Group picture

Participants and facilitators in the final celebration. Spring 2016, NYC

We believe a successful training prepares learners to connect new skills, resources, methods and ideas with their own interests and professional goals.

Participants in our recent Web Literacy Leaders Workshop have been doing just that. The workshop took place over a 2-month period and included a face to face training, open forum discussion, two community calls, and a final celebration.

During this time the group of learners comprised of teachers, librarians, administrators, and technology coaches, started to experiment with Mozilla tools in their classrooms, and share work and reflections across the digital and face to face spaces.

Here are three examples of what was shared

1. SEAN ARNOLD, Technology coordinator/computer teacher at Robert E. Peary School

  • Sharing cool stuff!

“The most relevant takeaway from this training was understanding the concept of Open. If you have cool stuff why keep it for yourself? Why not share all this cool stuff with others?”

After the training, Sean put together a newsletter for principals and teachers throughout his district that highlights some of the tools learned:

Newsletter by Sean Arnold

Newsletter created by Sean Arnold to share what he learned in the Workshop.

Read the full newsletter here.

  • Incorporating Mozilla tools in the classroom

Sean teaches learners with special needs. This is how he prepares for teaching his students to use Thimble, Mozilla’s online code editor:

“I had laminated charts with various coding (CSS & HTML) basics to reference as they worked. I also paired students into teams based on skill levels, so those struggling with the concepts could be helped by those who better understood the process. That seems to have worked well at least from a management perspective, so the students will first ask their partner to help them before coming to me.”

2. SUSAN CASH, Middle school educator

  • Debate: Apple and the FBI

This workshops was a great opportunity to share other Mozilla initiatives, like the encryption campaign, which inspired Susan to design a debate curriculum.


Presentation of the debate designed by Susan, using Mozilla’s encryption campaign.

To prepare, she invited her students to explore the encryption issues published on the site. They watched videos, examined several encryption companies in the United States, reviewed the First Amendment, and discussed terrorism in order to shape arguments for and against surveillance and encryption.

Through her curriculum students were able to understand, discuss and form arguments about encryption in a learning space with peers, teachers and judges.

3. JEN DIONISIO, 6th grade computer teacher, at Wagner Middle School in Manhattan

  • Tag tag revolution

Jen considers the Tag Tag Revolution activity as a great way to introduce learners to the basics of coding. That’s why she decided to introduce it in some of her classes. She explained her process and how the students reacted to the activity:


6th grade students playing Tag Tag Revolution

“The activity went well the majority of the time, however the biggest challenge was keeping the noise at a reasonable level!!! The kids really enjoyed wearing the tags and thought it was hysterical when they had to do multiple tags.”

After the exercise, Jen invited her students to share their reflections in a Padlet. Read some of the hilarious comments here.

Final reflection

Most participants were able to apply what they learned in their classrooms, libraries and programs. Their projects ranged from coding the periodic table, to building diverse websites in Thimble. We learned as much from them as they did from us. Moving forward we will incorporate participant suggestions into future trainings and resources. A big thank you to NYC DOE for organizing this initiative and to all the wonderful educators we met along the way.

Special thanks to Joey Azoulai, Julia Valera, Chad Sansing and Kristina Gorr, for their contributions to this final recap.