“Think Globally, Act Locally” originally began at the grassroots level, however, it is now a global concept with high importance. It is not just volunteers who take the environment into consideration. It is corporations, government officials, education system, and local communities.
– from Wikipedia
On Friday December 13th, our local Mozilla community hosted a Mozilla Webmaker booth at Discover Tectoria, a showcase of Victoria’s tech community. In addition to the booth, Dethe Elza and I presented two sessions: ‘Learning to Code with Mozilla Webmaker” to an auditorium filled with parents, youth and educators(which was a LOT of fun).
By all measure this event was a huge success for our local community:
Originally I envisioned a more general ‘Mozilla’ booth, but given our community work with Webmaker it just made sense. We spoke with a wide-range of educators, young people, parents, grandparents, technologists and students, and for each the connection between Webmaker and their own values was a quick match. The overwhelming consensus was that people wanted to participate, connect, learn more – and volunteer. Huge wins all around.
My only regret of our presentation was not following-up on all those young hands raised during our session, in response to our ‘who has tried to create their own webpage, or make their own game?’. I think understandingwhat kids were already doing would have been great learning of *us*. gah! Next time.
Mozilla Lives Here
Many were surprised to learn Mozilla had a local community. The message that Mozilla exists beyond a browser, or an office – as a group of people in the community was so important to share. Being ‘on the ground’, and at events like one is an opportunity to personalize and localize the meaning of our work with the ‘invitation’ to join us. This visibility was a very big win, and alone made the conference worthwhile.
Core community members: Clint Lalonde, Scot Leslie, Dethe Elza, Brenda Petays, Erika Drushka and myself were able to come together for a day – a huge deal for a group with other full time commitments and family. It was so, so, so, so great to spend time together. Of course two friends were missing: Helen Lee and Brett Gaylor – we missed you!
We wrapped up each session with our local Webmaker Club webpage, a description of what I was doing in Sooke with my Webaker Club, encouraging others to consider something similar in their schools: again lots of interest. If ‘too much interest’ is a thing – I might have reached that with requests to talk to groups of teachers, and I have a bowl of business cards, and sticky notes with emails and phone numbers of those who want to act locally with Webmaker.
I have to make some decisions on how best to follow-up with each of these individuals, students who want to teach coding, educators who have a lot of questions about how much they have to learn to teach coding, grandparents, parents, administrators, technologists – even an HTML5 video game programmer who seem 100% keen to teach. What I wish, have always wished is that Webmaker, or even just Mozilla had a community hub. I wish I could say ” Go to webmaker.org/victoria where you can create your own school group/post a question on the forum. I have the skills to build this for local purposes, but truly wish for something like Drupal.org for everyone who wants to grow and connect community without too many jars of sticky notes :) In North America I feel this movement is about to ignite and that a community hub would help that tremendously.
The entire weekend, I’ve had the the theme in my head ‘Think Global, Act Local‘, a phrase used to capture the spirit of acting locally with global impact on the environment. It’s a phrase I feel equally translates to our work with Mozilla. As a Mozilla Rep I feel very connected to the global community of Mozillians, but my original reasons for getting involved have always been to bring change locally; to inspire others to do the same where they live.
I’m incredibly proud to be part of a community empowering change from the grassroots level on Vancouver Island.