To Empower People Online, Mozilla Launches Interactive Web Literacy Map


By 2025, five billion people will be online, further cementing the Web as an essential tool to inspire, unite, and improve the lives of those who have the knowledge and skills to wield it.

To this end, Mozilla is working to ensure the Web remains open and accessible for all. We’re empowering people with the skills they need to utilize the Web. We’re helping advance policies and practices for an open Web. And we’re developing leaders who can build, teach, and advocate for it.

The Web has become this generation’s defining technology, enabling us to access and share information almost instantly. Yet, as powerful as this resource is, there are far too many people who aren’t equipped to use the Web in ways that make their lives and communities better.

We believe that when people are given access to the right tools and are taught basic web literacy skills — like reading, writing, and participating online — it opens new opportunities in their personal and professional lives.

Web Literacy 2.0 Map

In 2013, the Mozilla Foundation and a community of volunteer educators, researchers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and others established the Web Literacy Map as a framework. It detailed the core skills needed to fully participate in the digital age, including how to navigate and understand the mechanics of the Web, as well as how to meaningfully contribute and share information online.

Over the last six months, Mozilla has engaged a diversity of stakeholders through focus groups, interviews, and surveys with the goal of making the Web Literacy Map more approachable, accessible, and applicable. The skills within can be summed up as the ability to read, write, and participate online. Read is about how we explore and evaluate web content. Write outlines the skills needed to build and contribute to the Web. Participate refers to how we connect with others online.


Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 4.12.34 PMIn addition, the Map has evolved to include 21st Century skills (21C Skills). As people learn to read, write, and participate on the Web, a cross-cutting set of 21C Skills emerge as critical to success in today’s world. They enable individuals to leverage and advance the web as an open and public resource. The 21C Skills, combined with the web literacy skills, are the nexus for entry-level digital-age skills. They are a set of abilities — problem solving, creativity, collaboration, and communication — that people need to develop in order to succeed in the information age. These skills have always been critical, and even more so in an information-based economy.

How to use the Web Literacy 2.0 Map

The interactive map consists of the skills and competencies needed to be web literate, and links to activities and curriculum for teaching and learning web literacy skills. Each skill will eventually be linked to credentials that individuals can earn for mastering the skills.

Mozilla community members teach the Web in Indonesia. Credit: Laura de Reynal

Mozilla community members teach the Web in Indonesia. Credit: Laura de Reynal

Want to get involved?

We contend that knowing how to read, write, and participate in the digital world has become the 4th basic foundational skill next to the three Rs: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Having these skills on the Web expands access and opportunity for more people to learn anytime, anywhere, at any pace. Whether you’re a first time smartphone user, an educator, an experienced programmer, or an Internet activist, the degree to which you can read, write, and participate on the web shapes what you can imagine — and what you can do — in your own lives and in the world around you.

We encourage you to sharpen your own skills and become a mentor in the community. Use the Web Literacy Map to plan learning activities for others. Reflect on this work in your own online spaces by blogging about it. Include the #teachtheweb and/or #webliteracy hashtags in your posts across social media to contribute to the dialogue. And join the Mozilla Learning community calls each month to engage and participate in practical discussions about web literacy.

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