Looking forward with Hive Toronto

This blog post is co-contributed by Karen Smith and Simona Ramkisson.

When we took on the new roles of interim co-managers for Hive Toronto, we knew we were in for an amazing roller coaster ride. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a few short weeks since the transition but we wanted to reach out now to share key issues and opportunities that will have an impact on the network over the next few months, including that along with Hive Toronto, Karen is completing her postdoctoral work as a fellow collaborating on digital literacy projects with Mozilla and Simona continues to serve as Project Manager for the Hive Global community.  While our other duties definitely have synergy with Hive Toronto’s mission, we are wearing multiple hats and appreciate your understanding and support! We are proud and excited to catalyze digital learning opportunities for youth in Toronto and beyond with you, and look forward to your feedback and questions as the work develops.

1) Networking and Professional Development

Hive Toronto is committed to monthly networking and professional development sessions for all our members in the form of community calls and meet ups, like the recent Grant Connect database session hosted by the Toronto Public Library on April 9. We’re also slated to visit MaRS in May to learn about entrepreneurial thinking in education and look forward to more great events. You can sign up to get involved in hosting Hive events via the form at the end of this post.

2) Maker Party

Maker PartyMozilla’s 2015 Maker Party campaign will run from July 15-31st, 2015 and you’re invited! Hive Toronto members have been a huge part of previous campaign success. For example, Hive Toronto members appeared prominently in the international campaign video. Let’s make it happen again by sharing your events, workshops and camps on the global Maker Party calendar. Consider aligning your summer programs with Maker Party and host events to teach the web! This year, Maker Party is also designed to help organizations scale to year-round engagement with learners through a new initiative called Mozilla Web Clubs. A recent blog post by Amira Dhalla on “The Evolution of Year Long Party” offers this timeline: :

  • May-June: Campaign planning. Ask communities and organizations to organize events and activities for Maker Party.
  • July 15-31: Global celebration of Maker Party around the world.
  • August: Continued engagement by participants with Hive, Maker parties and Mozilla Web Clubs
  • September-November: Local clubs kick off campaigns to build momentum and encourage new clubs to launch, building a maker community
  • On-going: Potential partner or location-specific events.

3) Mozilla Web Clubs  

Mozilla Web Clubs keep the spirit of Maker Party active all year! Hive Toronto members are invited to use Mozilla’s emerging and open web literacy curriculum in their work. Interested in creating or embedding Web Clubs into your programming?  Here are some opportunities to get involved — from launching a club to playtesting new curriculum modules or volunteering to be a Regional Coordinator (RC) who supports clubs in your area.

4) Innovation Funds

Hive Learning NetworkWorking closely with the Mozilla Development Team, Hive Toronto is focused on network sustainability, especially the preservation and growth of our signature Innovation Fund. We use this pot of dollars to to catalyze partnerships by members through collaborative community projects (CCPs). Some recent examples of inspiring and innovative digital projects include Radiozilla, Fashion Futures, Maker Schools, and An Alien Has Landed–all of which can be viewed through our portfolio page. When an Innovation Fund is available and robust, we know that great digital learning projects emerge so  moving forward, our goal is to inspire this kind of work both deeper in Ontario and across Canada. While current Hive Toronto requests for CCP proposals are on hold for this cycle, we are working diligently to secure new funds in support of this cornerstone of our work together.


5) Increased Community Participation

We’re eager for community members to help us facilitate participation amongst the network.  Examples of ways in which you can get involved include:

  • Post an opportunity: Do you need expert help, such as station hosts for a Pop-Up learning event for youth? Use the Minigroup or other forums to share opportunities and solicit participation from your peers.
  • Blog: Hive Toronto would like to feature a community-written blog every month. You can write a post or alternatively, we can cross-post something from your organization.  In April, we’ve already featured a share out from Success Beyond Limit’s March Break program on “Employment Readiness and Career Exploration.”
  • Special Interest Groups (SIGs): Do you  share interests with other network members? Organize a mini-meetup with 2 or more people and report back to the network through a community call or blog post on your activities.  Public libraries, maker spaces, or youth-led programs may find this kind of experience useful.

We’ll be fielding any questions that come out of this post on our next community call for Hive Toronto members, scheduled for Tuesday April 28th, 1-2pm.  If you’d like to get involved in Hive in one of these ways, you can also fill out a simple web form.  We look forward to speaking soon!