This week's post is simple...evoke conversation...please share your thoughts!
By Lindsey Frost
Lindsey Frost leads Mozilla’s Hive Chattanooga Learning Community in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Hive Chattanooga champions digital literacy & innovation through next-generation technology development and connected learning.
Not everyone needs to be a computer scientist. We don’t all need to know multiple programming languages, the inner workings of video games, or how to build a website from scratch. Yet, the Web - in its many forms and increasing complexity - is the dominant platform on which we create, converse, and share. So while we may not all need to become programmers, all of us - coder, digital native, and technology novice alike - need to know how to make our voices heard on this platform. We need to know how to read, write, and participate effectively on the Web, a skillset Mozilla calls web literacy.
Why is Mozilla, the global non-profit dedicated to promoting openness, innovation, and opportunity on the Web, interested in web literacy? Because an Open Web requires all voices, not just the voices of a select group of coders. Mozilla champions web literacy skills through a variety of programs and partnerships, including our on-the-ground networks of teachers, technologists, and informal educators we call Hive Learning Networks. Since it launched in February 2014, our Hive Chattanooga Learning Community has had the wonderful opportunity to work extensively with Tennessee Code Academy and 100 Girls of Code to get youth in the Chattanooga area building, exploring, and remixing on the Web.
What is remarkable about the 100 Girls of Code program to me is not just that it gets girls interested in STEM careers or that it shows participants what it might be like to become a coder - though these outcomes are incredible! In fact, what most excites me about 100 Girls of Code is that it gives girls the opportunity to imagine themselves as creators rather than just consumers of the Web. It shows girls that their voices matter on the platform of the Web as explorers and designers whether they’re building a new website, a next-generation app for Chattanooga’s gig network, or simply commenting on an online news story. 100 Girls of Code empowers girls to build the Web they want, and that matters for the girls, for communities, and for the Web.