New role and next steps in my Hive Toronto journey

New Role:

My adventure with Hive Toronto began in the winter of 2012 as a volunteer at a HackJam event. I learned so much from the experience that I continued with Hive through a Mitacs Elevate post-doctoral fellowship, which commenced in the summer of 2013. Being a post-doctoral research fellow allowed me to build and research Hive Toronto simultaneously.

Using a participatory approach, I have learned much about the building of a learning community to support web literacy and the open web. It is with deep respect for the work and excitement for the next phase of my journey that I am writing to share news — as of June 30th I am transitioning out of Hive Toronto to join Brock University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film. While this new role requires me to step away from day-to-day management of Hive Toronto with Simona, I will remain involved as an active community member and Research Consultant.

Next Steps:

During my time with Mozilla, I have had the pleasure of contributing to a number of initiatives, including the authoring of a white paper on Why Mozilla Cares About Web Literacy and a case study for the Civic Media Reader.  Most recently, I led the privacy badges co-design project, to develop youth centered privacy learning activities. Doing this work together with the Hive Toronto community has been an incredible learning experience, and there is more work to be done together — as Mozilla promotes web literacy across Canada and globally through initiatives like Mozilla Clubs, I will continue my involvement as a resource person, a researcher and a community member. One of my continued roles with Hive Toronto, will be to act as one of its storytellers. In the upcoming months, I will be sharing drafts of book chapters and academic papers with the Hive Toronto community through our Minigroup.

I'd like to learn...Opportunity:

Mozilla plans to hire a part-time Community Manager to organize meetups, community calls, and run social media for Hive Toronto. Please stay tuned for the job posting if you are interested in this opportunity.


I offer my sincere thanks to Hive Toronto’s community members, and the colleagues I have collaborated with to grow and build the network.  During my time as a post-doctoral fellow, Hive members have stepped forward to organize meetups, run professional development sessions, and to participate in collaborative community projects.

Hive Toronto is a dynamic network of educators, and I leave you in the capable hands of Simona Ramkisson. In recent months, Simona and I have collaborated to co-manage Hive Toronto and to gear up for Maker Party 2015.  Previously, I worked closely on Hive Toronto with Kathryn Meisner, who led the network to spark web literacy related collaborations across the GTA.

I am proud that contributions by Hive members and my colleagues are being recognized at the national level. Hive Toronto was recently recognized in MediaSmarts’ report on digital literacy in the Canadian educational landscape.  I have no doubt that Hive Toronto will continue with such innovative work under Simona’s leadership.

Please contact Simona Ramkisson (simona ***at***, who continues to manage the Hive Toronto network, with any inquiries.  You can continue to reach out to me personally at (karen.louise.smith ***at*** and I will update the network when I have a new institutional email address.