New Web Literacy Resources from Mozilla & Friends: A Presentation at NYLA 2018
In early November, I presented a web literacy workshop with my friend and fellow Mozilla Web Literacy Leader Sherry Lehane at the 2018 New York Library Association conference. We covered a lot of ground in seven hours, from how the internet works to how to keep our information safe online.
For the sake of posterity — if not my own records — here’s the description for this workshop. It was offered as a daylong CE course the day before the NYLA conference began.
CE-G: New Web Literacy Resources from Mozilla and Friends
Sponsor: Section on the Management of Resources & Technology (SMART)
Full Day: November 7, 9:30 AM — 4:30 PM
Join us for a fun and interactive workshop on Web Literacy!
This workshop offers public and school librarians, digital literacy specialists, and educators for any age group an opportunity to experiment with innovative methods of teaching web literacy skills. Participants will engage in offline and online activities that offer a conceptual understanding of the Internet, search engines, cookie files, and privacy issues. We will feature resources from the Mozilla Foundation, which participants can remix or use as-is for students, staff, and patrons in their organizations.
Gain a deeper understanding of how the Internet works
Construct search algorithmsEvaluate web resources
Classify tracking file
Take measures to ensure optimal online privacy
This workshop is great for library staff, educators, and for learners who are interested in using the web more effectively.
NOTE: This class will include hands-on exercises; please bring your own laptop/device.
We remixed the serving suggestions from Mozilla’s Core Web Literacy to develop a running order for the workshop.
9:30–10:15: The Web & You
10:15–11:00: Map the Web
11:15–12:30: Safety First!
1:30–2:30: Search Party
2:45–4:00: Web Detective
A participant’s agenda can be viewed here.
Tips for Teaching Web Literacy
Mozilla’s curriculum is made to be shared. Sherry and I paused every now and again to give our top tips on teaching web literacy concepts:
- Give everyone a voice by asking participants to share their story early on in the session
- Use vote-with-your-feet and similar exercises to frame the issues before diving in
- Use a mix of reflective exercises and group work so as to allow space for different types of personalities
- Allow learners to learn while moving; you’ll draw on kinesthetic and spatial capabilities
- Utilize stressful situations (i.e. pop quizzes, role plays) to aid in learning
- Create a cheat-sheet for learners to utilize back on the job
- Bring activities back around to everyday situations; in as much as is possible, keep lessons concrete
These tips apply to most sessions, and they make up the cornerstone of the choices we made in how to impart our knowledge about the ways in which the web works these days.
Sherry and I were thrilled to work with a lively and engaged group of participants. We were gratified to be able to have a deep and substantive conversation about the pressing issues facing the web today.
Based on the reaction of our learners, we were successful in imparting many of the lessons we were hoping to share. In particular, participants were enthusiastic about understanding how information travels across the web, and the ways in which information can be manipulated to sway our increasingly individual notions of what counts as the truth.
All in all, this was an A-plus, five star experience. Would repeat.