Tag: MozFest

Where I’ll be at MozFest 2016

This weekend it’s the Mozilla Festival, an event that brings together everyone interested in the open web. It’s an event I attended as a volunteer before I joined Mozilla, something I was involved with during my time as a paid contributor, and now I’m back as a community member.

My We Are Open co-op comrades and I are running three sessions over the weekend. Unfortunately, Laura can’t make it, but either Bryan, John, and I will be taking the lead on the following. The idea is that they work in their own right, but we’ve also worked with the organisers to ensure they form a kind of ‘arc’ for those who want to attend all three sessions!


The Thinkasprint: the art of thinking sideways

Saturday, 11:15am-12:45pm
Open Badges, Floor 8 – 801

In this session participants will be taken through a modified version of We Are Open Co-op’s ‘thinkathon’ approach, to help people think about knotty problems in an open, inclusive, and participatory way. The process involves as much drawing as it does thinking and writing, and is solution-oriented.

We use the wealth of experience that participants and facilitators have to take apart a problem and look at it from a different angle. We will go off at tangents and down rabbit holes, but that’s all part of the process!

Our starting point will be whatever issues participants bring to the table after our icebreaker activity, but we have a few ideas up our sleeves, such as Open Badges for employability, digital skills, and ‘passion projects’.


Digital Champions: scaffolding adult digital and web literacies with badges

Saturday, 3:15pm-4:00pm
Open Badges, Floor 1 – 101

This session will help attendees understand the concept of ‘flexible frameworks’, using examples from London Connected Learning Centre and Sussex Downs College. This draws on doteveryone’s Basic Digital Skills Framework and Mozilla’s Web Literacy Map. It will be a conversation-led session with visual thoughts captured by Bryan Mathers.


THE BIG BADGE THROW-DOWN

Sunday, 11:00am-11:45am
Open Badges, Floor 8 – 801

Using the starting points of doteveryone’s Basic Digital Skills, Workplace Skills, and Digital Leadership Skills programmes, NCVO’s Skills Lab work, and London CLC’s Digital Champions Curriculum, this workshop will find commonalities, overlaps, and ways forward for badges-based flexible frameworks.

We’ll provide examples of existing programmes, badges and pathways and then work to flesh out, fill gaps and imagine new links and partnerships between established players as well as welcoming new entrants to the digital skills space. This will be a hands-on, practical session.


If you’re coming to MozFest, I hope you’ll join us for at least one session. If not (there’s so much going on!) then please do find us and say hello — I’m @dajbelshaw on Twitter and will also keep an eye out on the @WeAreOpenCoop account.

Photo by Mozilla in Europe

What I’m doing at #MozFest 2014

It’s the Mozilla Festival this weekend. If you’re going and it’s your first time, then you might find my 10 survival tips for MozFest useful.

I’m co-leading three sessions this year. I’ll update this post when I know when and where they all are! (Done!) Here’s an overview of what to expect in each session.

Prototypes and Pathways for Web Literacy

Saturday, 2-3pm, Track: Build and Teach the Web

Learning pathways are either prescriptive or descriptive sequences of learning experiences. These often have a particular goal in mind.

This session will involve the creation of a privacy badge pathway. We will draw on the Web Literacy Map, Open Badges, Webmaker personas, and a document created by a Badge Alliance working group. By the end of the session we should have completed pathways to share, built to work in a particular context.

Co-facilitator:

What we’ll be doing:

  • Sharing our experiences of high-quality learning pathways
  • Thinking through privacy from the point of view of one of eight Webmaker personas
  • Exploring the badges created by the Badge Alliance working group on Digital & Web Literacies
  • Creating a learning pathway based on the above contexts and badges

I’m looking forward to seeing what people come up with in this session. Preparing for it has involved much cutting out of colourful hexagons… 😉


Learning Analytics for good in the age of Big Data

Saturday, 3-4pm, Track: Science and the Web

According to the current Wikipedia definition, “Learning analytics is the measurement, collection and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs.” In other words, using data to improve learning outcomes. At the moment, this is often done without the consent of users, so we want to build a better, more open, way to do it.

Co-facilitators:

What we’ll be doing:

  • Identifying the challenges and opportunities in this space
  • Making connections between one another
  • Building a shared list of questions

It’s early days for this, but there’s potential to form a working group as an output of this session.


Toward v2 of Mozilla’s Web Literacy Map

Sunday, 12.30-1.30pm, Track: Build and Teach the Web

At the end of August we started the ball rolling for v2.0 of the Web Literacy Map. It’s not that there’s lots wrong with v1.1, it’s just that there’s ways we could improve it. Plus, we’ve committed to update it as the web evolves.

We began by interviewing stakeholders. This informed a community survey (still active – and now available in more languages). We’ve also just begun a series of community calls that will end in December. This session will give us extra data to help inform development the Web Literacy Map.

Co-facilitators:

What we’ll be doing:

  • Answering any questions people may already have
  • Spotting any gaps in v1.1 of the Web Literacy Map
  • Grouping competencies (existing and new) in various ways
  • Discussing what should be in/out of scope for v2.0

This will be an interesting session to lead, so I’m glad I’ve got such experienced co-facilitators. There’s likely to be both people well-versed in the Web Literacy Map as well as those coming to it for the first time.


Are you coming to MozFest? Please do come and say hello – or even better, come to one of the above sessions!

A 10-point #MozFest survival guide

It’s the Mozilla Festival in London this weekend. It’s sold out, so you’ll have to beg, borrow or steal a ticket! This will will be my fourth, and third as a paid contributor (i.e. Mozilla employee).

Here’s my tips for getting the most of it.

1. Attend the whole thing

There’s always the temptation with multi-day events not to go to each of the days. It’s easy to slip off into the city – especially if it’s one you haven’t been to before. However, that would a real shame as there’s so much to do and see at MozFest. Plus, you really should have booked a few days either side to chill out.

2. Sample everything

Some tracks will grab you more than others. However, with nine floors and multiple sessions happening at the same time, there’s always going to be something to keep you entertained. Feel free to vote with your feet if you’re not getting maximum value from a session – and drop into something you don’t necessarily know a lot about!

3. Drink lots

Not alcohol or coffee – although there’ll be plenty of that on offer! I mean fluids that will rehydrate you. At the Mozilla Summit at the end of last year we were all given rehydration powder along with a Camelbak refillable bottle. This was the perfect combination and I urge you to bring something similar. Pro tip: if you can’t find the powder (it’s harder to come by in the UK) just put a slice of lemon in the bottom of the bottle to keep it tasting fresh all day!

4. Introduce yourself to people

The chances are that you don’t know all 1,600 people who have tickets for MozFest. I know I don’t! You should feel encouraged to go up and introduce yourself to people who look lost, bewildered, or at a loose end. Sample phrases that seem to work well:

  • “Wow, it’s pretty crazy, eh?”
  • “Hi! Which session have you just been to?”
  • “Is this your first MozFest?”

5. Take time out

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, so feel free to find a corner, put your headphones on and zone out for a while. You’ll see plenty of people doing this – on all floors! Pace yourself – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

6. Wear comfortable shoes/clothing

There are lifts at the venue but, as you can imagine, with so many people there they get full quickly. As a result there’ll be plenty of walking up and down stairs. Wear your most comfortable pair of shoes and clothing that’ll still look good when you’re a sticky mess. 😉

7. Expect tech fails

I’ve been to a lot of events and at every single one, whether because of a technical problem or human error, there’s been a tech fail. Expect it! Embrace it. The wifi is pretty good, but mobile phone coverage is poor. Plan accordingly and have a backup option.

8. Ask questions

With so many people coming from so many backgrounds and disciplines, it’s difficult to know the terminology involved. If someone ‘drops a jargon bomb’ then you should call them out on it. If you don’t know what they mean, then the chances are others won’t know either. And if you’re the one doing the explaining, be aware that others may not share your context.

9. Come equipped

Your mileage may vary, but I’d suggest the following:

  • Bag
  • Laptop
  • Mobile phone and/or tablet
  • Pen
  • Notepad
  • Multi-gang extension lead
  • Charging cables
  • Headphones
  • Snacks (e.g. granola bars)
  • Refillable water bottle

I’d suggest a backpack as something over one shoulder might eventually cause pain. You might also want to put a cloth bag inside the bag you’re carrying in case you pick up extra stuff.

10. Build (and network!)

MozFest is a huge opportunity to meet and co-create stuff with exceptionally talented and enthusiastic people. So get involved! Bring your skills and lend a hand in whatever’s being built. If nothing else, you can take photos and help document the festival.

The strapline of MozFest is ‘arrive with an idea, leave with a community’. Unlike some conferences that have subtitles that, frankly, bear no relation to what actually happens, this one is dead on. You’ll want to keep in touch with people, so in addition to the stuff listed above you might want to bring business cards. Far from being a 20th century thing, I’ve found them much more useful than just writing on a scrap of paper or exchanging Twitter usernames.


This isn’t meant to be comprehensive, just my top tips. But I’d be very interested to hear your advice to newbies if you’re a MozFest veteran! Leave a comment below. 🙂

Image CC BY-SA Alan Levine

Update: my colleague Kay Thaney has a great list of blighty sights that you should check out too!

Minimum Viable Badge

This is a stub of a post. I’ll come back and add more detail later, but I wanted to get it out there pre-#BelshawBlackOps13. When I say ‘badge’ I am, of course, talking about Open Badges.


Just as we have the established idea of a Minimum Viable Product (and riffing on Minimum Viable Bureaucracy) how about a Minimum Viable Badge?*

A Minimum Viable Product has just those features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. The product is typically deployed to a subset of possible customers, such as early adopters that are thought to be more forgiving, more likely to give feedback, and able to grasp a product vision from an early prototype or marketing information. It is a strategy targeted at avoiding building products that customers do not want, that seeks to maximize the information learned about the customer per dollar spent.

So a Minimum Viable Badge would be the first badge in an emergent ecosystem of value. A stake in the ground, as it were; line in the sand. It’s the opposite of trying to satisfy upfront all of the requirements and concerns of ‘stakeholders’. It’s a recognition that the first thing you produce is something to talk about, iterate and (probably) jettison. It’s a conversation-starter.

Yesterday, at the Prototyping activities for the Web Literacy Standard session at MozFest we did something fairly close to this. And it was glorious.

Does this resonate as an idea?

*This may or may not be a term that I’ve (inadvertently) ‘borrowed’ from a Mozilla colleague or community member. If so, er, oops.

Where I’ll be at MozFest

It’s the Mozilla Festival this weekend. Below is where you can find me and the schedule is here.

Friday

18:00-20:00 – Science Fair (Level 4)

Saturday

(Level 7)

11:00-12:00 – Open Badges & Web Literacy Standard 101 (short presentations repeated a few times)

13:00-14:30 – Prototyping Web Literacy Standard activities

Sunday

11:00-12:00 – Open Badges & Web Literacy Standard FAQ (Level 7) (short presentations repeated a few times)

16:00-17:00 – Cross platform badging and identity for Citizen Science projects (Level 2)


If you’re at MozFest, then please do come and say hello! If you’re not, you should participate remotely.

It’s time to register for MozFest 2013!

I can remember when I went to my first Mozilla Festival (MozFest) back in in 2011. I wasn’t working for Mozilla at the time so I was just blown away by how awesome it was. They’re the most positive events I’ve ever been to; there’s so much energy in the building! On top of that, the event was (and still is) about working in the open and about putting the Mozilla Manifesto into action. 🙂

Registration for MozFest 2013 is now open. It’s at Ravensbourne College in Greenwich, London (opposite the O2 arena) between Friday 25th and Sunday 27th October 2013. Early bird tickets for adults are only £40 and for youths it’s a mere £3.

You should come. You should encourage other people to come along with you. You should shout it from the rooftops. But more than that: you should propose a session. I’m certainly planning to – but you don’t need to work for Mozilla to do so. Oh no. As long as participatory, purposeful and productive, anyone can run a session at MozFest!

I look forward to seeing you there. Grab your ticket now!

MozFest!

Yesterday I emailed some people who I thought would be interested in the Mozilla Festival. But then I realised, pretty much everyone who reads my blog would be (or should be!) interested in it.


Seeking Educators Who Get the Web: Let’s work together at MozFest!

If you’re an educator, instructor or student working at the intersection of learning and the web, Mozilla wants to work with you at MozFest. Education and digital literacy are a key focus of this year’s Mozilla Festival in London, Nov 9 – 11.

The goal: unlock the full educational potential of the web, help learners move from digital consumption to digital creation, and grow a global movement for teaching web literacy to the world. You can learn more or register at http://mozillafestival.org/

Key sessions and themes for educators:

What are we inviting you to do?

1) Bring your expertise, curriculum and content

  • Contribute your educational expertise to MozFest themes like badges, mobile, coding for kids, hackable games and digital literacy.
  • Bring your existing digital literacy projects, curriculum and content. Connect with colleagues and  leaders to refine your project, further your educational goals, and  share resources.

2) Bring students and youth

  • This year’s Festival includes an entire theme of sessions and activities just for youth, including a game arcade and content from Hive NYC, WYNC’s Radio Rookies, DigitalMe, O2 Think Big, Global Action Project and more.

3) Help build Webmaker tools and resources

  • Collaborate with Mozilla. We want to build a “big tent” of like-minded edudcators to teach the world the web.
  • Learn more about and help shape the future of Webmaker tools, projects and curriculum.

How do I get involved?

You can register here now: http://mzl.la/mozfest-register

There are also complimentary tickets to the Festival available for educators or instructors who:

  • bring youth or students with them
  • bring specific ideas, projects or lessons they want to share and work on at MozFest
  • volunteer to run mini-sessions at the Festival
  • spread the word about the Festival and Webmaker to your networks
  • volunteer to act as a youth manager for a few hours

Interested? Get in touch here: http://mozillafestival.org/contact-us/

I’m looking forward to seeing you at MozFest! 🙂

If not now, when? Why we need #openbadges and #dmlbadges for lifelong learning RIGHT NOW.

badges

You know what? If I could, god-like, step outside of time and decide just when to make a large-scale change to western education systems, I think I’d choose right now. Why? People are ready for change. The current system isn’t working and we haven’t got the money to prop it up any more.

And you know what else? If I could choose an organisation to come up with an alternative system, I’d entrust a non-governmental international organisation that had demonstrated its non-profit and open credentials to drive things forward. Kind of like Mozilla, then. But you’d also need big-hitters and a backer credible with educators. Step forward HASTAC, the US Department of Education and NASA.

It’s now or never. As a father of two children under five, I passionately want something different in place for my children going forward. I think this is the only chance for changing educational assessment radically before my children become adults.

If you’re involved with education at any level you know how much assessment drives learning. Whether we’re talking about intrinsic or extrinsic motivation relating to badges, we can all agree of the importance of getting something out of learning experiences. Something that shows what you know. That’s why I think badges are perfect for MOOCs, for example.

But it’s no good sitting on the sidelines. I’m off to the Mozilla Festival today to meet more people involved in the #openbadges project and, hopefully, Mark Surman (CEO of Mozilla) to discuss his proposal for a web literate planet. What can YOU do? Well, there’s $2 million of (international) competition money available for a range of things relating to badges:

  • I encourage educators to get involved in the content competition, identifying the types of content may suit badges. Closing date: 14 November 2011
  • I encourage researchers (faculty members and students alike) to get involved in the research competition to establish a sound theoretical basis for badges. Closing date: 28 November 2011
  • I encourage designers and coders to get involved in the design competition to implement the technologies required for a badge infrastructure. Closing date: 12 January 2012

As I’ve explained recently, the world doesn’t change in and of itself: it takes human agency to do so. Are you going to step up and help move things forward?

Image CC BY-NC-SA keoshi

 

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