journey to MozFest — part 3

Demystify the Web Space Wranglers (Simeon, me, Robert & Su)

A film crew came by the Demystify the Web space on Sunday and asked me if I would be willing to describe MozFest in one word on air. I agreed, but then the only word I could think of was overwhelming. I know that doesn’t sound positive and MozFest could not have been a more positive experience for me!

As a space wrangler, I also know MozFest is an experience that we designed to turn upside down or to submerge completely”(dictionary.com). In the Demystify space, we were all about inviting participants to embrace the paradox of facing their fears of the unknown, while being so intrigued with the space and sessions, that they couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to explore.

My goal for MozFest was to embrace the possibilities and challenges of the future and while being mostly submerged completely in the Demystify space, I found lots of opportunities to do just that.

Women & Web pic from our convener, Amira

Women + Web = <STRONG>

Mozilla’s Women and Web Convening was my first stop this year at MozFest. It was amazing to connect with women from around the world to explore root causes of gender inequality and begin identifying solutions. What I discovered is that many root causes and symptoms are common throughout the world, but the solutions to address these issues most often need to be context-specific. It also reaffirmed my belief that change is needed at both the grassroots and top down level.

Computer science

It was so great to see the CS-related sessions at MozFest, not only so well attended, but with such rich interactions. The folks who participate in MozFest tend to be early adopters of tech, so they are on the leading edge of practices in their field. My colleagues and I made connections with some amazing educators and heard about some great programs, tools and ideas that we want to try out. However, most of the opportunities others were providing learners were extra curricular. The model that we presented of integrating CS into the curriculum at St. Anne’s-Belfield School was fairly unique and a desired outcome by many.

Memorable moments

There were so many memorable moments! The highlights for me were getting to experience the event with my friends and colleagues Zach, Michele, Jamie, Chad & the other space wranglers, to see how the space we created was experienced by all the participants and to get connected in real life with so many women who have shared their work online and inspired me.

Su, Yasmin, Marina & Carrie Ann

My big take away

We’ve got serious challenges facing our world and the way we engage with technology can be part of the problem or part of the solution. It’s on us as educators, as schools and as communities to engage our learners with these problems and empower them to address issues through digital literacy on a web that is open and inclusive.

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” ~ Thomas Merton