Web Development in the Developing World

Thanks to Beyond Access’s ultimate friend Christine Prefontaine, we got linked up with the Mozilla Foundation’s Mark Surman and Christopher Lawrence on how to get more Mozilla into international development.

Point taken. The satisfaction of actually making something is more empowering than any training or event could ever be. And libraries are learning this faster than most institutions. Mozilla’s army of volunteer web teachers and developers (‘Mozillans’), including some based at public libraries in the United States, are working together with youth groups to create new content that is relevant, useful, and fun. This is made possible by Mozilla’s suite of Webmaker tools, which give the learner or ‘maker’ a window into how the web works. The tools also give them a chance to make their own web content.

If you’ve ever tried to learn web design, you know it is a difficult and laborious process akin to learning a second language from a textbook in a schoolhouse. Webmaker is like the study abroad immersion experience in learning how to write and remix code to get the web to bend to your will.

Now imagine if we could link Mozillans in countries around the world with public libraries in their communities, where groups of youth are just itching at the chance to make something on the web. Mozilla calls these groups of web makers ‘hives’.

This is more than just fun. The skills that Webmaker teaches to make websites, graphics, visualizations, edited video, and other value-added internet products are some of the most employable skills for the current generation. So let’s arm youth to create stuff that is meaningful to them, and prepare them for a productive life.

That’s why we’re excited to find ways of linking Mozilla + Webmaker to a global network of libraries and their users.

230,000 hives. Buzz buzz buzz.