Mozilla - Drumbeat Festival - After Party (67 sur 84)

Massive Multiplayer Thumb War at the “City Hall” nightclub in Barcelona, via mozillaeu

via @remixmanifesto

So I’ve been back in NYC a few days now and trying to describe to people why I was so psyched about being a part of the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival, and what I think is important about it for others.

[This is both a fun conversational gambit as well as part of my professional duties re: documenting the festival. The hope is to transform the notes and raw materials found here into something as sleek, visual and inviting as these].

So here’s what I got so far:

The magic was in combining 1) educators and 2) technologists who are both committed to 3) innovation in 4) the noncommercial space;

And throwing them together not just to form relationships and build community, but with the expectation that they actually Make stuff (which generally speaking is the best way to form relationships, to build communities, and to learn)

And a specific type of multiculturalism emerged: you have the thoughtfulness, reflectiveness and social engagement of the education people,

combined with the can-do, results-oriented, rapid-prototype, touchable-sketch skillz of the tech people.

And together they Make stuff using technology, specifically, which is one of the most powerful forces shaping and driving social change, but is often perceived by non-technologists as being obscure or malign because it is 1)complex and hard to understand and 2) controlled by Others (those with expertise, corporations, and/or government)

Which helps establish one of the key elements that Mozilla Foundation, as I understand it, is out to establish, which is that the WEB is something WEBuild. (We= Everybody, you, me, not some faceless Others). That’s why you need an open “free” noncommercial web so that it belongs to you and me. And that’s why you need people in general with the skills (and resources, of course) to build it. Because those who control the design of the Web increasingly control other elements of society and our experience.

Which is, in turn, a major task for those in the Learning space to take on: WEB building skills (or WebCraft) constitute a new form of literacy that is lacked by far more people than good old Reading and Writing. I am a Webcraft illiterate myself.

So basically: to spread Webcraft literacy, to learn by making stuff together, to keep the web free by making it ourselves, to shape society through more democratic design, to figure out best ways and practices to learn and make in groups of people who bring different skills to the table, and to think critically about–and tell joyful stories about–all this doing and building and learning and making and sharing, the better to get more people to notice and get involved.

I am doing a bit of handwaving here but this is my first draft sketch–let me know what you think!

10 Responses to “When Learning met Freedom met the Web”

  1. Ivan Travkin says:

    i want to translate this post into Russian and repost on my blog. may i?
    i think you’re right, but sometimes it’s hard to gather people with skills and resourses to make some stuff for free. it’s almost imposible in my university, people doesn’t see the reason. so i trying to ignite them :)

  2. Mark Surman says:

    Great first crack at it. It like the idea of We Build connected to > geek + educator multiculturalism. Sums it nicely.

    The one word I kept tripping over was ‘noncommercial’ — you’re poking at the right idea, bit I don’t think it’s the right word.

    There was tons of ‘commerce’ in the room. Arduino. Flat World Knowledge. In some ways even Mozilla.

    IMHO, the connection is more around free + open, plus some idea of public benefit, the commons, a higher good.

    Would love to brainstorm on that. It’s a critical idea, or maybe more than one idea. Would be good to poke at it and polish it up.

  3. admin says:

    Konyeshno! Pozhalysta.
    Where do you teach?

  4. admin says:

    Hey Mark–Thanks for feedback!
    Obviously, all this stuff has to be sustainable. Supported in the marketplace, by charity, or by taxpayers. The marketplace can be the most honest and direct way to make a project sustainable when it is open and competitive and companies are accountable to their customers.
    Beyond the very important concept of “public benefit/commons/higher good,” what i’m clumsily attempting to exclude with the term “noncommercial” is a frame that treats the people you’re serving with the stuff you make as passive “consumers” or “users” to be duped, cajoled, coerced. Sucker born every minute and all that.

    And most of what goes on in education is in the name of the public good already, yet this paradigm is just as prevalent and just as destructive in education as it is in the shadier precincts of commerce–seeing students either as customers, or folks to be bullied/tricked into paying attention to boring and lazy teaching. In most of the for-profit higher ed world it’s 10 times worse–students are more like marks or patsies, sign ‘em up, get em through the door, collect their loan money.

    So maybe commons is best because it carries the notion of participatory–populated by citizens and not customers.

  5. tressiemc says:

    I’m sorry but is this post a long text message? I know the digital environment encourages first drafts and flexible mechanics/syntax but there is a valid case to be made for readability. This is why a completely opensource educational environment troubles so many purists. i really could only make logical sense of, perhaps, every other clause or idea. The numbering system was odd and detracted from readability. Also, sentences like this have a great many words but little meaning:

    And together they Make stuff using technology, specifically, which is one of the most powerful forces shaping and driving social change, but is often perceived by non-technologists as being obscure or malign because it is 1)complex and hard to understand and 2) controlled by Others (those with expertise, corporations, and/or government)

    “It” is “malign” by “non-technologists”? If you remove the clauses you’ll see how confusing that is. Also, capitalization may be a hassle in new media formats but, again, it does serve a purpose. I cannot determine if “Make” has importance because of the capitalization or it is a proper noun or…well, what.

    This piece highlights some issues we’ll have to tackle, as a community, before “non-technologists” truly grasp the power and potential of innovate learning platforms.

  6. Jade says:

    I am wondering if maybe open would be better than non-commercial? I’m think about Mitchell’s opening and her say how we want businesses that ARE commercial to want to be more open to the open web and open source concept because it the long run it is more beneficial even in those environments. And the space was an open space, both literally and figuratively. We were in the middle of a square and it was open to people from all walks of life and steps in their career, etc.

  7. Mark Surman says:

    Yeah, I think ‘participatory’ is key. Consumers -> creators / collaborators / learners is very much the ethic we’re talking about, and also the ethic of the web. I think ‘free’ and ‘open’ are also about this.

  8. admin says:

    Hey Tressie,
    Yes, this post is supposed to be a long message written in text :) . I wonder what it will sound like when translated into Russian? Are you familiar with the concept of ostranenie–the Russian literary technique of “making it strange”? It helps us access concepts in a new way through the startling use of language.

  9. tressiemc says:

    I am familiar with defamiliarization. I think the difference, as I experienced it reading this, is INTENT. I did not feel as though the intent of the piece was to make strange the ideas but that the ideas were just not yet fully formed.

    I really like the idea of crowd-sourcing information and critique but I am also very fond of communicating ideas for the purpose of moving the idea forward. That requires at least a few shared rules of meaning construction.

    You have sparked an interesting discussion.

  10. Ivan Travkin says:

    thanx! i teach math at Sakhalin State University. sorry, i was busy this days, but finaly i posted this post in Russian on our blog:

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