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Mozilla wordmark nopad 25%.png Mozilla Learning Strategy
Owner: Mark Surman, Ben Moskowitz Updated: 2015-07-31
Planning and conversation hub for Mozilla Learning Strategy

Key Documents

Working Group

For more details about the Phase 1 working groups, see here.

Historical context

Planning work began in Q4 of 2015 and is ongoing. We're working in the open and sharing thinking and progress as blog posts and on this wiki as we go.


  • Learning experiments on MDN (Feb 2) -- Justin Crawford -- How the Mozilla Developer Network might relate. Their new learning area and creating new pathways into advanced web topics
  • "A Mozilla Developer Institute" (May 1) -- Phillip Schmidt -- Why Mozilla should create a "Mozilla Developer Institute" to train the next generation of technology inventors. And how Mozilla could do this by building on existing resources.
  • "Walled Empires, Zero-Rating and Web Literacy" (May 8) -- Michelle Thorne -- Reflections on what internet the next billion users will find and what we can do to ensure its a platform for them to create and participate online.
  • "Mozilla Academy Thoughts"(May 28) -- Laura Hilliger -- the balance b/w inclusivity and having an opinion, towards "common approaches" and thoughts on the governance model of Mozilla Academy.
  • "Investing in Web Literacy — Tools for Thinking"(June 3) -- Ben Moskowitz -- a mental model to think about, map and understand user capabilities.
  • please add your blog post here

Why does the world need Mozilla Learning?

Within 10 years there will be five billion citizens of the web. Mozilla wants all of these people to know what the web can do. What’s possible. We want them to have the agency, tools and know­-how they need to unlock the full power of the web. We want them to use the web to make their lives better. We want them to know they are citizens of the web.

Building on Webmaker, Hive and our fellowship programs, Mozilla Learning is a portfolio of products and programs that help these citizens of the web learn the most important skills of our age: the ability to read, write and participate in the digital world. These programs also help people become mentors and leaders: people committed to teaching others and to shaping the future of the web.


Q: What *is* 'Mozilla Learning'?

That's what we're trying to figure out. At the very least, Mozilla Learning will be a clearly packaged and branded harmonization of Mozilla's learning and leadership programs. People will be able to clearly understand what we're doing and which parts are for them.

Q: Who is 'Mozilla Learning' for?

  • Over the past few weeks, we've started to look at who we're trying to serve with our existing programs (blog post on this soon). Using the 'scale vs depth' graph in the Mozilla Learning plan as a framework, we see roughly three main audiences:
  • 1.4 billion Facebook users. Or, whatever metric you use to count *active* people on the internet. We can reach a percentage of these people with software or marketing that invite people to 'read | write | participate'. We probably won't get them to want to 'learn'. Which is fine. Webmaker and SmartOn currently focus on this group.
  • People who actively want to grow their web literacy and skills. These are people interested enough in skills or technology or Mozilla that they will chose to participate in an explicit learning activity. They include everyone from young people in afterschool programs to web developers who might be interested in taking a course with Mozilla. Mozilla Clubs, Hive and MDN's nascent learning program currently focus on this group.
  • People who want to hone their skills *and* have an impact on the world. These are people who already understand the web and technology at some level, but want to get better. They are also interested in doing something good for the web, the world or both. They include everyone from an educator wanting to create digital curriculum to a developer who wants to make the world of news or science better. Hive, ReMo and our community-based fellowships currently serve these people.
  • A big part of the strategy process is getting clear on these audiences. From there we can start to ask questions like: who can Mozilla best serve?; where can we have the most impact?; can people in one group serve or support people in another? Once we have the answers to these questions we can decide where to place our biggest bets (we need to do this!). And, we can start raising more money to support our ambitious plans.

Q: What is a ‘strategy’ useful for?

  • We want to accomplish a few things as a result of this process. A. A way to clearly communicate the ‘what and why’ of Mozilla's learning and leadership efforts. B. A framework for designing new programs, adjusting program designs and fundraising for program growth. C. Common approaches and platforms we can use across programs. These things are important if we want Mozilla to stay in learning and leadership for the long haul, which we do.

Q: What do you mean by 'common approaches'?

  • There are a number of places where we do similar work in different ways. For example, Mozilla Clubs, Hive, Mozilla Developer Network, Open News and Mozilla Science Lab are all working on curriculum but do not yet have a shared curriculum model or repository. Similarly, Mozilla runs four fellowship programs but does not have a shared definition of a 'Mozilla Fellow'. Common approaches could help here.

Q: Are you developing a new program for Mozilla?

  • That’s not our goal. We like most of the work we're doing now. As outlined in the 2015 Mozilla Learning Plan, our aim is to keep building on the strongest elements of our work and then connect these elements where it makes sense. We may modify, add or cut program elements in the future, but that’s not our main focus.

Q: What's the timing for all of this?

  • We will have a basic alignment framework around 'purpose, process and poetry' by the end of June. We'll work with the team at the Mozilla All Hands in Whistler. We will develop specific program designs, engage in a broad conversation and run experiments. By October, we will have an updated version of the Mozilla Learning plan, which will lay out our work for 2016+.

Q: At what level of ambition are we thinking?

  • What could Mozilla’s next 5 years look like?
  • Dream big, but be realistic about where we’re starting from
  • Want to build on what we’ve got, not start over

Q: What is the role of the strategy working group?

  • Develop clearer direction, together
  • Identify points of consensus and dissent
  • Help Mark prepare for Whistler + lay groundwork for 2016

Q: What is the nature of exercise / what are we trying to address?

  • All programs (and program partners) operating on unified vision
  • We have a sustainable path to scale.
  • More effective allocation of resources across initiatives
  • We can justify donors’ investments with evidence of impact
  • We eliminate confusion about what we advocate vs. what we deliver
  • Then finally — brand simplification