An English Only Web is Not an Open Web. #TeachTheWeb in Your Tongue.

flickr photo shared by jsdilag under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

To help fuel  the next wave of open we must recognize that cultural hegemony threatens the web as much as any content silo or data surveillance programs. When languages are lost cultures are silenced. As part of our  mission of keeping the Web open we must empower  missing voices.

Localised Content

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We have received feedback on the Participation team’s recent efforts to have leaders share their story of the Mozilla Festival. Many people noted that they did not complete the #mymozfest challenge because they were uncomfortable writing in English.

You should be uncomfortable. We need efforts to diversify the web content and not greater efforts to conform. English is the default setting of the Web. It is up to people like you to ensure that global citizens who share your history and culture can read, write, and participate on the web.

Local content will lead local opportunities to #teachtheweb. Localised web resources will be an economic engine.

As participation leaders we want to increase involvement across all of Mozilla. Know your audience. If you will draw more volunteers in different languages please do so. The Open Web has to have linguistic diversity.

Use Pictures

flickr photo shared by othree under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Some people noted they are excited to try blogging to practice their English skills. Others, as stated avoiding English because of their skill level. My first tip is to think about avoiding words all together. A photo montage, with a caption or two in your language of choice can tell any story.

It is Your Web

flickr photo shared by Sue Hodnett under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license

We get the Web we help to build. If you want a Web full of content your grandmothers, cousins, Moms, Dads, and friends can read than help to create content in your first language. Most importantly to help draw in leaders who will ride the next wave of open we need to recognize an English only Web is not an Open Web.


Reflecting on #MyMozFest

I learn so much by volunteering my time as a teacher for Mozilla. This year I attended my first #MozFest.  As a participation leader I want to help my team. We want to get you more involved as a contributor to Mozilla.

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Being a Better Teacher

MozFest is like no other conference you have attended. Its hackability becomes apparent as soon as you walk into Ravensbourne College. We power our sessions with post it notes not Powerpoint.

Products are perceived, prototyped, and pushed in days. That is what struck me most. I watched Matt Thompson, Phillip Smith, and Darren Mothersele push GitDone from just an intro session on project management with Git. More so I participated in the design.

To me that is #Mozfest. We (re)Design future possibilities.

GitDone is a project management tool. I must admit I was a GitHub naysayer when MoFo (Mozilla Foundation) transitioned that way last year. I work with teachers who volunteer for Mozilla. Our time is limited. I want any time educators have to offer to be remixing curriculum not trying to figure out what a repo means.

Yet what I saw were developers recognizing a community need and solving the problem for non-developers like me.

This experience made me a better teacher.

Open Teaching

I was also presenting for the first time at #Mozfest. I and a group of open scholars tried to hack together what it means to play in open spaces as teachers and learners.

It started with a PechaFlickr session. Slidedecks are so much better when you have no idea what will come next. Then we did a live demo on how not to make awful instructional videos.

So we tried to brainstorm what instructional design means from a #Mozfest perspective. This is what we determined would be relevant.

We first started with a discussion of traditional instructional design:


We then examined a bunch of Open classrooms such as #ds106, #walkmyworld, #rhizo15, and #clmooc. That lead us to this:


We took the lessons learned (such as RSS being the backbone of push/pull learning) and then tried to apply a #MozFest lens. This is what we came up with:


Passion. That’s the key difference with Mozilla. We want production based learning that drives people to the web because it is a place of passion.

Participation Team

My goal as a participation leader is to help improve the professional development and leadership training offered by Mozilla. This is a goal of both the Corporation (MoCo) and the Foundation (MoFo).

Step one is helping people tell there #MyMozFest story. We learn and teach best when we do it in the open and our open course safari noted that the most successful online classes empower people to learn on their own space and then they push/pull the participants across many different Web.

Step two (scratch that making this step one) is thanking the amazing people who made MozFest possible for the Participation Team.

Thanks Francisco!

I just met so many amazing people who want to change the world. It will take me quite some time to say thanks to them all.

Want to help?

Whether you were a remote or on the ground attendee tell your story about MozFest and share across the Web using the #mymozfest hashtag.