Growing Hive Toronto, Together

How might we create connected learning and web literacy opportunities for youth?


To break it down further: how might we move youth from consumers to creators through learning opportunities that are highly social, interest-driven, and production- focused and integrate the culture, mechanics and citizenship of the web?

This overarching question drives Hive Learning Networks and has been the compass for Hive Toronto as we moved from our start-up mode into a full-fledged collaborative community of youth-serving organizations over the past year.



Hive Toronto as a Learning Network:



Educators are the network:

As we’ve moved across the Hive growth spectrum from a Hive Learning Community to a Hive Learning Network as articulated by the Hive Global model, Hive Toronto has expanded from 24 initial members organizations to 41 with over 3000 youth impacted by Hive member collaborations. I joined Mozilla as the Director of Hive Toronto just over a year ago and it has been inspring to support this growth and seed collaborations.


The membership aspect may seem obvious but is worth underscoring. It is Hive members – the educators – that are building the pipeline of connected learning and web literacy opportunities for youth. Hive Learning Networks support the construction of the pipeline through building the capacity of and fuel collaboration between educators, our “lead users”.

Hive builds educators’ capacity:

Supported by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and stewarded by Mozilla, Hive Toronto builds member capacity through:

  • Knowledge-sharing and communication
  • Financial support to spur collaboration and innovation
  • Professional development and technology education
  • Project consultation and outreach
  • Documentation and research

Leah Gilliam, the Director of Hive NYC, outlines these capacity-building strategies as it relates to the Hive NYC community her recent blog post.

Highlights of the past year:

Hive Toronto has had an action-packed year with the highlights below being only a few of the ways that the our community has connected and collaborated:


  • Bridging Hive Toronto and the global Webmaker Community of educators
  • Hive Toronto at the Mozilla Festival in London, UK
  • “Hivestarter” workshops to connect members’ needs with other members’ resources
  • Dr. Karen Louise Smith joining the Hive Toronto HQ Mitacs Elevate Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Mozilla Hive Toronto and the University of Toronto
  • Documentation through Hive HQ blog posts, member blog posts, and the creation of this website in collaboration with Hive NYC
  • Supporting the growth of Hive Waterloo
  • Professional development workshops on topics like Webmaker LINK, Open Graphics, and exploring what it means to “work in the open”
  • Expansion of members’ youth programs through the use of Mozilla Toronto’s community space
  • Seeking funding opportunities for members
  • Growth of Hive Toronto HQ with the addition of a part-time Events and Communications Coordinator. Colin Lacey currently holds this role with Jennifer Chan working with us in 2013
  • Taking Hive Global to spread the model to places like India, Berlin, Indonesia and more

Collaborative Community Projects

Another major highlight of the year was the rich collaborations fostered between members and financially supported by OTF and Mozilla through our “Collaborative Community Projects” program. Again, the quality of collaboration within the network is dependent on member organizations.

These Collaborative Community Projects have given previously silo-ed organizations the opportunity to collaborate, build organizational capacity, work with youth to create new learning opportunities while sharing their process and learning with the network and the world by “working open.”

The five Collaborative Community Projects that received funding in 2013 range in content from mobile workshops for youth to intergenerational workshops at a museum:

Read more about the projects here.

For the rest of 2014, we will continue to refine and build upon our existing capacity-building strategies while continuously integrating the developments from our Hive Toronto community, Hive Global, and Mozilla. As new opportunities, events, tools, and collaborations grow within the network our guiding question will still serve as our compass:

How might we create connected learning and web literacy opportunities for youth?

Here’s to the next phase of Hive Toronto!