Open Web

Genius: Web Annotation, Digital Literacies and Educational Possibilities

Monday, December 22, 2014 Comment Genius website screen shot killer mike article and other rappers on rap poetry injustice

The same evening as the non-indictment announcement in the Michael Brown case was announced, I received an email notification from about a teacher-driven conversation called “How do I talk to my students about Ferguson?” More than two dozen responses flooded into the forum discussion including video links, news articles, and canonical literature that could guide classroom discussions. Looking at the way this community has emerged around an online tool, I have been intrigued by the digital literacy possibilities of and the communities that it is fostering. Originally launched as Rap Genius, the site has

A Brief History of Web Literacy and its Future Potential

Monday, December 01, 2014 Comment WWW mural of the world this is for everyone tim berners-lee quote

“Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.” — George Orwell Part of history is telling stories. It’s about privileging some type of information over others, forming a narrative that helps us make sense of the world. These overviews are important, as they help us orient ourselves toward the future — in ways that reinforce or question what has gone before. We’re constantly reinterpreting the past to make sense of the present. New technologies and revelations can change the way we view those things we think we knew.

Embracing Possibility: Lessons from Mozfest 2014

Monday, November 03, 2014 Comment mozilla festival conference room hundreds of audience members and speaker

Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity to help co-“wrangle” a floor for the 2014 Mozilla Festival, better known as Mozfest. Emphasizing the space’s festival-like ethos (as opposed to typical conference drudgery), Mozfest spills into hallways, walls, and, of course, the web with its bend toward productivity. Described as a “a hands-on festival dedicated to forging the future of this open, global web,” Mozfest brings together a global audience to spend a weekend making stuff. As co-wranglers (with an unequivocally great team of Christina Cantrill, Paul Oh, Jane Park, and Chad Sansing, our role was to

Web Literacies: What is the ‘Web’ Anyway?

Monday, July 23, 2012 Comment graphic design depicting network connections

I’ve recently started in a new role for the Mozilla Foundation. At least half of my job there is to come up with a framework, a White Paper, around the concept of ‘web literacies’. It’s got me thinking about both parts of that term — both the ‘web’ and the ‘literacies’. In this post I want to consider the first of these: what we mean by the ‘web’? I’ve already considered the latter in quite some detail in my doctoral thesis (available at Defining the Web Sometimes it’s important to step back from the things

On the Importance of Webmaking

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 Comment kids and adults working on laptops at table

I’ve come to realize over the last couple of years just how important the Open Web is for online innovation. It’s a standards-based platform that allows anyone to use relatively low-cost technologies to connect things and people together in new ways. It’s radical in its egalitarian, open, and democratic approach. But it’s under threat. When Steve Jobs announced the original iPhone only five years ago in 2007 he emphasized the importance of getting Web browsing right on a mobile device. Hot on the heels of the announcement, of course, came the wildly successful App Store. A