“If Snapchat was a phone I would definitely buy it. It’s like an iPhone, it’s really fast, you can see everyone’s life and see what is going on in your world.”

16 years old female teenager, Chicago.

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Understanding Web Literacy within the Web Journey

Thinking out loud with Michelle Thorne, and posted on the Webmaker Blog.

Since 2012, pioneering educators and web activists have been reflecting and developing answers to the question, “What is web literacy?” These conversations have shaped our Web Literacy Map, a guiding document that outlines the skills and competencies that are essential to reading, writing, and participating on the Web.

Understanding Web Literacy within the Web Journey

Using is not understanding

Social networks are today the main and often unique reason why people come online for the first time. Sometimes these people will discover the Web step-by-step through Facebook and WhatsApp, but sometimes they will also be blocked at a very limited use if there is no one to teach them. For these users, it is necessary to offer free learning opportunities, to allow them to discover the Web, but also to protect themselves online.

Using is not understanding

India Field Research – Closing

We spent our third and last week of this research trip in Ahmedabad and Delhi and interviewed:

  • 2 female artisans, mother and daughter – Ahmedabad
  • 2 male hand-made fabric wholesellers, father and son – Ahmedabad
  • 1 male entrepreneur, owning 3 coffee places – Ahmedabad
  • 1 male Wikipedia contributor and web developer – Ahmedabad
  • 1 male OLPC volunteer, open education activist – Delhi
  • 1 female beauty parlor owner – Delhi
  • 3 male mehandi workers – Delhi
  • 1 female laborer, unaware of the existance of the Web – Erode
  • 1 male unaware of the existance of the Web – Delhi
Artisans
Artisans

We also conducted various ad-hoc interviews with small business owners, jewelry makers, and mobile phone vendors.

Design Workshops

We worked with design students from NID in Ahmedabad. We conducted a design workshop where students were able to play with our current idea of Webmaker on paper.

India Field Research – Closing

Disposable cameras – Kenya

When we research and we are on a field trip, our mission is to learn as much as possible about the country, its culture and its people. We have to develop our sense of empathy, to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of the people we meet and understand the different constraints, emotions, motivators which draw their lives.
So we take photographs. A lot of photographs. They are here to tell a story and to allow our readers (designers, engineers, educators…) to dive into this world, so radically different. 
But we cannot reasonably pretend that all the pictures we take are as true and transparent as we wish them to be. There is always this barrier, this distance that the subject put between us. Sometimes, with the right dose of efforts and luck, we succeed in reducing the barrier, and the camera disappears. But these moments are rare and we don’t always have the occasion to dive into people’s lives as much as we would want to. 
 
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” Robert Capa
 

Disposable cameras – Kenya