INVITED NC: Hacking as Learning: A slice of the Mozilla Drumbeat Learning, Freedom and the Web Festival

 

It is by now well-understood that youth use media such as online social
 networking, music and video production, and gaming to engage in new types of 
learning experiences both within and outside of the classroom. Less understood, however, is the context in which that learning takes place–
within the local library, on the neighborhood street, in the home or elsewhere.
 With technologies such as smartphones and Flip video cameras, and tools such
as HTML5, Firefox and Android, youth have an increasing ability to learning
 at any time, anywhere and on their own terms. This panel seeks to jumpstart a
 conversation about learning contexts by looking closely at several examples of 
’local learning’ that were incubated at the recent Learning, Freedom and the Web
festival in Barcelona, Spain, organized by the Mozilla Foundation’s Drumbeat
 initiative.

The panel will be comprised of four presentations, two from American contexts 
and two from Spanish contexts. Taylor Bayless (YOUmedia @ CPL), Jack Martin
 (NYPL) and/or Atul Varma (Mozilla) will showcase the public library as a site for 
learning HTML and open web skills. Jordi Delgado (CitiLab) and/or Laia Sanchez
 (CitiLab) will discuss how they bring kids to CitiLab at the Open University of
 Catalonia to teach them skills like Scratch and video production. Jeff McCarter
 (Free Spirit Media), Jessica Klein (NYCLN), and/or Chris Lawrence (NYSCI) will
 give an overview of the digital storytelling activity that they conducted in
 Barcelona’s Raval neighborhood and discuss how physical environs everywhere 
can be rich contexts for learning. Finally, Enric Senabre (CitiLab) and/or Laia 
Benito (Wikimedia) will share the concept of the ‘gimkana’, a type of
 participatory scavenger hunt which uses physical landmarks within an urban 
environment to engage youth in learning about history, urban issues, and
 personal identity.

We seek discussion across all four presentations about how learning within 
important place-based contexts like libraries and neighborhood streets 
creates both opportunities and challenges for informal learners and their 
mentors. Our goal is to expand the discourse on digital media for learning to 
include not only contexts outside the classroom, but outside of the building as 
well.