Make it Real

Online and face-to-face maker communities amplify each other's work and the work of their participants. By sharing what we do in the offline world with our networks in the online world (and vice versa), we create resources, examples and case studies that can help us identify which methods work and how we, as a global community, can support one another.

Welcome to the Maker Party!

Maker Party is a way to put the lessons we've been learning through #teachtheweb into action. It's an opportunity to make, connect, celebrate openness, use interest-driven, learner-centric activities and methods to teach web literacy skills, provide mentorship and empowerment to people, get feedback from our peers, and experiment.

You can teach and make the web anywhere, with anyone. There are people teaching in parks, in internet cafes, in libraries, in classrooms and around their kitchen tables. Maker Party is a way to connect and celebrate with other learners, makers and mentors. You can be part of it too!

How do you want to teach people?

Making it real in our local areas is about making a commitment to your community or people you care about. It helps to find like-minded individuals and/or organizations who want to help. No matter where you live, there are likely people nearby who would help you organize a workshop, find others who are interested in learning how to be a webmaker or appreciate you volunteering at one of their events. There are people who want to have this conversation with you.

The only thing you have to do is ask people to participate. Chances are, once they understand your aim, they'll be excited about participating in some way. Just explain your goals, what you want to do, and ask for help. The worst that can happen is that someone says “no,” in which case, you can find someone else to ask.

A good place to start is by searching the directory of Mozilla volunteers and finding out if there are any in your area. You should also see what kinds of hacker spaces, maker clubs, digital literacy programs, community spaces, libraries, etc. are in your area. Get creative and use broad strokes; there are people out there, we know it!

Throwing a Maker Party doesn't have to be time intensive or difficult. You just have to decide how much time and energy you have to #teachtheweb and then organize something that fits your schedule. If you're already teaching digital skills in your classroom, running a Maker Club or otherwise gathering learners on a regular basis, you can participate by simply sharing with us what your learners are working on.

If you haven't yet gathered a group of participants to #teachtheweb to, Mozilla has developed three types of event formats that make it easy for anyone to get started:

  • A Kitchen Party is a very easy way to #teachtheweb – you don't need to plan much/anything, just invite people to meet at a particular day and time and start making things together. The How to Host a Kitchen Party Guide explains step-by-step how to run this easy event.

  • A Hack Jam requires a bit of preparation and planning. You decide to organize an event where between 10 and 50 people come to learn about the web and make things. The How to Host a Hack Jam Guide can help you think about what to do in your Hack Jam.

  • Finally, a Pop-Up is for those who are looking to form real world networks in their local area. It's a good way to get your community excited about the types of offerings available. A Pop-Up is an event where multiple organizations come together for a day of hacking. Each organization sets up a station with a lightweight activity that participants can do in a short amount of time. The Pop-Up Guide covers this format in detail and points to some great resources that will help you understand it.

Continuing to #teachtheweb

Photo by Benny Chandra

Think about all you've done in this #teachtheweb experience. Why are you still here? Who have you connected with? Why is this interesting to you? What did you learn? Do you want to #teachtheweb to people in your community? Do you want to support others by making content or spreading the word? How do you want to be involved in the spread of Web Literacy?

Whether you run a Maker Party or create content for other party hosts to use, whether you talk about the importance of web skills to your networks or research applicable frameworks for teaching the web in public schools, whether you make design assets, write blog posts, donate food or space to people trying to #teachtheweb... There is value to whatever kind of contribution you are willing to make.

We've been establishing a community of practice throughout the #teachtheweb experience. We've explored the pedagogies of the Maker and Learning Movements and have experimented with creating interest-driven, learner-centric lessons. Now we're experimenting with delivering those lessons, and we're doing it together!

Make and explore this topic (link out to make prompt page)

Go deeper into this topic (link out to MentorMob playlist)


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