We arrived as individuals, we left as a community.
More than 1,600 educators, community-builders, technologists and creators met in London from October 24-26, 2014 for MozFest, a collaborative festival dedicated to innovating for the open web.
Over the course of three days, attendees from 50+ countries participated in hundreds of hands-on sessions exploring topics ranging from opportunities for the mobile web and digital literacy; to journalism; science; arts, culture and music on the web.
Friendships were forged, ideas emerged, prototypes were hacked. Here’s a taste of what we worked on together at MozFest 2014:
Imagining Applications for BRCK
BRCK is a device that allows connectivity in places where it wouldn’t normally be—it’s durable; portable; can be powered with, for example, solar cells; and uses the 3G network. It inspired a number of ideas at MozFest including:
- @SteveALee from GPII attended a BRCK session because he’s interested in using the technology to address accessibility issues, especially cognitive disabilities and digital literacy.
- Mozilla Rep, Andre Garzia, saw opportunities to combine BRCK with MozStumbler, an app that lets people use their devices to contribute to a database of location data that’s used to enable context-aware applications.
- The Mozilla Appmaker team thought it would be awesome to load Webmaker onto BRCK and take it to communities as a new product for increasing digital literacy and to enable people to create their own apps.
Brainstorming How to Use SAM Wireless Sensors
SAM is a set of building blocks with sensors and motors that are connected wirelessly. The SAM app allows you to connect them in interesting ways, and helps you learn to code if you don’t already know how. MozFest participants applications :
- Elderly care: using the accelerometer and gyroscope modules, a nurse will know if someone is turning in bed or roaming around the room.
- Fun with proximity sensors: imagine pairs of shoes with spray paint cans on them. When two people wearing shoes get near each other, the shoes spray paint.
- Smart fridges: put a pressure sensor under a milk bottle. When you’re at the store, it can remind you that you need milk.
Learning to Make Personal Apps with Appmaker
Appmaker is a free, open source tool developed by the Mozilla community for creating personal mobile apps, even if you don’t know code. Appmaker allows you to combine individual bricks to create and share custom mobile apps right in your web browser. During MozFest:
- Youth participant, Dhiresh Nathwani, created his first game using Appmaker’s “Chef Adventure Game” brick. Check it out here!
- Laura de Reynal and Jan Chipchase lead a group of participants in planning a Community Challenge for people who want to conduct local research to inform the development of the Appmaker project.
Erhardt Graeff and Nathan Matias from the MIT Center for Civic Media co-facilitated this session with the goal of creating a learning guide for other community-focused makers.
The group explored the question “What do we mean by civic and community-focused making?” and participants shared challenges based on their own experiences.
Several participants committed to refining a template meant to emphasize the community-focused goals and specific context of any initiative or workshop, evaluating the learning guides, and creating ways that organizers who try the guides can share back what they learn. To get involved, contact @erhardt or @natematias. Read more in Erhardt’s blog.
Empowering Local Communities with Snapp
Read about even more projects from MozFest 2014.