Teaching has always been an important piece of what Mozilla does — right down to the first few thousand people who built Firefox, and then installed it on their friends’ and families’ computers, explaining why it was different.
Several years ago, we became more intentional about integrating education into what we do. We realized that teaching is not just important, but essential to Mozilla’s mission; to keep the web open, accessible and ours, we need an informed user base who understands its basic building blocks, and recognizes that the web is something any of us can help build and shape. And so, nearly two years ago, Mozilla’s Webmaker was born— our project to build the right tools and community to teach web literacy on a global scale.
Today, we’re thrilled to share that Thimble, Webmaker’s code editor for beginners, has been recognized by Common Sense Media as one of the best educational tools online, and a GameChanger for education, with a 2014 ON for Learning Award. The “ON” award celebrates the year’s best in digital media products designed to educate and engage young people.
Thimble also received a 5-star rating from Common Sense Media for its educational value — the highest possible rating available from the organization. Common Sense Media ratings are the most comprehensive tool that parents and teachers rely on for understanding the true educational value of digital media resources.
Here are a few of the reasons Thimble was honored with the award:
- Engagement – Thimble lets kids experience the delight of learning to write their own webpages with side-by-side windows that instantly show the effects of their coding tweaks.
- Learning Approach – Authentic coding practice comes alive through fun, community-generated projects. Whether they learn through guided remixing or start a project from scratch, Thimble is a great tool for kids to find the right entry point into web design.
- Support – Thimble’s immediate feedback, baked-in help and a supportive community all help kids persevere and publish their webpages.
It’s Webmaker’s goal to help people understand the mechanics, culture and citizenship of the web in a way that enables creativity and encourages empowerment. Our easy-to-use open tools such as Thimble, X-Ray Goggles and Popcorn Maker help educators, technologists, makers and anyone curious about the web become the creators, not just consumers, of the web.
Webmaker also works with a global community of educators, finding the best, open and distributed ways of teaching web literacy on a global scale through volunteer-led events, free online trainings and more.
We’re honored to receive this award from Common Sense Media, but like everything at Mozilla, Thimble was built by a global Webmaker community of contributors. So if you provided feedback on an open community call; filed or closed bugs; or created or remixed content for others to use and learn and share… we’re celebrating this award with you!
How to get involved:
- Learn more about Mozilla’s Webmaker and how to join the Webmaker community.
- Take part in a conversation with Chris Lawrence, Senior Director of the Webmaker Community Team, on Thursday, April 10th at 7pm ET during an Educator Innovator webinar with National Writing Project. He’ll be joined by educators who are using Thimble to help teach web literacy skills to their learners, and by Common Sense Media to share more background about the award.
- Learn more about Common Sense Media’s learning ratings.
- Read Webmaker’s (Tweeted) acceptance speech.