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School of Data Goes to MozFest 2014 ! – Part 2

- October 31, 2014 in #mozfest, Data Expeditions, Events

Part 2 of our MozFest recap: check out the first blog post for our Day 1 adventures…

Third Day Recap – Second School of Data Session!

After our first successful session, the School of Data team went in excitedly for the second session on Day 3! The floors were packed in the morning because the organizers made the surprising decision of giving (we think everyone) who attended the Mozilla Festival a Firefox OS Flame phone. A sweet phone, which caused long queues in the Ravensbourne building. With the sessions now in full steam, the second School of Data session was scheduled in the afternoon, and we brought a familiar School of Data format: that is, the data expedition! The theme for today session is “Analysing Data Using Spreadsheets”, and we went ahead, data sherpa style! The theme chosen for this data expedition session was all about the re-enacting the Titanic. We provided data on the passengers of the Titanic, and from there we tried to work the data through the familiar School of Data data pipeline. We split the participants into two groups based on the operating system that they use, and then we started hacking! We started by first using a lot of post it notes to try finding questions that we could answer using the data, and after that we used spreadsheet tools such as Excel to find some answers, and last but not least, visualize those answers. We had an interesting mix of participants in this session, with some them having already worked with spreadsheets a lot, which led to the wonderful situation where participants were teaching with other about various things such as pivot table techniques, formulae, and even the super useful but hard to notice text to column button in Excel (and we also learn new things too) – as following the collaborative learning spirit of Mozilla Festival. In the end, this is what we made : A visualization of titanic, showing the survival rate of the passengers, separated by gender and passenger class. Really nice expedition :) School Of Data @ Mozilla Festival London flattr this!

Building Community Action at Mozilla Festival 2014

- October 22, 2014 in #mozfest, community

Often Community is thought of as a soft topic. In reality, being part of a community (or more!) is admirable, a wonderful effort, both very fun but also sometimes tough and building and mobilising community action requires expertise and understanding of both tools and crowds – all relationships between stakeholders involved need to be planned with inclusivity and sustainability in mind. 10481478763_12fd0db3a2_o This year Mozilla Festival (London, October 24-26), an event we always find very inspiring to collaborate with, will feature a track focusing on all this and more. Called Community Building, and co-wrangled by me and Bekka Kahn (P2PU / Open Coalition), the track has the ambitious aim to tell the story about this powerful and groundbreaking system, create the space where both newcomers and experienced community members can meet, share knowledge, learn from each other, get inspired and leave the festival feeling empowered and equipped with a plan for their next action, of any size and shape, to fuel the values they believe in. We believe that collaboration between communities is what can really fuel the future of the Open Web movement and we put this belief into practice from our curatorship structure (we come from different organisations and are loving the chance to work together closely for the occasion) to the planning of the track’s programme, which is a combination of great ideas that were sent through the festival’s Call for Proposals and invitations we made to folks we knew would have had the ability to blow people’s mind with 60 minutes and a box of paper and markers at their disposal. The track has two narrative arcs, connecting all its elements: one focusing on the topics which will be unpacked by each session, from gathering to organising and mobilising community power and one aiming to embrace all learnings from the track to empower us all, member of communities, to take action for change. The track will feature participatory sessions (there’s no projector is sight!), an ongoing wall-space action and a handbook writing sprint. In addition to this, some wonderful allies, Webmaker Mentors, Mozilla Reps and the Space Wranglers team will help us make a question resonate all around the festival during the whole weekend: “What’s the next action, of any kind/ size/ location, you plan to take for the Open Web movement?”. Participants to our track, passer-bys feeding our wall action, folks talking with our allies will be encouraged to think about the answer to this, and, if not before, join our space for our Closing Circle on Sunday afternoon when we’ll all share with each other our plans for the next step, local or global, online or offline, that we want to take. Furthermore, we also invite folks who’ll not be able to join us at the event to get in touch with us, know more about what we’re making and collaborate with us if they wish. Events can be an exclusive affair (they require time and funds to be attended) and we want to try to overcome this obstacle. Anyone will be welcome to connect with us in (at least) three ways. We’ll have a dedicated hashtag to keep all online/remote Community conversations going: follow and engage with #MozFestCB on your social media platform of choice, we’ll record a curated version of the feed on our Storify. We’ll also collect all notes, resources of documentation of anything that will happen in and around the track on our online home. The work to create a much awaited Community Building Handbook will be kicked off at MozFest and anyone who thinks could enrich it with useful learnings is invited to join the writing effort, from anywhere in the world. If you’d like to get a head start on MozFest this year and spend some time with other open knowledge community minded folks, please join our community meetup on Friday evening in London.

I see “Dead” Data @ Mozfest

- October 28, 2013 in #mozfest, community, Data Expeditions, School_Of_Data

[Cross-posted from TextonTechs (blog) by Heather Leson. Mozilla Festival was held in London UK on October 26 - 27, 2013] We are all teachers of the Open Web. The School of Data team with 28 participants are Learning how to run at Data Expedition at Mozilla Festival. dataexped Data and knowledge need to be activated. People are often intimated by data, so our goal is to teach a world of data makers. We’ve divided into 4 teams consisting of storytellers, analysts, engineers, scouts and designers are doing a fast-paced exercise in expeditions. We will take “dead” data and activate it. The experience is to help others teach data expeditions.

Using Immigration Data to Learn about Data Expeditions

We’ve collected 3 different datasets about immigration data. The teams are reviewing it and determining stories and potentially activation methods. (eg. maps, diagrams)  One team is analyzing datasets to determine the number of deaths of people attempting to migrate from Africa to Europe. Another team is using the data to show the true costs and benefits of immigration to the UK. Using Cartographe team 3 is building a map of countries that are difficult to travel. Comparing economic data and visa requirements is the mission of the fourth team. team

Outcomes /Learnings

ib Created by Berto
  • Leave the exercise raw. This opens us up to new ideas and potentially minimizes assumptions
  • Always save your projects (One team lost their work)
  • Build a clear problem analysis before going down the data or tool rabbit hole
  • Be aware of simplifying data and what context you might lose
About the data:

Are you Data Curious? How would you activate this data?

Anyone can participate in this data expedition. The full details and collaboration space about the Mozfest data on Etherpad. Be a Data Expeditioner Too! Anyone can be a data maker. How can we get to the next 100, 000 data makers teaching and sharing data stories? flattr this!