The Mozilla Foundation launches a worldwide celebration of web literacy this week, bringing tens of thousands of digital enthusiasts together for ‘Maker Parties’ that place internet learning and making at the center of 21st-century citizenship.
Focused on the use of Webmaker tools, Maker Parties include young people as well as adult educators, all with the aim of helping us become creators of the web so that we’re not simply consumers. The web is a powerful tool of communication and a space where writing and composing of text and media flourishes and Webmaker supports the development of critical digital and web literacy skills while leveraging Connected Learning principles.
“It’s about more than just coding,” explained Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman in discussing Maker Party. “It is a great call to arms that puts the world’s users at the center of the web. Success in the 21st century depends on web literacy – and on making the web what we all want it to be.”
This year’s Maker Party cycle is an annual 60-day blitz of volunteer-run events in hundreds of cities around the world.
Maker Party themes run the gamut from mechanics of making websites to broader issues like privacy and data protection, but are united across geographical, cultural and generational lines by shared focus on “teaching the web” through proactive exploration of digital tools and a culture of participation and production. They are inspired by the enormous unfolding potential for all people to make themselves heard in the global, online conversation.
“This is the education every student can and should receive,” the Aspen Institute’s special Task Force on Learning and the Internet said in its landmark report “Learner At The Center of a Networked World” this year.
“A new vision of learning is emerging,” said the report, citing Mozilla’s work in developing new tools and pathways making web literacy central to education worldwide.
Mozilla’s partners in the 2014 Maker Party campaign include the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, National 4-H, Statewide Afterschool Networks, the Macarthur Foundation and the National Writing Project. Maker Party is itself a partner in this year’s Summer to Make, Play and Connect.
The 2014 Mozilla Maker Party season, in its third year beginning July 15 and running to September 15, brings web users of all nationalities, genders, ages and economic means together proactively at nearly 2,000 events in over 300 cities to help make its vision a new reality.
Anyone, anywhere can engage in making the creating the future mechanics, culture and global citizenship of the internet by signing up on the Webmaker website today.