Friday, April 26, 2013

Building & Sharing 21st Century Digital Literacy Skills With Mozilla

Dear MOZILLA, Thank You! I just signed up to work with my small crew of teen girls in NYC & attend a free online course (May 2 - June 30) powered by MozillaThe initiative teaches 21st century digital literacy skills through making & learning together. Awesome!
"Teach the Web (#TeachTheWeb) is also the pre-game for the Mozilla Maker Party, which was announced earlier this week at the White House Science Fair. It's a global party to celebrate all the things we can make thanks tothe collaborative power of the web! Many Hive members and partners have already signed up to join this campaign that Mozilla is running with the National Writing Project and with support from the MacArthur Foundation." -from the Hive NYC blog, EXPLORE + SHARE + CREATE
I'll be tweeting (@cynthiajabar) & writing about it here on my storytelling blog. Join us! We're going to experiment, write & share our digital storytelling adventure.

twitter: #TeachTheWeb, @MozTeach

RELATED READING (suggestions welcome!)

Thanks for reading. Come say HEY on twitter!

Inspiration: Creating More Meaningful Content With Less

Law of Subtraction by Mathew May
I'm reading The Laws of Subtraction by Mathew May.
A reminder of the power of less.

If you're crafting any kind of UX/story experience, reading this book might help you whittle down your content in a more meaningful way.

This is my favorite quote so far & it's informing what I'm creating now: "When you reduce the number of doors that someone can walk through, more people walk through the one that you want them to walk through."

May distills the power of subtraction into 6 laws.

1. What isn't there can often trump what is.

2. The simplest rules create the most effective experience.

3. Limiting information engages the imagination.

4. Creativity thrives under intelligent constraints. 

5. Break is the important part of breakthrough.

6. Doing something isn't always better than doing nothing.

Here are a few more gems.

"To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day." 
-Lao Tzu

 "Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful."

"When you remove just the right things in just the right way, something good happens."

"It is the experience that makes something meaningful. Focusing on the experience puts us in touch with the more emotional side of ideas. Understanding the human factors involved in producing an experience that fundamentally improves how we think, feel, or behave is what makes the design of any particular thing interesting."

Inspiring ideas to keep in mind as you're creating story experiences across platforms.

Twitter: @MathewEMay


7 Design Principles, Inspired By Zen Wisdom by Mathew May, Fast Company
The Art of Adding By Taking Away by Mathew May, The New York Times

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

World Book Night 2013

What fun! I gave away books around the neighborhood today, thanks to, a literacy initiative "spreading the love of reading from person to person."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

World Book Night Spreads the Literacy Love

Books changed my life as a kid, which is why I try to do my small part by volunteering with as many literacy initiatives as I possibly can. I know first hand that reading saves lives. Being unable to read can set a child up for unimaginable struggle. How can we sit by & let this happen? We all have something to give-no matter how small.

Read these 11 facts from the website.

  • 1.  Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Over 70 percent of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level.
  • 2.  1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.
  • 3.  As of 2011, America was the only free-market OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country where the current generation was less well educated than the previous.
  • 4.  Literacy is a learned skill. Illiteracy is passed down from parents who can neither read nor write.
  • 5.  Nearly 85 percent of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime. More than 60 percent of all inmates are functionally illiterate.
  • 6.  53 percent of 4th graders admitted to reading recreationally “almost every day,” while only 20 percent of 8th graders could say the same. (2009 study)
  • 7.  75 percent of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest 2 levels of literacy, and 90 percent of high school dropouts are on welfare.
  • 8.  Teenage girls ages 16 to 19 who live at or below the poverty level and have below average literacy skills are 6 times more likely to have children out of wedlock than the girls their age who can read proficiently.
  • 9.  Reports show that low literacy directly costs the healthcare industry over $70 million every year.
  • 10.  In 2013, Washington, D.C. was ranked the most literate American city for the third year in a row, with Seattle and Minneapolis close behind.
  • 11.  Long Beach, CA was ranked the country’s most illiterate city, followed by Mesa, AZ, and Aurora, CO
  • I'm both honored and excited to be an official BOOK GIVER for World Book Night 2013. 

    I'll be giving away HOUSE ON MANGO STREET by Sandra Cisneros, one of my all time favorite reads, at the Fort Washington Library located at 535 West 179th Street between Audobon and St. Nicholas Avenues April 23, 2013. Come say hello and get a free copy of this brilliant book.

    World Book Night Books for 2013
    "World Book Night U.S. is a celebration of books and reading held on April 23, when 25,000 passionate volunteers across America give a total of half a million books within their communities to those who don’t regularly read. In 2012, World Book Night was celebrated in the U.S., the UK, Ireland, and Germany and saw over 80,000 people gift more than 2.5 million books."

    Twitter: @wbnamerica