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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Community Speaks #3- Konstantina Papadea speaks

We’re really happy to see the Community Speaks initiative picking up really soon. Breaking the stereotypes have indeed succeeded in getting the attention of many community members as well as new contributors.

If you’ve missed out on the last issue of community speaks, here is the link.

Today, we have Konstantina Papadea with us to share her thoughts.
Konstantina Papadea is the Mozilla Reps Co-ordinator. Her responsibilities include developing and managing the reps global volunteer reimbursement framework for events, enforce budget standard operating procedures (SOPs) and oversee the overall program finances, including auditing and forecasting.
In addition she supports the Mozilla Reps Council with day-to-day operations, including gear requests, budget requests, and liasing with Mozilla’s accounting department.

 


 

Hello Konstantina, we’re sure that many, on reading your profile, would be interested in knowing more about your link with Geology. Could you tell us more about this?

Konstantina: Geology is one of my passions in this life, for me it is exciting to know how everything around has been formed long before people existed. What is more fascinating is that Earth is somehow a living creature which means we can see geology on the making at this moment. Being a geologist enables you to understand how small we are compared with the glory of Earth.
I’ve recently received my bachelor in Geology and one day I would like to continue my studies on the field especially in mining, since I have a soft spot for ore deposits.

How would you describe your journey from being a Geology student to a Mozillian?

K: Well it has been a fun ride. Geology is all about the earth and we don’t use hight tech technology unless it is needed. Since I consider myself a geek. I’ve always wanted to put the technological side into my studies and Mozilla gave me an excuse to spend more time with my computer 🙂 I have to say I needed to find a balance between spending time in the field and in front my computer, but I managed to have a schedule and have time for my both passions.

Were there any difficulties when you first started contributing? If yes, how did you overcome those?

K: In the beginning it took me some time to understand how the community works and all the different cultural backgrounds. But after I came to know the people and how passionate they are about Mozilla, everything made sense and I fell in love with our mission

Do you find time to keep up with your passion towards Geology while contributing to Mozilla?

K: Yes, I am a passionate caver and I try to go caving with my friends almost every weekend. I also try to attend geological lectures in my old university when I have the time or even spend sometime in the field.

What is the status of the projects you are working on and what more could we expect from Mozilla under your project in the near future?

K: Right now I’m fully dedicated to the Reps program, working on policies and features related with the program finances and gear procedures. Since our main goal right now is to reach the 1 million mozillians, I’m working on automating and making the reimbursements and gear procedures easier for our reps so they can dedicate their time to the million Mozillians goal. I hope that what I’m working will be able to help them.

Being with a community like Mozilla would certainly have its perks. Could you List out 5 things that you like at Mozilla?

I have to say there are a lot of them. My top 5 are:

the community, it is amazing to see people from different backgrounds come together for one cause

travelling, I love to travel and meet the people of Mozilla, get to know them and understand them

my colleagues, without whom I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything

the mozilla reps. I know I’ve mentioned the community before but those 500 hard core dedicated Mozillians are just amazing, every single one of them

the friendship. I consider myself lucky that I work with people that I can call my friends, both employees and volunteers.

We’re sure that you would serve as one of the best examples of contributors who don’t contribute to code. How important do you think is the role of such contributors to Mozilla?

K: I think it is very important. To be honest, before I started contributing I believed too that the only way to contribute was via coding, but Mozilla proved me wrong. We are a global community with the same passion, the open web, and in order to make it work we need all the help we can get. Mozilla is all about the diversity and equality and this is what makes us unique

Do you think it is important to show that Mozilla is not all about coding? What would be your advice to such Mozillians?

K: Mozilla *not* being all about coding is one of the aspects that makes us unique.I would tell them that being part of Mozilla is being part of a global community. Their work and contribution is as important to us as writing codes. It doesn’t matter if you write code, translating articles or teaching webmaking, what it matters is making an impact. So my advice is keep rocking and let the people know what Mozilla is and how we can change the web.

Thanks a lot Konstantina for taking time to answer our questions. We’re really happy to have you with us

K: Thanks a lot too for inviting me, I truly love this initiative 🙂

 


Thanks Konstantina, we really appreciate your thoughts.

If you have any suggestions for Community Speaks, please let us know by tweeting @dun3buggi3 or dropping a mail at dun3buggi3@gmail.com

WoMoz Maker party.

On the 13 of March, Damini Oberoi, WoMoz from Sathyabama Firefox Club, conducted the very first Makerparty that was exclusively for girls.
Even though we planned to keep the event for around 60 people, we were amazed at the number of enthusiastic girls who wanted to attend, and hence, made the maximum to 90.

The event was restricted to the students belonging to CSE and IT department.

At around 9 am,the students settled down in the Digital Library of Sathyabama University.
I started off with an introduction about Sathyabama Firefox Club, FOSS, Mozilla and Web Literacy.

Damini then took over the session with WoMoz.

She told them about the various influential women all over the world and about Women in technology.

She started off by asking the students a question-How many of you think that there is a need of a separate platform for women to talk, share their views and learn more?
There were many students who raised their hands.

She then asked them why they felt for the need of a separate platform. This gave rise to the current situation and the existing male dominated system.
She asked them whether this was because girls aren’t interested in technology or they have lesser knowledge when compared to their male counterparts? The girls strongly disagreed to this!

She then told them about Women in Mozilla.

Later on, she mentioned about Webmaker. She explained to them various tools and how to work with them.

I told the students about Persona. From why it is used, to getting started with persona.
Everyone signed up for persona.

We then told them in a detailed manner on how to work with Popcornmaker, one of the tools they liked the most.
Everyone were told to create a video and save it.

This video was then judged later on based on their idea, number of events used and length of the video and idea conveyed.

We walked around helping the 90 students to get started with Popcorn. Many had doubts on what was the use of different layers. We explained to them the concept of layers in detail.

We had many wonderful makes from the students.

We had given a general topic as Women Empowerment.

From Mother Theresa to Malala, there were a variety of pictures in the popcorn makes and content.



Me and Shashank started judging the makes. Later, Damini joined.

Here are the makes from the event: https://etherpad.mozilla.org/womozmakerparty

We gave 3 Webmaker tees to the first, second and third, and many swags to the winners.

Introduction by Damini Oberoi (WoMoz)

Event photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/116230719@N08/sets/72157642305135244