Members from Hive Chicago attended the third annual Mozilla Festival from November 9-11 in London. The festival invites people who are interested in learning about and shaping the future of the web. This year, there was a specific strand dedicated to the educator called "Hacktivate Learning", where educators (and anyone interested in learning) could collaborate with designers and developers on projects that connect media and webmaking to youth development and digital literacies.

Hive Chicago members were introduced to a variety of people and technical resources, and tinkered with web tools to see how they might be integrated into their work.

Here's what members had to say about their experiences at MozFest 2012:

Robert Friedman-Adler Planetarium
"MozFest was not like any conference I have ever been to before. It had a Maker Faire vibe that took the emphasis away from “experts imparting knowledge” and promoted the attendees as “active and equal participants” in webmaking and both physical and digital hacking.

One of the most important revelations that I had while at the event was realizing (or remembering) that I was a hacker (gasp)… and that all of us in the Hive are hackers too. Hacking gets a bad rap in pop culture and media because it is usually linked to destructive and illegal behavior on the internet. But when I was a practicing scientist hacking meant experimenting with materials and technology (physical or digital), building a quick-and-dirty prototype, and engaging in the process of creation and design. A “hack” was not always pretty, didn’t always work and was surely never polished, but it was innovative and taught you something new. The Hive network itself is definitely one great example of a hack ;) and that is said with the deepest respect for all our work."

Manny Juarez-Chicago Architecture Foundation
"Initially I felt that I would be way out of my element being around so much digital prowess. Rather, I was inspired to consider how to include more digital media, and integrating the creation of digital media, into our thinking when planning hands-on projects, prototyping, and how we use design process thinking. I will find a way to use Zeega, I must find a way to use Zeega!

Thank you Hive for this amazing opportunity! Both the knowledge gained and the people met were invaluable experiences and could only be had by actually being around others, sharing in person, and being face-to-face. I think one important lesson to remember is that regardless of all the technology and digital media that was being demonstrated and presented it derives from a process that begins with actual people gathering and talking and making and it was great to witness that at Mozfest."

Vanessa Sanchez-Yollocalli Arts Reach
"What did I do? See and hear a lot of creative people talk about creating new opportunities for people to play and use technology. There was so much happening throughout the day, it was hard to commit to certain workshops without feeling guilty for not going to another. My favorite was learning about tools such as Meemoo, Zeega, and Codebender. These are all things I think Hive Chicago might want to use in their own programs.

[MozFest] gave me a lot of time to geek out and bond with fellow Hive Chicago members. The bonding really helped think about working together more on projects and sharing space for programming."

Miguel Aguilar-Yollocalli Arts Reach
"There were a lot of great resources posted everywhere about cool projects and frameworks, a lot of good informal conversation, and great deal of talk around badges. Oh, and apparently there is a physical game about trying to knock your opponent's plastic toy turtle off of his/her shoulder 1st. Thanks to Hive for making this trip possible. It was really informative in terms of how we will design future programs at Yollocalli. And, it gave us new resources for our research in the Hive Social Media Working Group as well."

Ainsley Sutherland-Game Changer Chicago/The University of Chicago
"Mozfest was a really great experience to get our hands dirty in some great, youth-friendly technology. I especially agree that the web goggles, Zeega, and Thimble will be good tools to introduce to programs and to get the youth more in control of what they make. A retreat would be a great way to come up with some common exercises or activities that we can recycle and share that teach youth the ins and outs of these tools in a fun and engaging way.

And these tools all have some awesome applications for interaction/game design. I was really happy to have the opportunity to meet with people at MozFest and talk about alternate reality games and transmedia games in particular, and talk about possible future directions using augmented reality or physical computing."

More pictures from the Mozilla Festival in London.

Hive Chicago sponsors members to attend events such as the Mozilla Festival as part of its work to provide members with resources and training and to assist in brokering relationships with partners in the Learning Network community.