Engaging Learners Outside of Formal Education

Educators from Hive NYC, Hive Chicago and Hive Toronto joined this month’s Mozilla Learning Community Call to share real examples of programs that illustrate the impact that learning and making can have on young people when school is not officially in session.
The distinguished guest speakers that joined us included:

  • Lisa Kim, Youth Commission Director for Mikva Challenge in Chicago, Illinois
  • Gigi Polo, Emoti-con 2016 design fellows lead and Part-Time Associate Teaching Professor at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City
  • Dr. Dixie Ching, co-lead of the Hive Research Lab in New York City
  • Andy Forest, lead at STEAMLabs in Toronto, Canada
  • Su Adams, Mozilla Clubs Regional Coordinator and MozFest Space Wrangler in Kent, United Kingdom

You can watch the discussion here:

Each guest speaker is invested in providing youth with learning opportunities that are relevant, timely, and promote the development of digital skills. Here is a sampling of the amazing resources that were shared on the call, all of which can be adapted for use in your community:

  • Emoti-con Design Fellows use popplet app to capture ideas about human connections using mixed media. This initial design process helps spark ownership in the project at an early stage and teaches digital literacy skills that will enhance their leadership experience.
  • This Learning Portfolio Project acts as an Emoti-con framework for using social media as an outlet for brainstorming, testing, and refining pieces of a project. This resource encourages both digital literacy in virtual spaces and responsible digital presence.
  • STEAM Labs offers two free teaching kits for teachers to bring maker technology topics and teaching practices into the classroom:
    • “Robotic Power System Model” teaches science, math, art and English curriculum topics over 3 weeks using 3D printing, electronics, Arduino robotics and Web HTML/CSS/Javascript.
    • “Internet of Things” offers easy-to-follow tutorials so anyone can teach or learn how to build a robot using inexpensive materials.
  • Mikva Challenge brings youth expertise and experience to local government policy-making, addressing disparities in access to technology resources and the digital divide. Youth Idea Hack Events have been a catalyst for success for the group’s community impact.
  • CitySaturday Digital Roadmap, co-led by Hive Research Lab and other Hive NYC members, is a great tool for helping youth gain experience with reading and writing on the web to discover and share opportunities in their local community. Youth around the world can contribute! Contact Hive Research Lab to learn more.
  • The Hive Research Lab offers access to many of its research project findings and publications. Read, be inspired, and use the work to contribute to your local community!

How can you take inspiration from these projects and engage youth in your community outside of traditional education? We’d love to hear your ideas! Share with us on twitter using #teachtheweb and submit a MozFest session proposal to present your idea to a community of like-minded peers in October.