What was the festival?
November 3-5, 2010 - Barcelona
Mozilla Drumbeat Festival "Learning, Freedom and the Open Web"
Attended by lots of Mozilla people, various people from libraries & higher education, and hacker/programmers.
There was a lot of Maker-like stuff, Arduinos, the light painting, Wikipedia, talk about Open education resources, local storytelling, open video tools, and then a lot of focus on P2PU - mapping out webcraft & talking about 'badges' - which is a system of peer assessment that would be useful to have in order to rate how well people do in classes.
There was tons of social media coverage -- more than I can physically type. You better just check it out here
It was kind of strange to see an education community (HASTAC/Macarthur) collaborate with an open source community (Mozilla), especially as I was involved in the museum world (Museums and the Web, for example) for a while and then switched to open source (Drupal).
The key difference is that for this festival, they decided to do some actual work.
It seemed several of the of the educators I spoke to were totally blown away by the open source hacker pace.
I was interested in the "School of Webcraft." This past summer, I organized a collaborative learning for teaching open source development (for Drupal & Gardeners) - so I was very interested to see what obstacles the webcraft folks were running into & where web education can go.
The webcraft folks (especially Pippa Bucchanan) were working on making a map of webcraft.
P2PU - I helped a little bit with mapping out how web skills might be assessed. We talked about the idea of having people's "I do CSS" badges say "I do CSS 2.0 and my reviewer was" - I mentioned Drupal's cvs account application process. (Wondering what exists in other Open Source communities...)
Also, I was really interested in Open Video & learning more about it to see how we might map & explain systems. By all means this had been my greatest lack of knowledge going into it, and I came out totally changed. Met Gabriel Shalom who is a video theorist & had a lot of ideas about story mapping and video as objects, and how we are trapped in designing interfaces for an out-dated celluloid paradigm.
I attended the overview of Open Video - which included a presentation about incorporating metadata into a video with the new features of HTML5. It's rad.
Local digital storytelling
Local digital storytelling was also something I was looking for collaborators. I had a really weird reaction to the workshop. For a few years now, I have been all about researching the place where you live, finding events, writing about it - and thinking about learning about your city and how to engage with it in meaningful ways. And I intend to do much more of this.
Thoughts of things not discussed in local storytelling session
Local storytelling requires noticing changes over time - or if not that, then it requires some explaining (an area I think I will be pursuing.) As a tourist, everything is noticing. Local storytelling is also about discovering where you are, and learning that where you live is much richer than previously thought. In some ways, local storytelling is about becoming a tourist where you are, but I think it's still the opposite of tourist because you have to be really engaged before you can even find something to talk about.
The other thing I realized, no one mentioned audience. Audiences could be yourself, your peers, but then there's also how stories influence people. Hence: journalism. If you make a documentary with sad music and suffering people, who is the audience? What is the point of telling the story?
I try to have a clear idea of who my audience is. Most of my flickr documenting is for people who couldn't attend an event, usually a nature-related event. It's also for the flickr creative commons sphere, people I don't know who are searching for content.
I was a documentor for the Roadtrip Nation session - which is a PBS series in which high school & post-high school teens go on a road trip to interview people about their interesting jobs. There is a curriculum which supports the students in capturing stories.
The curriculum seems really useful - covering everything from how to make a cold call, to how to do video interviews.
In the session I attended, we helped brainstorm ideas about how to extend the Roadtrip Nation experience to students who are not in schools that have the curriculum.
Allows playing with processing.js
I had been quite excited to meet up with others to do some graphical teaching, as visual documentation & explanation of abstract concepts is an important one to learn. David Bruant & Sveinn organized this session. We attempted to explain HTML. There were a lot of different approaches used - in some ways there were similarities.
The young man who created this graphic has a knack for visual explanation. He was trained in graphic design:
Highlights of the keynotes:
getting a sense of that Mozilla is really behind this movement
Cathy Davidson is really cool & a thought leader
the Arduino guy Mossimo talk about getting Arduino underway. It took 5 years of prototyping to create the Arduino board!
Best Keynote, IMHO
The Scrunch Up woman, Anna Debenham, was probably the best actual presentation. She presented about the conflict between how crappy & irrelevant college university web education is (ex. 'all students should be able to make a webpage with front page'), that students are being presented with the option of becoming an office worker - which is unattractive. Meanwhile, teens are rockin' the entrepreneurial web sphere.
Have a view
Scrunch up a web magazine for young designers & developers
As a result of attending Drumbeat, I have a number of new ideas that I will try to bring to my future work.
I am definitely going to continue to pursue making a physically located community technology center where we create community software. There will be lots of teaching, learning & projects.
Met several new mentors who either gave me tips on sprint planning (Gunner!) or have done them before and have notes about it on the interwebs somewhere.
Looking forward to being in the same town as Aspiration Tech next year!
There needs to be a series of P2PU classes about 'What is data?'
I will be inviting people to a codeland storytime sprint, an "Explanation Sprint", and I am going to host some virtual ones immediately. And I will continue this all year. It is clear that visual explanation is hard to do, but it's a useful skill and the only way to get better at it is to work on it.
I am going to tell everyone I meet about the Open Video & the Universal Subtitling.
I am really excited about the potential of open video & video metadata for mapping relationships and telling stories about how systems work.
Looking forward to the potential of connecting with Roadtrip Nation & BAVC about video production, especially in relation to my Code for America fellowship next year. I find out next week what we are working on, and I hope to find a way to pull it all together. I am thinking "data provenance videos" - videos that explain where data comes from...and from whom.
I understand there is a rift between web app developers (Django) & Drupallers which needs some triage.
Looking forward to talking more about webcraft badges.
I will finish working on my tactical mapping project over the holidays. Drupal needs to be able to produce maps of knowledge.
Have more confidence about Rapid Prototyping. Aza Raskin gave a great session about faking your mockups to help people get your idea.