< Webmaker‎ | 2015‎ | Mentors


Clubs: Preamble

This is a living document to think aloud about how Mozilla & friends are evolving our web literacy offering to address the following problems:

  • higher quality teaching and learning. How can the teaching and learning experience be improved for mentors and learners?
  • local community networks. How can local learning communities grow stronger and more networked through Mozilla?
  • contributor retention. How can mentors be encouraged engage with Mozilla longer?

We believe the best way to design a solution is to build it in the open with lead users and partners based on their needs and interests. It should be tested with real mentors and learners and be agile.

There are also substantial pieces already made and tested with this model, so much of what we'll do in 2015 is consolidate and iterate.

This document describes how we imagine that process working and what we're learning along the way.

What Clubs are

"Clubs" is a placeholder term. As this initiative develops, it may or may not have the trappings commonly associated with clubs. The term is just to help us hang our thoughts on a noun. It could die. Or it could be what we call it. Let's just see.

Roughly, we anticipate that clubs have the following elements:

Series of activities.

A collection of activities to learn about the web. It includes instructions for the mentors on how to facilitate the activities and materials for learners. There may be ways to recognize learning and participation in these activities.

Hypothesis: Our theory is that activities should be modular and remixable, so mentors can easily modify them for their needs. Yet they should also be simple to use so that mentors feel confident. We also think learners do best when they are making something together and have agency in their own learning.

Lightweight community participation.

Simple processes for connecting with other clubs & mentors. The goal is to celebrate what's happening and to help people learn from one another. Could be things like a shared hashtag and a discussion forum.

Hypothesis: To be successful with this initiative, we need simple ways for people to share what they're doing in their club and to reflect. This will help us respond to real mentors as well as help mentors help each other. Good social interactions encourage people to stay engaged longer.

Local groups globally networked.

A way for clubs to express their own local flavor, to be locally relevant and to innovate based on local needs. And whatever the local instance looks like, there should be something that unites it globally with other clubs. Things like design elements, webpages or physical gear could be ways to show local and global connections.

Hypothesis: There are ways to be local beyond simply "geography." Clubs could adapt to audiences and spaces (e.g. adults in a library or young people in an afterschool program), by language (e.g. Bengali or English as Second Language), by partner network (e.g. ThinkBig or CoderDojo). We think clubs will be most successful when mentors & learners can make them their own. Yet there is some shared DNA that connects all clubs.

Leadership development

Clubs should cultivate and recognize local leaders. Clubs can be where local leaders test and innovate, as well as create spaces where they have independence and agency that roll up to a larger community. There may be resources and staff support to coach leaders on being more effective and distributed including professional development.

Hypothesis: We have a stance on leadership: it works in the open, it's facilitative, and its about having your own agency as a leader and creating spaces for others to develop their agency as well. We think the same learning methods that work for teaching web literacy will be effective for teaching community leadership. Make it about learning with others, interest-based, and blended online and offline.

Integrated with other Mozilla mentor networks

These local groups will be interwoven with other mentors networks, especially the Hive, as a larger community of practice spreading digital & web literacy. Hives can start clubs, clubs could become Hives. We see these offerings as deeply interrelated. There is also huge opportunities to continuing expanding this work with Mozilla networks like Reps and MDN.

Hypothesis: The Hive networks have been greatly successful in having local roots with global community. They are lab and classroom for web literacy. Webmaker Clubs can find a sweetspot in these ecosystems that brings something new (like particular stance on web literacy and community leadership) while leveraging and integrating what exists.

Club Cohorts

To make testing more iterative and bring in club creators when it best suits their organizational needs and timing, we will have cohorts each quarter.

Q1 Cohort

40 volunteers from 24 cities participated in the Q1 testing. Their roles included:

  • Club Auditor: Just listen in on the process. Participate on the mailing list and calls. Reflect on the materials and process. Ideally, audit if you're considering doing a local version later.
  • Club Tester: Create a test club or integrate the test programming into activities you're already doing locally. Have 3-4 weeks when you can be engaging with your learners and participating in club calls. There will be multiple cohorts of testers, so if you can't make one round, don't worry there will be more. You can also do multiple tests, as we'll add modules and improvements as we go.
  • Club Coach: If you've done local programming like this already or have tested a club as part of another cohort, you could mentor others who are testing. You can advise and coach the testers as well as provide additional insight and analysis on what's working.

Q2 Cohort

In Q2, our goal is to test 200 clubs. We anticipate needing the following roles:

  • Curriculum Creators (10-15): This group of pioneering educators will curate and review the curriculum, as well as refine our understanding of web literacy and pathways through the offering. Some may also test it locally and be involved in localization.
  • Regional Coordinators (5-10): This new volunteer leadership position will on-board and mentor club captains. They will learn and support other regional coordinators, and be mentored themselves by staff organizers. Some regional coordinators may come from partner institutions and work with their networks to test clubs.
  • Club Captains (150-200): This group of people have a local group that they can test the curriculum with. They will share back the results to the regional coordinators, which will be synthesized and discussed with the curriculum barnraisers.



Completed Milestones

DONE - Q4 2014 (pre-alpha)

Deliverable: Be scoped.
---> Initial commitment and calendar of club creator cohorts (alpha, beta, release to market). Requirements gathering and assemble assets.

  • Oct 24 -26: Initial club creators conversations at Mozfest. First draft meta arc complete. Pitch doc v1 complete.
  • Nov 1 - 15: Planning for 2015 and further program design.
  • Nov 15 - 30: Invite club creators to kickoff call. Scope and scaffold process for Q1. Collect requirements.
  • Dec 10: Kickoff call with 1st club creators cohort. Blog post. Share participation process.
  • Dec 10 - 15: 1:1s with club creators to interview needs. Gather assets.
  • Dec 17: Reflect on insights so far. Adjust milestones and scope as needed.

DONE - Q1 2015 (alpha testing)

Deliverable: Be feature complete.
---> Rough versions of all features (content, tools and support) are ready. Test "Module 1: Web Literacy Basics" with first cohort. Experienced club creators observe & coach new ones.

Club Working Groups

There are also working groups that may span several rounds of testing. These groups focus deeply on a particular aspect of the clubs. They will do competitive analysis, research and codesign on their key topic as part of the larger process.

Each working group has a facilitator and a rhythm for meeting and hacking together.


We will continue to write and test the club activities and instructions with the club creators. We are aiming for at least 3 modules, as well as examples & simple ways to remix these foundational modules for different audiences (e.g. libraries, afterschool programs, family at home, etc.)

Online platform

As we codesign clubs, we need also need to build and test an online tool that helps people connect, level up and create their own space. Here's a roadmap to building the platform.

See more technical requirements: [1] and [2], as well as a growing competitor analysis.

We anticipate needing features in the following areas:

Communicating and Organizing

  • better Discourse
  • lightweight communications outreach (email 10K)

Onboarding and Training

  • fixed up badges / credentialing
  • a light-weight activity (could overlap w. what Webmaker product)

Storytelling and Incentivizing

  • a web presence that can be easily edited (teach.webmaker.org)

Mentor Development

These are the social patterns and protocols we think successful local clubs, as well as a global network for mentors, will need. We'll also focus on open practices, an ethos of learning by making, and facilitative leadership.

Mentor development includes training, professional development, onboarding and the opportunity to practice and get feedback with peers.

Watch one, do one, teach one

A pattern in all of our offering is the triple of first observing, practicing and then sharing it forward.

Learning by making

Less yack, more hack. Don't talk about it, do it. Experiential learning. Learn by doing, not by powerpoint.

Awaken the teacher in everyone

Everyone has the capacity to share their skills. We want learning to be more magnetic and exciting that you want to share it forward.

Build from:

Club Creators

This is a group of collaborators with whom we'll co-develop the club initiative. It is a mixture of larger learning networks and individuals who are dedicated to teaching the web. We have worked closely with them on a variety of projects already, including Hive, Maker Party and Mozfest.

Whatever we build, it will be shaped deeply by the needs and ideas of this group. They are our distributed leadership. They bring expertise and experience, and our offering should be in service to them.

Hive members

  • Maurya Couvares, ScriptED - confirmed
  • Gina Tesoriero, NYC Department of Education - confirmed
  • Meredith Summs, Mouse - confirmed
  • Jess Weichler, Makerbox
  • Lina Kim, Diana Lee, Ab Velasco, Toronto Public Library
  • Andrea Ellis, Kansas City Library
  • Leslie Scott, aSTEAM Village
  • Justin Hoenke, Chattanooga Public Library
  • Christina Cantrill, National Writing Project

Maker Party partners

  • Dan Gilbert, Afterschool Alliance
  • Jonathan, Digital Harbor - confirmed
  • Steven Flowers, Coder Dojo Manchester - confirmed
  • Su Adams, Staplehurst School - confirmed
  • Jess Weichler Wellington - confirmed
  • Emma & Kelesy, Innovate the Cape
  • Amy Sample Ward, NTEN
  • Sophia Koniarska, Telefonica ThinkBig - confirmed
  • Eugene McDonough, CoderDojo
  • Elijah van der Giessen, NetSquared
  • Ellie Mitchell, Maryland Afterschool Network

Webmaker Super Mentors

  • Chad, NWP - confirmed
  • Emma, Hive Vancouver - confirmed
  • San James/Lawrence, Mozilla Uganda - confirmed
  • Vineel/Raj/Ankit/Sayak/Galaxy, Mozilla India - confirmed
  • Faye, Mozilla Philippines - confirmed
  • Luis Sanchez, Mozilla Mexico - confirmed
  • Chris Mills, Mozilla Developer Network

Web Lit Map community

  • Kim Wilkens, St. Anne's-Belfield School - confirmed
  • Ian O’Byrne, University of New Haven - confirmed
  • Greg McVerry, Southern Connecticut State University - confirmed
  • Alvar Maciel, Teacher in Buenos Aires
  • Mikko Kontto, The English School in Helsinki
  • Roz Hussin, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Club Team

We are trying to do this with minimal dependencies on other teams or external factors.

The skills and roles we anticipate needing are:

  • Club creators. 15+ lead users and partners to join in this endeavor with their time and local community. We are deeply dependent on their availability and interest.
  • Online community manager. Monitor and engage with club creators and their learners online. This could include managing social media channels, posts in Discourse and mailing lists, and organizing community calls. There is also a lot of storytelling (blog posts, mailing lists) needed.
  • Learning experience designer. Make and package the club activities and the supporting instructions and materials. Should bring across the learning experience effectively and in our pedagogy.
  • Club coach. Work closely 1:1 with the club creators to understand how they are implementing the clubs, where they are getting stuck, how to surface insights and issues. This includes programmatic knowledge, community organizing and facilitation skills. Also monitor larger community to see if someone is ready to become a club creator.
  • Partnership builder. See opportunities to expand and further develop this work, through deeper programmatic or financial partnerships. Ability to understand the program design and inform how to adapt it effectively for the right opportunities.
  • Project manager. Wrangle the assets and keep the project on time. Bring in the right collaborators and keep groups updated. Tend to bugs & wikis.

We may also need:

  • Print & web design
  • Frontend web development

Club Cloud Nine

Ideas and links we don't want to forget.