And we’re done!
Last Sunday, the Webmaker sessions I’ve been running for nannies, caregivers, and volunteers at the Kababayan Community Centre in Toronto concluded with our third meeting.
The day started with a recap of Popcorn Maker, and giving folks some time to try out a sample project and remix it. I made sure that everyone watched the tutorial video first and, for good measure, demoed the interface on how to add media clips and some basic events.
After a nice lunch, everyone was given an hour to polish a project or two and share it to the group. I requested each one to present one (either a Thimble or a Popcorn Maker project), but a few presented two.
Here’s a quick round-up of what they presented:
- Jocelyn - https://thimble.webmaker.org/p/lgsi/
- Jocelyn (2) - http://popcorn.webmadecontent.org/13w4
- Ana - https://thimble.webmaker.org/p/lgkh/
- Jasmin - https://thimble.webmaker.org/p/lgt3/
- Irene - https://thimble.webmaker.org/p/lgsw/
- Myraflor - https://thimble.webmaker.org/p/lgsk/
- Patrick - https://thimble.webmaker.org/p/lgt4/
- Patrick (2) - http://popcorn.webmadecontent.org/13sh
- Racquel - http://popcorn.webmadecontent.org/13sd/
- Racquel (2) - https://thimble.webmaker.org/p/lgow/
- Joy - https://thimble.webmaker.org/p/lgt7/
- Iren - https://thimble.webmaker.org/p/lgtr/
- Angie - http://popcorn.webmadecontent.org/13sg
The day’s session was neatly wrapped-up with time devoted about sharing Mozilla Webmaker to their friends, family, and even their wards. I shared that they, as nannies, caregivers, and volunteers, are in a very great place to share their knowledge to people around them and they can participate in the upcoming Mozilla Maker Party in the next months.
I’m very proud of the group— they really started with limited to no knowledge about creating webpages, and thanks to the Webmaker tools, they have learned webmaking, its ethos, and some have gained a good start to a track they may pursue in the future.
I asked them to share their thoughts and feelings about the workshop and those who consented to my humble request (thanks!), here’s a quick message of gratitude from them:
For now, I’m happy to know that there are nannies and caregivers in Toronto who appreciate webmaking and know how to handcraft webpages with HTML and CSS.
This is a continuation of my thoughts and takeaways from organizing and running the Webmaker for Nannies, an activity aimed at teaching web literacy to a group of nannies and live-in caregivers based in Toronto.
One of the things I realized from the last session was that there was a lot of tweaking to be made. I also got feedback from Mozilla Foundation folks Laura Hilliger and Michelle Thorne about possible improvements and tweak I did. (Thanks, ladies!)
I would say Day 2 was a breakthrough day. I started the day off with a rough wireframing/sketching exercise: I asked the learners to sketch the website the would like to make using Sharpies on a letter-sized paper. After everyone was done with their sketches, I asked people to volunteer to share to the group what they did.
At that point, I was expecting around 3-4 presenters, but everyone turned out to be eager to share their works! Most of their sites were about themselves and things they are interested in and I think it was a great start.
I then asked them to label each major element on their sketches (logos, pictures, paragraphs, titles, etc.) using small Post-its and add a small note describing what that element is (like an annotation).
I then proceeded to recap the lesson on basic HTML tags (<p>, <img>, <h1>, <li>) and asked each learner to put on the Post-it note the HTML tag they think the element should have. I hovered around the room to help folks who were stuck.
My intention for that exercise was to teach the concept of each element appearing on the browser needed to be coded with the proper HTML tag. I think it worked because what followed was a huge improvement from last week.
When everyone was finished with the HTML “tagging,” I asked everyone to open Thimble and use the HTML tags they learned to create a simple webpage. From what I gathered, everyone had an easier time creating their own pages with Thimble. I had the help of the HTML cheat sheet that was provided by the Hacktivity Kit.
I then proceeded to teach basic CSS using inline style attributes. Everyone lit up when they learned that they could add color and adjust positioning of the elements in their webpages.
Here are some of the Thimble projects the learners are working on:
The day concluded with a quick intro to Popcorn Maker (which everyone will try next time).
Over-all, I felt the progress everyone made was very significant and judging by the way every was busy coding, things are looking great for the final session in on May 26.
Day 1 of the Webmaker for Nannies is finally done!
The Webmaker for Nannies, as the name implies, is an event I’m piloting where I take Mozilla Webmaker and introduce it to nannies. Essentially, teaching nannies how to code and make the web
This group is particularly not the initial audience for Webmaker, but my gut feel says that there’s a good match there: A lot of nannies want to learn new things for personal and professional enrichment, and the people they work with and take care of may benefit from learning about webmaking from a trusted person.
The workshop currently is designed to have two session and touch on the three Webmaker tools: X-Ray Goggles, Thimble, and Popcorn Maker. I’ve tailored the content based on the Hacktivity Kits posted at the Hive website.
I’ve learned a lot after the first session and here are some of my takeaways:
- They found X-Ray Goggles fun! - a lot of the “aha” moments from the participants came with the use of X-Ray Goggles. The participants discovered that you can actually “remix/edit/hack” websites. I sensed that every had fun with this bit.
- They found it hard to edit HTML attributes - Argh, but reality eventually sunk in. There were several who found the edit interface for X-Ray Goggles too small, and thus had difficulty with editing the src attribute of the <img> tag. I did make use of Firefox’s Zoom funcionality, but I guess an ehancement X-Ray Goggles can have in the future is text adjustment baked in the tool. An additional enhancement would be better assisted highlighting.
- It would be good to weave in “how the internet works” topics in the sessions - After the X-Ray Goggles, I introduced Thimble. I took the opportunity to explain briefly (and in a simplified manner) how the internet works. I thought it would better contextualize the next lesson, but…
- They struggled mightily with HTML tag pairs - Things really got ugly in the Thimble piece. I saw in the quality and quantity of projects how almost everyone had difficulty with HTML coding, even with a cheat sheet and and me hovering around to help them code. The only idea I can think of is really devote more time in the lesson and add offline activities to set things up better.
- I may need to add an extra day - The general theme of the day was simply, everybody need more time. In my initial plan, I was supposed to cover Popcorn Maker on Day 1— it never happened. There were close to 20 participants and I think adding a day to cover Thimble (which I think is the meat of this workshop) would be great.
- Improvise! - One of the things I’ve picked up on learning improvisational comedy is to really run with the things happening, especially the unexpected ones. The day started with everyone coming in late because there was a huge city marathon that affected public transport. I took the time to set up Persona accounts as people trickled in one by one.
I’ve tweeted that I’ll do a lot of tweaking and I hope the next day will be smoother and more fun for everyone.
(Note: This is script I wrote for a recent community builders Popcorn project I made at a Mozilla video sprint. I figured it would be great to make it into a blog post.)
Working with volunteers in Mozilla can be fun and rewarding, but it can also be quite daunting. But don’t worry, the good news is that Mozilla has built a good relationship with a very engaged community and the key is identifying the right approach for a variety of volunteers.
For the next few minutes, I’ll give a high-level overview of how to work with 3 general types of volunteers based on theories on Motivation & Ability. This is adapted from the classic research by Hersey and Blanchard, as well as comtemporary work by Fogg.
To better understand these types, here’s a Venn Diagram. The two circles represent Motivation and Ability and from this model, we can generalize three types of volunteers. They are:
- The Go-getters: the volunteers with high motivation
- The Experts: the volunteers with high ability
- The Superstars: the volunteers with high motivation and high ability.
First, let’s focus on The Go-getters.
In working with Go-Getters, the best way is to be a facilitator in showing them how to learn more about your project or initiative, and this includes training, coaching and, providing resources directly.
The second group is The Experts.
There are a lot of skilled volunteers in Mozilla, whether in coding, QA, and even organizing events. The key to engaging with them is to provide a spark of inspiration. This would require a lot more emotional leadership and positive communication on your part to generate excitement, but the rewards can be great.
And finally, The Superstars.
This group is in the sweet spot where motivation and ability are high and it’s just a matter of giving a signal that you need their help— just find them and send the word out. (Here’s a tip: a lot of these Superstars are Mozilla Reps).
The grouping is by no means definitive, but I hope this will give you a better idea in working with the community.
All right. To recap, when you’re working with Go-Getters, provide them with a path, when you’re working with Experts, provide excitement, and when you’re working with Superstars, send them the right signal.
This has been Regnard Raquedan and have a great time working with the community.
Last March 22, 2013, I wore my Mozilla Rep hat and represented Mozilla at the Game Night organized by the University of Toronto Computer Science Students Union.
It was my very first university event in Toronto, and it was quite awesome. The event itself was a massive game event where Computer Science students played a variety of games, both electronic and non-electronic. Classic board games like Monopoly, as well as retro video games (NES, SNES), were played side by side with advanced console and PC games.
My booth set-up was simple, but I had plenty of interactions with students who asked questions about HTML5 gaming, web development, and even Thunderbird. Of course, there were complaints about the Firefox browser, which turned out to be no longer valid (ummm, like the old “memory hog” complaint).
I also had a chance to speak to the event attendees during a time when everyone congregated at the main building lobby (pictured above). I took the opportunity to invite the students to look at the latest Mozilla updates such as Webmaker and Firefox OS.
The upside of having the event was it was a great community building effort and it built a relationship with a local community that I haven’t reached out to before. Definitely, there will be more university Mozilla Rep events in the near future.
Early this month, I was with the Mozilla Reps in Athens, Greece for the Webmaker ReMo Training Days (RTD), a 3-day workshop meant to help us become better mentors for children and teachers/coaches who want to become Webmakers.
The three days were pretty intense and it culminated with a real Webmaker event at the British Council in Athens. (I was part of a group that taught a group of 13 year-olds how to use Popcorn Maker for their school projects.)
After the workshop, I had time to reflect and think about what my takeaways from the time I spent with the Webmaker folks and fellow Mozilla Reps in Athens and I had three main thought points:
- Teaching kids is hard - While I was aiming to teach Webmaker coaches, this experience was a reminder that teaching kids is a specific discipline that people train years for. Yeah, I’ve had the chance to teach classes on the collegiate and professional level, but, as I said in our debrief after the RTD, I had a new-found respect for middle school teachers.
- More time, please? - Simply put, I had hoped for more time, for both the content in sharing Webmaker knowledge and tools, as well as preparation for the culminating event. I know this is a testbed for us to experiment and test our limits, but I found myself focusing on the event management aspect of things towards the end.
- Reps are a hardy bunch - I’m also reminded of the positive attitude and gung-ho spirit of the Mozilla Reps. Everyone was just so willing to learn and open to working with other, despite a lot of us meeting personally for the first time. It always amazes me that we are able to build rapport in such a short amount of time.
And to that last point, one of the things I’m proud of was our attempt to join the internet meme canon of “Harlem Shake” (try to find where I am in the video):
Over-all, the experience made me think about how I’ll bring stuff I’ve learned (Hactivity Kits, Popcorn Maker, integrating more fun in the learning process) back to Toronto and applying it for maximum effect.
Stay tuned for my Webmaker event next month.
Mozilla Reps (Photo credit: Benny Chandra)
Thanks to an idea Mozilla Rep Emma Irwin raised in a North America Regional Meeting a couple of weeks ago, I was inspired to write a quick and dirty guide for writing budget requests for Mozilla Reps all over the globe.
The budget request form is pretty straight-forward, but there information you can include right off the bat to improve the chances of your request being approved. Hopefully, by the time a rep has finished reading this blog post, he/she will be more informed and optimistic about making budget requests.
Before You Make The Request
- Before you start to make your request, make sure you’ve created an event at the Mozilla Reps Portal. Fill out all needed information, and it is recommended that you don’t skip the “Additional Info” field. This is a space where you can place justification why the event is great and worthy of support.
- Be sure to read the common Questions asked by budget reviewers and be sure to have as much answers for your budget request.
Writing The Request
- Remember, like anything related to finance, transparency is key. Place a breakdown of your budget requests as much as possible.
- If you look at the subsection called “Costs Per Service,” this is the place where you list one by one the costs. It is a good practice to avoid lumping costs together.
- In a field called “Service”, indicate what you are getting. An example would be travel expenses, lodging expenses, venue costs for an event, food and refreshments, and the like.
- In the “Cost” field, indicate the amount in US Dollars. There are plenty of currency conversions sites at your disposal.
After Submitting the Request
- Go to the bugzilla page of the budget request (usually it looks like https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=XXXXXX) and see if everything is in order.
- At this point, it is highly recommended that you place supporting information in the “Additional Comments” field of the bugzilla page. Some information could include a more detailed description of the event and reasons you think the event is worth supporting.
- Still in the Additional Comments field, it would also be a good idea to include links to websites that are relevant to your requests.
- It is also very recommended that you indicate the success metrics of your event. Metrics is a good way to show that you’re event will contribute to what the Mozilla Reps is aiming to accomplish. I’ll delve more details on metrics later.
- Finally, write something about what you’ll be doing at the event.
Update: Thanks to Brian King for suggesting an additional section about post-event activities.
After the Event
- Be sure to collect and save receipts for the costs you have incurred in your event— these will be needed as attachments to your budget request bug to process reimbursements.
- It would take around 2-3 weeks for payments to be processed, so be patient. If this is an issue for you, don’t hesitate to talk to your Mozilla Reps mentor.
- When you’re finished with a blog post or uploading photos or videos of your event, it is highly recommended that you post that in the bugzilla budget request page and the Mozilla Reps Mailing List.
- Remember the metrics you’ve provided in your request? It would be a very good idea to follow through on them and save them as some sort of documentation. Don’t worry if you missed some of your intended success metrics— but at least you will know what worked and what didn’t for your next event.
While this list is not definitive, this is a list of possible metrics that you can include in your request, with what you think are reasonable estimates:
- Event registrations & attendance
- “Get Involved” sign-ups
- ReMo Applications filed
- Successful ReMo applicants
- Local Media coverage: Television & radio coverage, articles on print and online
- Shares on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc.)
- Comments on website/blog
- Progress on localization efforts
Here’s an example that gives an overview of the event and describes it in good detail:
Event X is the most widely-attended FOSS event in my city. It attract about 1,000 Open Source professionals and students, and it is usually headlined by a popular speaker. Last year, Mr. X was the primary keynote, along with Ms Y. and Mr. Z. It is covered by local media on both television and print, and it is an event techies look forward to. The website of the event is http://www.eventx.org
Here’s an example that outlines your activities in the event:
Our group will be on the booth and we will give away swag to people passing by. We’ll also talk to people and entertain questions about Mozilla and the Mozilla Reps program. We’ll also run contests where people will do at the booth.
Here’s an example statement describing what you will do at the event, and stating the metrics you are considering:
Event X will have 200 people in attendance, with a few local bloggers attending. An estimated 10 blog posts will be written and attendees will have the chance to participate in a talk I will be facilitating, where I will invite people to get involved in Mozilla. I estimate 5 people will be signing up at the “Get Involved” page at the Mozilla site.
Finally, here’s an example write-up after the event:
Event X was a success! I wrote a blog post at http://myblog.com/eventx and photos are uploaded in my Flickr album Event X. There were around 300 people who attended, and there are around 3 blog posts about the event. It was a very pleasant surprise that 50 people tweeted about the event and the tweets were generally positive. As of this update, I am aware that there is only one person who signed up at the Get Involved page at the Mozilla site (the person I talked to in the booth).
Making a budget request shouldn’t be stressful and actually easy if you take the time to put in the right details and be pro-active in answering potential questions from your mentor or a reviewer.
Now go plan your awesome event and make a budget request without fear! :D
I’ve been a member of the UPA for the last couple of years and this is a welcome change.
The letter, written by UXPA President Rich Gunther, sheds some light in the name/organization change. The way I see it, it’s more of expanding the scope of the organization from usability folks (ease of use) to user experience (matching user & organization goals).
This is why I think this is a good move: I’ve observed that usability has in the past decade or so and for some reason, excellent usability practice just hovered around the technical and the academic areas. In Rich’s talk, he elaborates further: the usability field ha changes since the organization’s inception in 1991.
Here’s the letter posted in the UXPA site:
Hello to members of the user experience community, UPA members, and our colleagues around the world.
I’ve had the opportunity over the past 24 hours to listen to the community as it digests, either here in Las Vegas or around the world, the meaning of our announcement. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, yesterday at the UPA 2012 conference, UPA treasurer Ronnie Battista announced that the UPA is no longer. We have started a brand new organization, the UXPA, or User Experience Professionals Association. Ronnie spent a great deal of time and effort on that talk, and I want you to be able to experience it. A transcript of that talk is linked here. Please note that this is in raw format and only represents a rough facsimile of the actual talk Ronnie delivered.
While Ronnie’s talk certainly introduces the change, you’ll find that it is remarkably and intentionally lacking in details. When speaking with our members and leaders of the UX community while considering this change, we realized that while we have been above average in meeting the needs of the UPA community, attempting to support the needs of 50,000+ UX practitioners is a different thing completely. The salient point from Ronnie’s talk is this: we want you, the UX community to determine, guide and shepherd this new organization. We launched this change at a conference on Leadership recognizing that we, the current board, are not the people who should determine the direction of the UXPA, or what UXPA is in the first place. It’s all of you.
That being said, we do know one thing: there is a distinct and immediate need for a global, modern, innovative professional organization for User Experience Professionals. To those of you tweeting and blogging, ask yourself only one question: Are you a User Experience Professional? If you are, we consider you part of the UXPA. You have a home and a voice here, whether that voice be positive or negative at the current time. In fact, I would implore you to get involved, to help out, to collaborate. Criticize, but put your money where your mouth is, and chip in. We want to work with you. There is plenty of time for discussion, but now is a time for ACTION.
This much is clear: the turf war stops here. It must. We can spend the next ten years arguing which sub-discipline “owns” User Experience, but it won’t come to anything. I call on my counterparts in all other UX-related professional organizations to look at ways we can work together. This is not a power play or land grab. With humility and respect, I would entertain any and all discussions about collaboration, integration, and investment with our colleagues from IxDA, ACM-SIGCHI, AIGA, IAI/ASIS&T, STC, HFES, British HCI, APCHI, the Service Design Network, and any others. Between these groups and the current talented and passionate membership of UPA, together we will truly be the premier global professional association supporting people who work in this field. A field that we cannot define alone. We envision a loose confederation of organizations that doesn’t ‘unite’ us so much as it connects us. For our part, we will invest the reserves we have built up to move this mission forward.
This is an exciting time for our industry, that is for certain. The future will be determined by those who are willing and able to take bold action. If you are in that group, email me your thoughts at email@example.com, get involved in our discussions on Twitter or LinkedIn, and let’s get to work.
President, User Experience Professionals Association
If you ask me, webmaking is for everyone. That’s why I took the opportunity to take some time speak about it in a class my wife and I volunteer to teach during the weekends.
This is not just your typical class— this is a group of Filipino nannies and caregivers who are interested in IT.
The classes were held at the Kababayan Community Centre Multicultural Services in Toronto every Sunday in the afternoon. The class was comprised of 21 women who work as stay-in nannies or personal support workers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
After talking to them, I got to know their situations better: Most of them take care of children whose parents are busy working. These women spend many hours with the children and several say that they treat their wards like family. (On a side note, this kind of affinity is common to Filipino nannies).
I see this sharing about webmaking a good opportunity to educate the members of the class to know more about a potential skill that’s key in the future, as well as information they can in turn share to their employers and wards.
I know the webmaking movement is currently focused on a younger set, but I think this is one segment of the population that can also benefit from web literacy.
I’ve been following the Webmaker activities in Mozilla and the developments couldn’t be more timely. Mozilla Executive Director Mark Surman has made a case for building the future with a web literate planet and to me, this message has resonated: Why not take full advantage of the web as an open platform by making it a canvas for one’s ideas.
As a newcomer to Toronto, I felt that one sector that can benefit from the embracing a Webmaker ethic is the newcomer/immigrants who are looking for jobs.
For most people, the story is already familiar: skilled immigrants arrive in their new country only to be underemployed. Several articles and academic studies have already investigated and validated the anecdotes of the developer from Asia ending up working as a Tim Horton’s and I see this as an opportunity.
First, let me be clear: I’m not trying to solve the Canada’s immigration issues, but I’m just seeing a tiny crack where the Web can directly impact a community that needs all the help it can get.
When I arrived in Toronto last year, the job market was tight. In the first months as an unemployed newcomer, I participated in a workshop organized by ACCES Employment, a non-profit that aids newcomers to Canada in integrate into the workforce. In the workshop I attended, I learned that one of the challenges most immigrants face is the failure to basically market themselves to their potential employers.
I took those lessons to heart and eventually got a job as an User Experience Designer/Information Architect for a financial institution based in downtown Toronto a few months later.
One of the things that helped me in landing my current job is the website that I made using html5slides. I figured that there may be Webmaker-type immigrants out there who’d like to do something similar in their job hunt. It could be a simple site, but it’s build or coded by them.
As part of the Mozilla Reps program, I reached out to ACCES Employment and asked if they would be interested in hosting a talk to teach folks who’d like to take the Webmaker route. They said “Yes” and we’re now ironing out the schedule for this talk. :)
What I like about this coming talk is that I get to share something about the Webmaker ethic and have the potential to make a difference on the individual level. At the very least, I’m using the Open Web to introduce someone to a whole new route towards personal success.
Found this interesting promo from Adobe with their upcoming Creative Suite 6 release.
If you purchased an eligible Adobe Creative Suite product through Adobe.com on or after March 26, 2012, you are qualified to receive an upgrade to the equivalent Creative Suite 6 version of your product at no additional cost when CS6 ships. Fot this promo, a coupon will be sent to the email address approximately 10 days after CS6 becomes publicly available.
The free upgrade to CS6 will be available for electronic download from adobe.com. But in locations where electronic downloads are not an option, Adobe will ship your free upgrade in a box. (Seriously, this could be the default option in bandwidth-challenged countries).