Working on a plan to bring a Mozilla Club to my area…hoping to do a little mental FAQ/braindump here on the blog.
Q. What is the goal in all of this?
A. Improving digital literacy for all – elementary, middle, and high school children as well as homeschoolers, college-age, those entering the workforce, or adults looking to gain new skills. Not just theory but practical knowledge, things that they might be able to use every day. Our world is becoming more and more digital – people pay their bills online, shop online, communicate online, make things online…the list is continually growing. And as the Internet of Things continues to grow people will need to understand how their physical world is being automated and digitized. So yeah, improving digital literacy but not just coding, not just Minecraft. It has to be practical.
Q. What constitutes “digital literacy”?
A. Hard to define. Doug Belshaw, et al. did a great job of defining web literacies, so that’s a great starting point.
Q. How do you go about teaching digital literacy to such a wide demographic range?
A. Mozillians have already spent countless hours developing a curriculum and teaching activities, so it will be a matter of remixing those to give our programs some “local flavor”. I want people to make direct connections between the benefits of digital literacy and solutions to our communities’ specific problems.
Q. Who do I have to sell this idea to?
A. Schools. Churches. Senior centers. Businesses. Makers. Government agencies. Libraries. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Inner-city organizations. Non-profits. Artists. Homeschoolers. I could go on for a while…this has to reach everyone.
Q. Who will teach?
A. Volunteers. It has to be volunteers. This has to be cost-effective…we don’t have money for professional staff and nobody is going to pay a whole lot to get this kind of training, even though it is incredibly important. At the end of the day, I’d rather see schools start to shoulder the burden of teaching digital literacy and maybe at some point down the road they will, but right now the real drivers of programs such as these are community and volunteer-based. That said, I’d like to see a wide variety of instructors all the way from teenagers to seniors.
Q. So what’s my role?
A. Coordinator – I need to get the initial program off the ground, meetings being held on a regular schedule, participation blossoming, off-shoots forming…then I reach out to more club captains in more places and help them launch. Eventually this could lead to the formation of a Hive Learning Community or Network and there could be substantial dollars and cents involved, but for right now the idea is to start small and build on whatever momentum we achieve. The sky’s the limit.
I’ll fill in more later if I feel up to it.