[MozFest]Playful & Participatory learning at Mozilla Clubs

Mozilla Festival has been one of the the biggest Open web events that I’ve ever attended. For the folks who’ve already been a part of Mozfest know that it’s 3 days of sheer madness(the good kind, obviously) and AWESOMENESS! MozFest is an annual celebration of the world’s most valuable public resource: the open Web.

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Posted by Mozilla on Thursday, November 12, 2015

This year, a lot has happened to me so far. Although I was geared up for the madness, as Murphy’s Law suggests, everything that can go wrong will go wrong( and it did)! Mozfest has this amazing ability to connect people with people and people with their interests. It is also that time of the year when you get to meet other Mozillians and community members from all over the world. Putting a face to that name(IRC nick) is always wonderful!
MozFest_8Nov_312//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

This year at Mozfest, I was invited by the Mozilla Learning Network. As a regional coordinator for Mozilla clubs, something that’s on top of my priority list is to empower club captains and make sure I cater to their needs, in terms of resources, support and whatever I can offer them to run a Mozilla Club. Something that I focused on at Mozfest this year was Participation and help define “Teach like Mozilla”.

K, cool. So what did you do to help?

I ran a fireside  chat called Playful and participatory learning in Mozilla Clubs at Mozfest. Oh, and we had real FIRE and WOOD as well!
Firewood
Here’s a walkaroud tour of our space:

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Thank god we had superman!

Damn. That sounds fun! What’s it like?

We had an amazing set of audience attending the session from a very diverse background. The session was focused on story telling, sharing experience and best practices from learners, teachers, educators and developers.

Notes:

 In some parts of the world like Finland, there’s not much motivation required for people to learn about Web literacy, while in other parts like Brazil, people are more interested in gaming and unless you make it really interesting for them, people won’t  join any web literacy event.
  • Hacking vs Remixing
    Parents are scared on what their kids do online. Even when it’s about web literacy, they think coding or remixing is hacking.
  • Not restricted to kids but adults as well
    Web literacy is not only for kids but adults as well. People of all ages need to know how to read, write and participate on the web.
  • Kids vs Parents
    Parents tend to get scared when their kids know more about technology than them. But parents are also interested in learning from their kids and then kids are also excited to teach their parents something they know. In short, if kids are past your level, learn from them.
What are some fun, participatory ways in which you’ve learned or taught stuff?
In India, there were examples of people who taught to code through games like hopscotch and HTML web page frameworks using bricks. Mostly focused on Lo-Fi and No-Fi teaching kits. Movies are really a big thing in India. Remixing movie posters on thimble is the all time fav activity.
In Spain, there are night school programs in companies where the parents, who are employees of the company, come along with their kids and learn about technology. There are different levels of stuff being taught to kids and parents and at the end of the session, kids show their parents some cool stuff they’ve created.
In Brazil, people are taught to remix web pages of popular gaming website and add their names so that they can show it off to others.
In the US, teachers taught with examples of aliens. They are encouraged to create for the WEB and not for any individual. This , personally for me, meant a lot on the digital inclusiveness front. There were examples of colour blind people, left handed people etc.
ore informal session where kids teach..
In Korea, programming is regarded sacred. They have a 6-8 week of curriculum to recruit non computing people and make those students good programmers. There is a selection process for the same and it depends on ideas that people have, and how technology could help them shape their ideas. Students from this program has been hired by companies like Google, MS etc.
 
Quotable quotes from the session:
Switching roles-as a teacher, shift my focus on the process and not on result. What education means to me is we can live together.. Relationships we’re building together..
I get scared when my kids know more about technology than I do.
 Kids are excited to teach parents what they know. Be open to the idea of learning from kids.

Feedback for MLN:

  • Better ways of recognizing learners? Is there something that can show all the skills that I’ve learnt at my Mozilla club.
  • What happened to open badges?
  • Ability to share thimble and other makes without having to login. Kids don’t have email ids.

If you’ve attended the session and would like to add to this, please write to me at dun3buggi3[at]gmail[dot]com or tweet to me @dun3buggi3
IMGUR Gallery of images from the session: http://imgur.com/a/u0P94

#MozLove to everyone who has attended the session.

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“.
DSC_4755
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

DSC03548

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.
DSC03540
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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