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Hive Learning Network Locations

Hive Learning Community Locations

Hive Cookbook

The Hive Cookbook is an ever-expanding document with best practices and reciptes for starting up and growing a Hive in your community.

The Hive Cookbook is brewing here




  • Hive is the city-based strategy within Mozilla’s Webmaker initiative.
  • Hives currently exist in New York City and Chicago, Pittsburgh and Toronto.
  • In 2014, we're going to help people who want to start new Hives in their own cities around the world.


What's this about?

  • What is a Hive? A local network of educators advancing connected learning, web literacy and digital skills.
  • What is Global Hive? A global constellation of city-based Hives that share ideas, tools and a common vision. As part of Mozilla’s Webmaker initiative.
  • What's the goal? Build connected learning and web literacy into society in ways that are both deeply local and massively global.


  • Why web literacy? Understanding the technology and culture of the web is now critical to learning, work and citizenship. Helping young people become citizens of the web is about equity and justice.
  • Why connected learning? The way we think about learning needs to reflect the reality and opportunities of the internet era. Young people need to be able to learn effectively anytime, anywhere.
  • Why a Global Hive? We need to help people who want to start Hives in new cities, spreading tools and practices from existing Hives.


What do Hives do?

  • What do local Hives do? Local Hive networks connect educators so they can learn from each other and invent new tools. They also connect youth to each other and to great programs in their city.
  • Who belongs to a Hive? Librarians, youth workers, teachers, mentors and other educators passionate about connected learning, web literacy and tech.
  • What do Hive members do? These educators bring connected learning and web literacy into existing schools and learning programs where they work every day.
  • What do Hive staff do? Established local Hives have staff to help members bring new ideas, tools and funding into their work. Staff are based in organizations like Mozilla, Sprout Fund, NWP, etc.

What does local success look like?

  • Short term: new curriculum, content and software made by educators.
  • Long term: connected learning and web literacy deeply integrated into schools and youth programs.


  • How can we meet this need? Establish a Global Hive program within Mozilla that will create materials, offer badges, run events, provide a web platform and collect metrics that support the work of local Hive leaders.
  • How will this work? The daily work of global Hive will be based on a ‘constellation model’ that includes a lightweight stewardship group and thematic action teams drawn from local Hives.

What is Mozilla's role?

  • What is Mozilla’s role? Mozilla will house, operate and co-fund Global Hive as a part of Mozilla Webmaker. Its primary role is to support Hive action teams and the stewardship group.
  • What is the MacArthur Foundation's role? As the catalyst behind Hive, MacArthur continues to support local Hives as part of its connected learning strategy. MacArthur will also co-fund and steward the Global Hive as it grows.
  • What about other organizations? Orgs like Sprout Fund and National Writing Project house local Hives. Also, local Hives include dozens of orgs as members -- the members are the heart of Hive.


The Three Tiers of Hive

  • Hive engagement ladder. We’ve developed a three-tiered engagement ladder, outlining ways to contribute to Hive as well as the path towards creating and sustaining a Hive Learning Network.
    • 1) Hive Events
    • 2) Hive Communities
    • 3) Hive Networks


Tier 1: Hive Events

  • These are learning gatherings and parties that bring webmaking and connected learning to life for youth and adults.
  • e.g., Pop-Ups, Hack Jams, media production sessions, Maker Faires, other events.

We brand these events in two ways:

a) Hive Pop-Ups

  • These have an intentional program design towards fostering a “Hanging Out, Messaging Around, Geeking Out”
  • Multiple organizations come together with some of their best programs.
  • They deliver activities via learning stations that make it easy to pick, choose and sample.

Pop-Ups are tailored toward three levels of users:

  • i) Hanging Out. Those who sample (Hang Out) by searching the room for what interests them most
  • ii) Messing Around. Those who lightly experience all the activities offered (Messing Around)
  • iii) Geeking Out. A smaller but focused group who lock into one activity for the duration of the event and go deep (Geeking Out)
  • Participating educators get to both contribute to and observe what it’s like to see youth self-direct their learning and design their own experience in a networked space. These events help people "get it," and understand what Hive is about.
  • We have distilled the Hive Pop-Up into a Webmaker Teaching Kit [add link]
  • This video details a Pop-Up at Brooklyn Public Library Storymakers Maker [add link]

b) Maker Party events

  • These events are based on Mozilla’s global "Maker Party" campaign to engage, excite and educate people about a production-based culture.
  • Maker Party seeks to broaden access and equity to both digital as well as analog practices. Maker Parties are used to grow the community of people aware of connected learning and as cultivation strategy for new Hive Learning Communities.
  • The Hive Research Lab has design suggestions on how educators can use these events


Tier 2: Hive Learning Communities

  • Hive Learning Communities begin to use the connected learning principles and the practices of Hive to operationalize a learning network.
  • They draw heavily from the experience of existing Hive Learning Networks, whose leaders function as consultants and mentors sharing information about structure, program design and strategy.
  • Local facilitators then adapt tools, practices, frameworks to their local contexts. They are free to self-identify themselves as Hive and use the branding assets and developmental resources that are openly networked.
  • Specific characteristics could include:
    • educator meet-ups
    • recruitment and curation of affiliated organizations
    • wider participation and implementation of communication networks
  • The Hive concept has really developed into a grassroots movement with Hive Learning Communities forming around the globe.
  • Current examples include Hive India, Hive Bay Area, Hive Berlin and others.


Tier 3: Hive Learning Networks

  • Hive Learning Networks are city-wide vehicles for implementing and spreading connected learning ideas, tools, practices and values.
  • These networks are fully operationalized with a staff, sources of funding, ways to seed innovation projects, and a system for convening membership.
  • Networks accept responsibility to be engaged in the stewardship of Hive Global.
  • New Hive Learning Networks will be admitted through a review process of the Hive Global stewarding body, MacArthur, Mozilla and a panel of independent stakeholders.

The minimum requirements for Hive Learning Networks are:

  • Demonstrated alignment and programmatic commitment to connected learning values and principles
  • At least one dedicated, full-time staff member
  • An operational budget of at least $150K/year
  • A grant-making apparatus that seeds no less than $15K into the ecosystem
  • Participation in Hive Global stewardship beyond home city

Specific characteristics of networks include:

  • Demonstrated commitment to providing equitable, accessible connected learning and web literacy opportunities to youth
  • A laboratory-approach
  • Portfolio of funded partnerships
  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration
  • Incubation of inter-connected learning experiences for youth

Successful Hives share common characteristics and values like:

  • encompass innovative and transformative learning experiences
  • understand community needs and bridge gaps in local education
  • outcome-oriented
  • youth interest-driven
  • embody experimental, iterative, and open source practices


Roadmap Priorities

  • Q1 2014: Agree on Hive Global plan (go/no go)
  • Q2 2014: Launch Hive Global w/ MakerParty14

Key 2014 milestones Q1: Hive Cookbook released as beta Q2: Launch first Hive badges (educator or learner or both?) Q2: 20+ Hive events as part of Maker Party Q3: Cookbook and website launch Q4: Global Hive gathering

  • Document best practises. identify and document best practices from existing Hive Learning Networks that can be shared with others globally
  • Share more details and resources. For people interested in exploring what a Hive might look like in their city
  • Fully integrate the Hive Global plan into Mozilla Webmaker
  • Expand the pipeline of new cities interested in Hive
  • Build core materials and systems to make it easier and faster for people interested in Hive to get involved

What are we building?

by end of 2014:

  • a simple Global Hive web presence
  • Hive educator badges for members
  • Hive web literacy badges for learners
  • Shared curriculum repository with Webmaker
  • Initial version of a shared metrics service

What does success look like in 2014?

  • Our main metric is the number of educators promoting connected learning and web literacy.
  • 2014 target: 1000 educators actively contributing to Hive.