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







RCCS Youth Hack Jam –
A New Hero Emerges

Kin Ming Li


Youth Hack Jam Group Photo

Technology. Education. Youth. Webmaker is a glorious opportunity to meld the three together. The two of us brothers, Kin Ming Li and Ho Ming Li have been around the technology scene and had been working with youths as a scout leader for many years. We love technology. We love making and hacking the web in a fun, friendly, non-intrusive way. The concept of open web immediately garners our attention and we really want to be a part of it.


We recently reunited with our good friend, Helen Lee, and learned of the webmaker initiative along with the readily available webmaker tools. Cool stuff! Let’s use them to teach youths how to take part in the open web. With the help of Dethe Elza at Mozilla YVR, we facilitated a hack jam titled “A New Hero Emerges” couple weeks ago.


For this hack jam, we have invited around 20 energetic youths from RCCS Youth Group to participate and learn about the web in a fun engaging way. We were once youths, and we actively engage youths in many of our activities, so we knew exactly what they’re into – gaming. Games are a big part of their life. A mega-popular game, League of Legends (LoL) by Riot Games captured plenty loyal fans in recent years. In each LoL game, each player chooses a game character known as a champion with its own unique set of skills, and two teams are formed, 5 on 5, to battle it out with the ultimate goal of destroy the other team’s home base. There are many champions for the players to choose from and more are introduced as Riot Games releases new champions from time to time to keep the gamers excited. That’s where we found our core theme for the hack jam. Let’s have the youths come up with their own champion!

The hack jam starts off with brief introduction to the topic and the X-Ray Goggles tool. We demonstrate the capabilities Group Review on Youth's Hacksof the tool, and allow everyone to get familiar with the tool. Not to waste any hacking time, we dive right into remixing existing LoL champion pages with our youths’ very own creative champions. Everyone is encouraged to alter every part of the champion page, from the basic info like names, title, descriptions, to combat statistics such as health points, and attack damage. We also encourage them to remix all the skills and every picture related to the champion. Just imagine all the possibilities! The youth participants put their heads down and type frantically with their fingers, and come up with some truly amazing champions. We have had animal themed champions, cartoon based ones, champions created base on brands, and many more!

Next, after all these unique new champions have been created, we have tasked each individual with using the Thimble tool to create a promotional page for their champion. A few templates are provided, but youths can build their own web page. We introduce Thimble to the group, provide some web making resources, and continue to hack the new champions together with good promotion materials.

Nicholas Lee with his creation - Penguin Boss

Why did we ask for the promotional page to be created? That is because each of the youths have to promote their own champion to the group! We have all the youths give a two minute presentation introducing their new champions. We then, as a group, determine which new champion would emerge as the best of the best champions. The undisputed favorite for the evening was the “Penguin Boss” hacked together by Nicholas Lee, president of RCCS Youth group. He has won himself the hidden prize of a cool gift card. The award ceremony brought the group into a frenzy, clapping and cheering for the president, as the event draws near its end.


We are always looking to improve our event, regarding the choice of theme or the method of delivery to the participants. We therefore asked for the all important feedback from the youths. The comments that came back were all very positive. It feels very rewarding, and really motivates us to continue creating events similar to this. Be on the lookout for us hosting a similar event in the future.

“Fun and interesting, good environment to learn something new.”– Sherlock Lau
“Funnest learning experience of my life” – Nicholas Lee
“Great learning environment, fun course material, highly recommend” – Billy Leung



Thanks to everyone who participated. Hope you enjoyed yourselves, and it really looked like you did. Thanks to our sponsors RCCS Youth for the gifts, and Mozilla YVR for being the host to a great work area. We most definitely enjoyed this opportunity to interact, engage, and work together with youths to teach them about the open web.

There’ll definitely be more to come. Next one will be more exciting, more fun, and more awesome. Bigger and better, up up and away we go…


For more info regarding the RCCS Youth Group, you can browse their website at ,and contact them on twitter @RCCSYouth

As for us, the organizers of the event, you can find us with our twitters below.

Kin Ming Li @KinZeroLi
Ho Ming Li @HoReaL

RRU Hosts Online Popcorn Hack Jam



After continued success of delivering f2f Popcorn Maker hack jams for faculty & staff at Royal Roads University (where I work), some of my colleagues urged me to organize & deliver a purely only Hack Jam on Blackboard Collaborate, our online teaching space that we’ve used for many of our faculty development workshops & online courses.

We actually ran the workshop twice, the first time as a “dry run” for our CTET (Centre for Teaching & Educational Technologies) team back on August 22 so we could test out the timing of how the workshop flowed for participants where they didn’t have any f2f assistance from multiple facilitators.

Many of our team members who attended the dry run gave us great feedback, so we tweaked a few things in the activity outline & adjusted the timing of certain activities before we actually delivered the official faculty hack jam last week, on September 26.

Prior to the faculty hack jam, we had a great turnout for the number of registrants, mostly because my wonderful colleague Amanda delivered a “Learning Communities” workshop on campus to kick off our Learning and Teaching Model Workshop Series for faculty, and during her workshop, she invited Eva, an instructor in our Conflict Analysis & Management Program who used Popcorn Maker as a tool for students to build a learning community.  She even showcased some Popcorn Maker videos that her students made.


Check out how @RRUCTET is using #popcornmaker in #highered (00:50:40-01:09:15) via @livestream #teachtheweb

On the day of the Online Hack Jam, we had approximately 20 people in the Collaborate Room, which is the same capacity to a f2f Hack Jam. However, the main differences between a f2f workshop and an online hack jam are:

  • Participants did their “Popcorn” prep-work prior to the workshop (i.e. pre-register for a webmaker/persona account)
  • Participants are asked to watch the Popcorn Tutorial prior to attending the workshop
  • Participants are given a 30 mins optional Q&A session prior to the official start of the workshop so facilitators can assist them with creating their own popcorn accounts as well as questions regarding navigating in Collaborate.
  • During the Design Challenge (i.e. hands-on activity), facilitators attend to participants by going into different “breakout rooms” in Collaborate

We also had Melanie from our Copyright Office discuss one of the major concerns faculty had about using Popcorn Maker, which is (yes you’ve guessed it) Copyright! She shared her wisdom about what materials are good to use and what should be avoided.  It was extremely helpful since at every single hack jam we’ve delivered so far, the concerns about Copyright has always been raised & discussed.

Overall, I’d say the workshop went really well and most people enjoyed the hack jam in an online environment. Here are some cool projects participants made during the Design Challenge.  Pretty awesome considering they did it during an online webinar and was only allowed 25 minutes.  :)

We are currently talking about the possibility of doing a “canned version” of the workshop but we are still sorting out the details.

Last but not least, here are the resources we used for the Online Popcorn Maker Hack Jam.