The Digital Corps

Hive Pittsburgh is interested in discovering ways to teach and promote digital literacy in lo-fi enviornments. Our goal is to provide a group of after school teachers from the Pittsburgh area practical training in the use of an introductory digital make kit. This kit provides a stradegy to explain to an applicant the userability and importance of bringing digital literacy to their community.

Recruitment Strategies

Create a trail, a way to follow and track the progress of the Corps. Building a blog that follows the current timeline of the Corps can not only act as a tracking tool, but can act as a branch of the Mozilla web literacy standard project. By pointing interested parties to the blog, they can coalesce an idea of the teaching strategies the corps will implement- it should be about the vibe of boots on the ground digital literacy. If we can spotlite teaching the basic tool kit as a means of learning problem solving and peer to peer learning, we can open the doors to community members to join in a greater network.


In the language my community often uses it, "peer to peer" has taken on a “for students/kids” tag. The Corps recruitment and implementation can use that language for educators. The classes, then, could take on a connected platform to reveal the ‘hidden intimidation line.’ P2P allows for the cooperation nescessary to dissolve attitudes that will hinder interest in joining the Corps, such as, “I can’t learn that,” or “My students aren’t ready for these projects.” In this way, the Corps could use the “Remix” way of learning as a facilitated experience. This provides a start for class structure: teach a skill, have the teachers group up and make through collaboration, present and troubleshoot, then make and reteach again. By teaching educators through their own medium (teaching) we can warrant them ownership of their experience. Corps members can create micro-blogs to mirror the 'lab books' of their students. This practice acts not only as a service to the Corps documentation, but as a demonstration of applied learning, and as an introduction of the blog as both a learning tool and tracking tool (which many teachers may already use).

Some Analogue Tools

Let's make our teachers comfortable! Analogue tools not only provide a platform to jump into this content, but creates lessons to teach web literacy in communities with little to no media access.

1) Harold the Robot, following commands:

2) Acting Scratch, following commands (Harold the Robot 2.0)

3) Interface Design (how we interact with our technology):

4) HTML: Hive Toronto developed Crack the Code with HTML Puzzles:

5) Make it physical: Extend the ‘bones and muscle’ analogy when explaining code, and extend it to the brain and nerves of our tech-body.

6) Sensing: this is quite literal- the eyes, ears, nose, etc. of the tech-body.

7) Pull apart our technology:

((tons more reference from the Computer Science Calisthenics Lead:

The Web Literacy Standard

The Standard is a map of competencies and skills that Mozilla and our community of stakeholders believe are important to pay attention to when getting better at reading, writing and participating on the web. Following the standard was a MozFest partner project within the badging track, prompting projects such as: Community Participation- storytelling through search (How did MLK Jr. get a million person participation event or like the Obama campaign, and Family History (search the web!)

The Kit Itself

Thimble, Scratch, and Hummingbird

Thimble: Mozilla acts organically to invite feedback and content. At Mozfest, members of the development team role-played with me as new to tech teachers to create a "get the most out of Timble" page for absolute beginners. We looked at the strengths of Hummingbird and Scratch as teaching tools: clear and bold labels, tutorials (already in beta for Thimble), ‘look here/go here’ labels on the tool page, a searchable user index, and a legend. We created a goal to explain the "one of many tools" theory to new users, meaning Thimble is best in service to the user when paired with other tools. Thimble is one of many tools to learn how to make the web. You will learn with Thimble more efficiently if you also use tool-sites such as: If you want to look up HTML/CSS/JavaScript, use,, for CSS, go to Almenac, for more advanced style sheets go to MDN. Together, we filed an official Bug to Mozilla to create the page. For further troubleshooting questions: Scratch: Many comments revolved around 'the next step.' Transitions from Scratch to Ruby, to Code itself seemed to be a common solution. Jumping from lilly pad to lilly pad, so to speak.


A theme formed around discussions on the kit: We are not trying to remake the wheel. That is not necessary in learning to build the web. In fact, it can prove counter-productive. Instead, use tools like Thimble (by using the hack) to show the basic functions of web-making.

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