Towards a new version of the Web Literacy Map

Doug Belshaw

Visualization of WebLitMap by Sabrina Ng

Image from a concept sketch by Sabrina Ng

The Web Literacy Map details the skills and competencies that the Mozilla community believe are required to read, write and participate on the web. It can be seen in visual form in the Webmaker resources section.

Earlier this year we began work on what we termed ‘Web Literacy Map v2.0’. We interviewed stakeholders, ran a survey, collaborated in sessions at MozFest, and hosted a series of seven community calls. This post is to share the outcome of that process. Everything related to this process can be found on the Mozilla wiki.

The five proposals

From the stakeholder interviews we came up with 21 emerging themes, boiled down to five proposals for the community survey. We discussed the results of the survey and made the decisions listed below during the community calls.

Proposal 1 – “I believe the Web Literacy Map should explicitly reference the Mozilla manifesto.”
We decided that we should reference the Mozilla Manifesto in the introduction to the Web Literacy Map, and link to the particular relevant principles where appropriate.

Proposal 2 –  “I believe the three strands should be renamed ‘Reading’, ‘Writing’ and ‘Participating’.”
We decided not to make a decision relating to this proposal for the time being. There are other, related, issues that we need to resolve. For example: who should we prioritise in terms of audience for Web Literacy Map v2.0?

Proposal 3 –  “I believe the Web Literacy Map should look more like a ‘map’.”
(not enough people on the call to make a decision)

Proposal 4 – “I believe that concepts such as ‘Mobile’, ‘Identity’, and ‘Protecting’ should be represented as cross-cutting themes in the Web Literacy Map.”
We decided that:

  • our audience is teachers and learners in the upcoming Web Literacy Clubs
  • we’re not going to include cross-cutting themes in the map itself (the text), but explore them in representations of the map (the visuals)

Proposal 5 –  “I believe a ‘remix’ button should allow me to remix the Web Literacy Map for my community and context.”
We decided that we shouldn’t explicitly encourage remixing of the Web Literacy Map itself, but encourage remixing of the curriculum layer for Web Literacy Clubs.

Re-scoping our efforts to v1.5

As a result of this process we have decided to iterate towards a v1.5 of the Web Literacy Map in the first half of 2015. We can then explore v2.0.

Planned updates for v1.5 and/or v2.0 include:

  1. Making links to the Mozilla Manifesto (where appropriate)
  2. Improving supporting material to provide context
  3. Reviewing and updating competencies and skills (add, remove, rename, merge)
  4. Shifting the Web Literacy Map towards being slightly more ‘opinionated’ (e.g. “the skills and competencies required to read, write and participate on the open web”)
  5. Exploring other (multiple) ways to represent the skills, competencies, and strands

Get involved!

We’ll be hosting community calls and hack sessions in 2015 to get v1.5 out of the door as soon as possible. This process has been extremely useful to allow us to hit the ground running in the new year.

Timings of the sessions are yet to be decided as we’ll be polling the community in the first week back after the holidays. There are several ways you can keep up-to-date and get involved:

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