How I Forked Mozilla Web Clubs for a Formal Educational Setting
I teach a class called EDU 106: Digital Text and Tools: New Literacies for Lifelong Learning. It fulfills our
universities university’s liberal education program requirement for Technology Fluency.
Forking Clubs by Remixing Curriculum
I forked the Mozilla Web Clubs to teach this class. I began by creating my class hub. I wish I had the time to display the change archives. If you watched them unfold you would see my increased alliance with the Web Literacy Map and a reliance on the legacy tools.
I taught college age students. They are younger than the Web. Yet if anyone walked into my classroom they would immediately put an end to the concept of ‘digital natives.’ My students had basic use. They could share and pin posts and memories but they did not create for the Web. My students let other people own and control the places of their literary practices.
I sought to change this.
I joined my students as a co-learner. At the time I knew very little CSS. They knew very little about urls but could snap a selfie. We all had our basic skills to learn. It is important to model how you learn in the open. Try to do what we call think alouds
if as you learn. Engaging in the same struggle with your club members helps.
Learning goals of club
This class had to meet strict objectives for our tech fluency requirements. I wanted to focus on the Web Literacy Map. So I looked for correlations. How could I meet my required pedagogical goals while preparing students to read, write and participate on the web? That was the pedagogical choice that informed all iterations.
When we met
We met as a hybrid class. Everyone had to attend on Mondays. These days would begin with a maker challenge. Some quick puzzle involving a little code or webmaking. I would then do an ignite talk or other short lecture. I would then demo a tool and get them making as quickly as possible. More Hack, Less Yack. That’s important. We called them #MakerMondays
The class originally met as a hybrid on Mondays only. However I quickly realized folks wanted more support. I began to offer “Maker Parties” every Wednesday. This was unstructured design studio time. I was there to rotate and offers support.
I always had a tutorial ready for whatever make we were designing. I have been having good success with the animated gifs. I put a series of gifs into a slideshow. Short screencasts help as well. Just remember 45 minute lectures are just as bad onlline as they are in person. Keep it short, start making.
I set every student up with a blog. I used blogger. I think learning requires reflection and telling stories. Next time I will try to move my club members to their own domains.
I enjoyed how we opened and closed the course. We began the class by doing a literary response activity using memes. Students had to respond to dana boyd’s book Its Complicated using memes and reactionary gifs.
Then I designed the final. That really is the wrong word. It was a portfolio, but that doesn’t fit either. Mainly it was a curation of makes. Something my co-learners could be proud of.
Since many of these new webmakers will be future educators I am proud they got the chance to learn in the open as the developed the skills to read, write, and participate on the web. Here are a few examples:
What to work on.
For many students this became another mandated tweet. Course feedback indicated students felt more comfortable with tech but also understood the balance. Very few students kept up a web presence every year.
I want to focus on not just skills to read, write, and participate on the Web, but also on the artistry of it all. The passion and failures. In formal settings, no matter how open the practice, the act of assessment changes motivation. I want my students to see past the numbers and look at what really counts.