Since January 1, 2018, stewardship of Hive Chicago has transitioned from Mozilla to a new local non-profit, the Chicago Learning Exchange (CLX). Please visit us at chicagolx/joinus to learn how you and your organization can join our growing community. The Hive is still the Hive.


Mozilla’s mission to build an Internet that is:

  • Knowable – we can see it and understand it;
  • Interoperable – it presents opportunity to play and innovate;
  • Ours – it’s open to everyone and we define it.

Webmaker is a Mozilla project focused on web literacy, with tools, curricula and a global community with local roots that is dedicated to helping others understand and shape the web.

Tools: Thimble, X-Ray Goggles and Popcorn Maker allow people to create content while getting familiar with the foundational elements that make up the web like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Teaching & Learning: Mozilla considers web literacy – the ability to both read (consume) and write (make) the web – a critical skill just like reading, writing and math. Learning through making is also a core part of Mozilla’s mission. Starter projects, templates and event guides inspire teachers and learners at every level.

Community: Innovation can come from anyone, anywhere, so Mozilla brings together people with diverse skills and backgrounds — teachers, filmmakers, journalists, hackers, youth, artists, scientists policy-makers and more — to collaborate online and at events around the globe.

Hive + Mozilla

In September of 2011, Mozilla officially became the steward of Hive NYC. This followed a year of discovery–where the experience in developing Hackasaurus (precursor to X-Ray Goggles) revealed the potential of collaboration with developers and educators working together to build, prototype and user-test new technologies and tools with embedded curricular activities.

Selections from Rafi Santo’s (Hive Research Lab/Indiana University) research paper from August 2012, “Both R&D and Retail”: Hive NYC as Infrastructure for Learning Innovations” summarize how the relationship between Mozilla and Hive was initially realized.

It’s November of 2010, and a group of about a dozen people are gathered in a corner of the courtyard of Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the location of Mozilla’s “Learning, Freedom and the Web” festival. The festival is Mozilla’s first public exploration of its place within the educational landscape, and the workshop I’m in is focused on how to “make an open learning web widget” that teaches kids HTML.
Throughout the session the group floats various proposals on what it could look like to teach kids to “hack” the web. The conversation dips into a number of areas. One is the specific idea of creating some sort of tool that could let kids “look under the hood” of a website and replace different parts of the page. The discussion also touches on various ideas for associated curricular activities, like having kids “rewrite the news” through remixing web pages of major news outlets as part of a combined media literacy and web literacy activity. Hive members from libraries and those in the group with more direct youth development experience, including myself, share expertise to think through possible activities.
From the beginning, the vision of the collaboration between Mozilla and the Hive networks was for the tool and curriculum to be collaboratively developed, with Mozilla focusing on the technical development of the tool and the Hive-affiliated libraries contributing to curriculum development, and, importantly, exist as spaces where early prototypes of both the tool and the associated curriculum could be user-tested. In this way, the Hive networks acted as an infrastructure for the development of the project–a space to test and iterate both technology and pedagogy.

Mozilla has since become the steward of Hive Chicago and Hive Toronto, and is committed to advancing a movement that is both informed by and driving Connected Learning priniciples to allow more people to be active, entrepreneurial, and at the center of their own learning.