Hive 2015 recap & Learning Pop-Up!



The end of 2015 is just around the corner, and again we’ve had a fantastic year of the Hive Learning Pop-Up since our launch in 2014. Here’s how 2015 went down!

Since our launch in fall 2014, in partnership with our awesome community partner – the Vancouver Maker Foundation, we’ve managed to organize a series of smaller-scale, community-based, quarterly Maker Education Salon to sustain engagement and interest with the local Maker Education community. The #MakerEdBC community has definitely grown and expanded since the Hive Pop-Up kick off in 2014.

In Summer 2015, our wonderful community partner from the Vancouver Public Library approached us, asking for the Hive Vancouver team to put together another Hive Learning Pop-Up because of the success from 2014. Though we’re down 1 person with Kat pursuing her PhD in the UK, Dethe & I persisted and managed to rally up local Mozillians and volunteer contributors to put the event together.

On November 14, a rainy Saturday afternoon, our rock star volunteer contributors & Hive community partners came together at the VPL and we’ve pulled together another year of a successful Hive Learning Pop-Up for 2015! Here’s just some of the highlights from this year’s event:

After a full year of community effort, I can proudly say that we’ve definitely surpassed ourselves from last year. To pat ourselves on the back, we’ve managed to double our number of community partners participating in Hive Learning Pop-Up, nailed the #MakerEdBC hashtag on Twitter, and gained traction by increasing interest from local communities.

MozFest 2015 & Design Thinking: Maximize Resources in Your Community



At the 2015 Mozfest, my 3rd MozFest, I was part of the Participation Leaders Cohort where I joined an army of other Mozillians who were volunteer contributors just like me, who chose to dedicate their valuable time to the Mozilla mission. I was ecstatic when I learned that I was chosen as part of this cohort because after a few years of being a volunteer contributor, I was growing a bit weary of battling the ongoing challenges of limited resources of a growing community.  Based on the guidance provided by my awesome mentor Emma Irwin, I created this #MyMozFest Experience “Plan”.

At this MozFest, I really wanted to facilitate a session that would benefit people like me – volunteer contributors who are highly motivated with limited resources.  I wanted this to be a session that could inspire all of us to do better in our communities, so I pitched a session on “Design Thinking – Maximizing Resources in Your Community.

Design Thinking Model

Design Thinking Model

In that session, I met fellow aspiring volunteer contributors who wanted to create change in their community.  We identified strengths & weaknesses in our communities, that seem so different, yet the challenges are similar…

Community Strengths & Weaknesses Brainstorming Board

Community Strengths & Weaknesses Brainstorming Board

Then participants were broken up into smaller groups where communities with similar strengths worked together.   Each group were asked to interview each other and identify the issues they’d like to resolve in their community by reframing the problem in a different way…

Dig Deeper

Dig Deeper

Design Thinking Session

Design Thinking Session

We didn’t have time to dive into the Prototype & Test stages, but considering the session was only 1 hour, I think we did a pretty good introduction of the Design Thinking Process.

From this session, it made me think about how different, yet similar our communities are, which is relevant to Mozilla because we need to be familiar with the strengths & weaknesses in our communities in order to achieve success (whatever it may be) in our communities.

For those reading, my call to action is for you to apply the Design Thinking Process in the context of your community:

  • What would you like to achieve in your community? For instance, it could be to achieve a healthy, sustainable & successful Mozillian community. If so, what does it look like for you?
  • Identify the strengths & weaknesses in your community.
  • Reframe the problem – think about what you’re really trying to achieve? Can things be done in a different way in order to achieve the same goal?
  • Be brave. Try it out, prototype & test it. Does it work? Does it totally fail? What happens when you try it?

We would be more than happy to hear your stories. 🙂

MozFest 2014 & Webmaking in Higher Education



This year I had the pleasure to attend Mozilla Festival 2014 at Ravensbourne College in London, UK.  This is my second time attending MozFest.  The first time I was representing Hive NYC helping out at the very first Hive Pop-Up at MozFest. This time around I have multiple roles – I’m a Mozilla Rep & I am representing Royal Roads University facilitating a session under the Build & Teach the Web Track.

Some of the highlights of MozFest14 include…

    • Getting a FireFox Flame (ready to rock & roll with this bad boy~)



    • Trying out #MozMate



  • Attending #MakerParty which included participants of various ages!

MozFest Session Facilitation – Webmaking in Higher Education

Last but not least, another major highlight was facilitating my session – Webmaking in Higher Education.  The purpose of my session was to meet like-minded individuals who work in higher education and/or educators in various areas to talk about how we can incorporate webmaker tools and other open source tools in our learning environment. You can find the details of my session in this Session Notes Google Doc.

Group Contact

As a group we decided to stay connected so we can update each other on what’s happening in our communities on the topics we’ve discussed!  So I created 2 lists so we can all stay in touch.  🙂

Twitter Listmozfest2014-webmakehighered
Google Groupmozfest2014 webmaking highered

Makers as Mentors at #VMMF 2014



At this year’s Vancouver Mini Maker Faire in additional to having an awesome Mozilla Webmaker booth, Emma, Dethe & I decided to put together a Makers as Mentors workshop to encourage local makers to become mentors through Maker Parties!

Amongst workshop participants we had Joseph Lopez, a reporter from the local paper Georgia Straight, so Emma had an idea for the mini-challenge – we asked participants to hack the front page of the Straight using Webmaker tool X-Ray Goggles.  Joseph had a blast and he later wrote an article about Mozilla Webmakers, which included a picture of me during the workshop demonstration.  :p

Helen doing a demo of X-ray Goggles during the workshop

Me doing a demo of X-ray Goggles during the workshop

We also had many librarian friends joining us for the workshop including Tamarack, who took a snapshot of Emma delivering the workshop.

Maker Faire this year was lots of fun! We made a lot of friends from last year’s Faire and made a few more friends again this year. This is definitely going to be an annual tradition for Mozilla Webmakers in BC.


I was extremely honoured to present ‘Integrate Web Literacy with Mozilla Webmaker’ , at the Canadian Open Data this past February 20th, one day before Open Data Day. The Open Data community has been a collaborative partner of Mozilla in British Columbia for a couple of years now, and definitely kindred spirits in promoting openness and digital literacy.

In 2013 our Mozilla community joined in for Open Data day at City Hall in Victoria BC. Herb Lainchbury organized the adult hackathon, and we brought a group of youth to hack on Webmaker tools with a focus on memories of their city. It was great event, made even better by the partnership of our two communities providing opportunity for youth to interact with adults making a difference in their community.

That’s the mayor of Victoria BC incase you’re wondering 🙂

As a developer I am very keen to learn more about opportunity to bring open innovation to advocacy projects, and although i’ve long understood the value of Open Data – this conference really opened my eyes to not only the potential, but the work being done across Canada to make a difference in everything from how we evaluate neighborhoods and Real Estate, to how we can better hold accountable – our political leaders. Also Vancouver BC in Minecraft.The Open Data community is one to watch for innovation.

The connecting theme for Mozilla Webmaker was clear , three speakers before me expressed concern for missing or minimal Digital, Data, and Media Literacy. Literacy to grow a community, Literacy to free information, Literacy to empower citizens – all limited without the web, all made much more difficult without a web literate population. I found this great quote:

  1. There is a misplaced assumption that everybody knows what data is, and how useful it can be. Yet that’s not the case at all.- RSA Blogs

Which really reflected my own experience:

There is misplaced assumption that youth today are empowered in technology; that they understand the Web is their to make. Most Don’t -Me (based on my conversations with youth ages 8-18 in BC)

My suggestion is, that the future of open data advocacy depends on the next generation’s recognition that the web is theirs to make. Web Literacy is not a part of the curriculum in British Columbia (that still sounds crazy when I say it out loud), and so that invitation is entirely missing.

Dream: A merging of the Webmaker ‘Maker Party’ Map, and the Open Data Day ‘Hackathon’ Map. That as the Open Data community grows, we not only run more events together teaching the web, but that all of the cool things they’re doing grow into Hacktivity Kits – so that anyone interested in teaching literacy relevant to open data, can…

Webmaker Party Map Open Data Day Hackathon Map
webmaker opendata

Here’s the Open Data Day Hacktivity we created.

I met lots of inspiring, cool people doing amazing things – and EXCITED EXCITED – about teaching the web, including Sean from the City of Surrey who will be running teen hackathon with Mozilla Appmaker as a result of standing up and asking for ‘help’ after my talk 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how that goes.


I PLAN on hacking for the next Open Data Day Hackathon <3

Here’s the link to my slideshare







Think globally, act locally



This is cross-posted from

“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.

Mozilla Lives Here

Many were surprised to learn Mozilla had a local community.  The message that Mozilla exists beyond a browser, as 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.

Community Bonding

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!

Webmaker Club

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  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 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.




Mozilla BC – lots happening!



Discover Tectoria  – December 13th

This year Mozilla is a sponsor for Discover Tectoria – an all-ages  showcase of  the local tech scene in Victoria BC.  Technology is Victoria’s #1 private industry, and we’re excited to have this opportunity to share our community work with Webmaker, privacy initiatives like Lightbeam and  the future of mobile with Firefox OS.

Aside from hosting a booth we’ll also be running a ‘Webmaker – Make the Web’ session as part of the education stream where Google Science fair winner (for her age group)   Ann Makosinski will also be talking to kids.  Should be tons of fun!

Webmaker School Club

I’ve wanted to run a Webmaker school club  for quite a while, and met with resistance for just as long. Thanks to our amazing principle, I am completely thrilled to finally… have the initiative accepted in my daughter’s school starting Monday. Currently working hard on a lesson plan, that includes  online and offline activities + Q & A Skype sessions with people who can share on specific topics as we cover them.  Excited to have my ‘own kids’, twenty-eight of them 🙂

To help support others who may want to run a similar club I’ve setup a Webmaker Club Website, with Github repo for resources.  As the ‘donation’ section suggests, I am also looking for donations or sponsorship to help with tech purchases Right now I have 28 kids  2 laptops, and no  time to fundraise – I’ll start by asking Santa for a few Raspberry Pi.

You can find all of us on  Webmaker BC Dist List