozilla Club is a package consisting of structure and resources that help to teach the web. You are free to use it under the name of a Mozilla Club or any other identity. It’s the end goal of teaching people how to read, write and participate on the Web that matters.

Is Webmaker all about the app now?

Previously, we used Webmaker to refer to the tools, content and community. Moving forward, though, Webmaker is a reference to the new app, where teaching content and community of those that want to teach web literacy skills fit within the Mozilla Learning initiatives.

Mozilla Learning has the Webmaker app that helps people have their first hands on experience at creating the web with ease using a mobile phone. Please bear in mind that mobile app is still in Beta, available currently on Android phones, and new features would soon be available, including the ability to access it on desktop. You can read more about the plans for the Webmaker app, as well as X-Ray Goggles and Thimble here.

TL;DR: Thimble is being improved, X Ray Goggles will continue to exist and the Webmaker app is added. Popcornmaker and Appmaker won’t be available in their current form, however, the LEGO like building functionality will always remain to be the core behind new tools.

What’s new with Maker Party this year?

If you’ve seen the info graphics last year, India played a crucial role last year which is pretty evident from the number of Maker Party events conducted. We’ve spent a huge amount of resource,money and hours in doing events all around the world. It was amazing to see the number of people who’ve attended these events. However, these events were one time events. This year, we aim to empower regional level participation and learning communities. This means that although the campaign is for 2 weeks, we would be conducting learning/teaching events throughout the year. It’s not a one time event with huge number of learning stations but a year long event with the focus on regional level activities.This blogpost would help you understand how Maker Party might spark longer-term engagement through Clubs:https://blog.webmaker.org/maker-party-is-right-around-the-corner-july-15-july-31 Feel free to write to me or anyone else in the MLN team if you’re an FSA and you have more questions relating to FSA and Mozilla Clubs.

*Universal Web Literacy