Over the next few weeks, you’re going to hear me talking about the following three things a lot:

  1. Of the web literacy skills, which do Mozilla’s learning offerings currently address?
  2. Which do other people / tools / programs currently address?
  3. Which need the most love?

These are things that would be stupid for me to try to answer just myself because people who have been teaching this stuff for the last several years probably have a much better sense than I do of the landscape: not only what is available to teach with, but also what works.  This is why things like building an instructor community / site is tied so closely to this work.

If we look for a moment at Popcorn, Open News, and Hackasaurus, we get the following coverage:

It became apparent very quickly that there was an added dimension here: not just whether they taught a skill but how deep they went.  Above I tried to show this via line dottedness: the more solid the line, the deeper they taught the skill.

Another issue that cropped up very quickly was whether the offering taught the skill, relied upon the skill, or provided incentive to learn the skill.

Let’s use Popcorn Maker as the example here.

Popcorn Maker teaches you how to design for the web in the video space: how can you think beyond the borders of the linear video and the box in which it’s playing and take a wider look at how that video can interact with the web?

Some parts of Popcorn Maker rely upon the fact that you already know some browser basics.  When it asks you to enter the URL of an image, it doesn’t hand-hold you about what that means.  (Contrast this with the Open News 101 course, which does.)

And finally, some parts of Popcorn Maker provide incentive for you to learn a skill.  You’re welcome to use their pre-defined templates, but if you want to customize your own templates, you’re going to have to learn a bit of HTML/CSS to do so.  Popcorn Maker does not teach you this skill explicitly, but it does give you a reason to bother playing around and trying to figure it out yourself.

The fact that these offerings all touch skills in different depths and in different ways is going to make creating a map for learners to be a little difficult.  On the other hand, skill maps of the sort “want to learn more?  here’s some options!” are definitely popular.  Which I guess means some thinking is in order. :)

About these ads