We Are Open Co-op is currently helping the Greenpeace Planet 4 team work more openly. The way we’re framing open source contribution to the project is as a practical way to address the climate emergency.
Another way of fighting global warming is to use less energy. If you have a website, you can do this by requiring users to download less data.
It was time for me to update my blog theme, so I had a look through the WordPress theme directory (yawn) and then through GitHub. I tried a few for size, and settled on Susty, a theme which is less than 7KB in size. That’s tiny.
The theme’s creator explains that it was inspired by a session he attended at the Mozilla Festival:
As a brief recap, I attended MozFest in London last year. In between sessions I was scanning a noticeboard to see what was coming up, and I spotted a session entitled “Building a Planet-Friendly Web”. I felt a little dumbstruck. What on Earth was this going to be about?
I attended the session, and the scales fell from my eyes. In what now seems obvious but at the time was a revelation, I learnt of the colossal energy demand of the Internet. That this demand makes it the largest coal-fired machine on Earth, meaning that its CO₂ emissions are probably at least equivalent to global air travel. More and more people are coming online, but this coupled with the rise of ever more obese websites means that the Internet’s energy demands are growing exponentially. Every additional byte transferred means more energy, which in most countries means more CO₂.
It’s a small change, and I’ve plenty to do with my other sites (including Thought Shrapnel) but this is the site of mine that gets the most traffic, so I may as well start here!
This post is day eight of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!