Mozilla Learning Networks: what's next?

What has the Mozilla Learning Networks accomplished so far this year? What’s coming next in Q2? This post includes a slide presentation, analysis and interview with Mozilla’s Chris Lawrence, Michelle Thorne and Lainie DeCoursy. It’s a summary of a more detailed report on the quarter here. Join the discussion on #teachtheweb.

What’s the goal?

Establish Mozilla as the best place to teach and learn the web.

Not only the technical aspects of the open web — but also its culture, citizenship and collaborative ethos.

How will we measure that? Through relationships and reach.

2015 goal: ongoing learning activity in 500 cities

In 2015, our key performance indicator (KPI) is to establish ongoing, on-the-ground activity in 500 cities around the world. The key word is ongoing — we’ve had big success in one-off events through programs like Maker Party. This year, we want to grow those tiny sparks into ongoing, year-round activity through clubs and lasting networks.

From one-off events to lasting Clubs and Networks

Maker Party events help active and on-board local contributors. Clubs give them something more lasting to do. Hive Networks grow further into city-wide impact.

What are we working on?

These key initiatives:

  2. Mozilla Clubs
  3. Hive Networks
  4. Maker Party
  5. MozFest
  6. Badges

image will provide a new home for all our teaching offerings — including Maker Party.

What we did: developed the site, which will soft launch in late April.
What’s next: adding dynamic content like blogs, curriculum and community features. Then make it easier for our community to find and connect with each other.

Mozilla Clubs

We shipped the model and tested it in 24 cities. Next up: train 10 Regional Coordinators. And grow to 100 clubs.

This is a new initiative, evolved from the success of Maker Party. The goal: take the sparks of activation created through Maker Party and sustain them year-round, with local groups teaching the web on an ongoing basis — in their homes, schools, libraries, everywhere.
What we did:

  • Established pilot Clubs in 24 cities. With 40 community volunteers.
  • Shipped new Clubs curriculum, “Web Literacy Basics.”
  • Field-tested it. With 40 educators and learners from 24 cities, including Helsinki Pune, Baltimore, Wellington and Cape Town.
  • Developed a community leadership model. With three specific roles: Club Leader, Regional Coordinator, and Organizer. (Learning from volunteer organizing models like Obama for America, Free the Children and Coder Dojo.)

What’s next:

  • Train 10 Regional Coordinators. Each of whom will work to seed 10 clubs in their respective regions.
  • Develop new curriculum. For Privacy, Mobile and “Teach like Mozilla.”

Hive Networks

What we did:

We added four new cities in Q1, bringing our total to 11. Next up: grow to 15.

  • We welcomed 4 new cities into the Hive family: Hive Vancouver, Mombasa, Denver and Bangalore.
  • Made it easier for new cities to join. Clarified how interested cities can become official Hive Learning Communities and shipped new “Hive Cookbook” documentation.

What’s next:

  • Strengthen links between Clubs and new potential Hives. With shared community leadership roles.
  • Document best practices. For building sustainable networks and incubating innovative projects.
  • Ship a fundraising toolkit. To help new Hives raise their own local funding.

Surman Keynote for Day One - Edit.005

Maker Party

A global kick-off from July 15 – 31, seeding local activity that runs year-round.

What we did: created a plan for Maker Party 2015, building off our previous success to create sustained local activity around teaching web literacy.
What’s next: this year Maker Party will start with a big two-week global kick-off campaign, July 15-31. We’ll encourage people to try out activities from the new Clubs curriculum.

Mozilla Festival

This year’s MozFest will focus on leadership development and training

Mark your calendars: MozFest 2015 will take place November 6 – 8 in London.
A key focus this year is on leadership development; we’ll offer training to our Regional Co-ordinators and build skill development for all attendees. Plus run another Hive Global meet-up, following on last year’s success.
What’s next: refine the narrative arc leading up to MozFest. Communicate this year’s focus and outcomes.


What we did: In Q1 our focus was on planning and decision making.
What’s next: improve the user experience for badge issuers and earners.

Community voices

  • “I run two tech programmes in Argentina. I do it outside of my job, and it can be tricky to find other committed volunteers with skills and staying power. I’d love help, resources and community to do it with.” –Alvar Maciel, school teacher, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • “I always thought I’d visit websites. Not make them! But now I can.” — middle school student from PASE Explorers, NYC afterschool program
  • “Our partnership with Hive makes us fresh, keeps us moving forward rather than doing the same old thing all the time.” –Dr. Michelle Larson, President and CEO, Adler Planetarium, Hive Chicago
  • “We had constant demand from our community members for web literacy classes, and we were finally able to create a great recipe with Mozilla Clubs and curriculum.” –Elio Qoshi, Super Mentor/Mozilla Rep, Albania


The focus this year is on building partnerships that help us: 1) activate more mentors and 2) reach more cities. This builds on the success of partnerships like National Writing Project (NWP) and CoderDojo, and has sparked conversations with new potential partners like the Peace Corps.

Key challenges

  • It’s hard to track sustained engagement offline. We often rely on contributors to self-report their activity — as much of it happens offline, and can’t be tracked in an automated way. How can we incentivize updates and report-backs from community members? How do other organizations tackle this?
  • Establishing new brand relationships. We’ve changed our branding. Our current community of educators grew in deep connection with Webmaker. But in 2015 we made a decision to more closely align learning network efforts directly with the Mozilla brand. How can we best transition the community through this, and simplify our overall branding?
  • Quantifying impact. We’re getting better at demonstrating quantity, as in the numbers of events we host or cities we reach. But those measurements don’t help us measure the net end result or overall impact. How do we get better at that?