Digital Innovation in Learning Awards | 2015 Better Together2015 Winner for Better Together Award

About Better Together Award
Includes various users and stakeholders in product/initiative design, implementation, and feedback mechanisms for continuous improvement.
Provide an overview of the project, practice or product that your video represents, and how your work encompasses the principles and ideals of the award that you’re applying for.
Mozilla’s Hive Chicago Learning Network is one of a growing constellation of peer-to-peer professional learning communities ( in cities around the globe. We cultivate Web literacy leaders who advance reading, writing and participation in the digital world. Hive Chicago’s 64 member organizations represent a wide range of museums, cultural institutions, non-profits, and schools. We are all working together to improve learning for teens through networked collaboration, professional learning, and innovation. The core professional learning activity in the Hive is the development of collaborative projects serving youth through creative integration of digital and Web literacy. In close collaboration with our funding partner — The Hive Fund for Connected Learning at the Chicago Community Trust — more than $5M in grants have resulted in 100+ projects and programs that have since impacted hundreds of adults and tens of thousands of youth. Based on member input, Hive Chicago introduced Moonshots ( in 2014 as a mechanism to focus on how we’d work as a network to address and solve some of the systemic challenges and unmet opportunities that continue to limit the full participation of the youth and families we serve. We identified six Moonshots, or calls-to-action, around which to develop solutions. These include transportation, in-school/out-of-school connections, parent engagement, onramps to learning opportunities, data usage, and youth voice. Solutions to these Moonshots advance the kind of deep, connected learning that is further made possible by universal Web literacy and digital technologies. In January 2015, we hosted an event called Hive Chicago Buzz, which was modeled on the annual Mozilla Festival. At the event we celebrated Hive Chicago’s fifth anniversary, as well as provided an opportunity for our members and others in the community to work in-person, with adults and youth, towards the six Moonshots identified above.
Explain the long-lasting impact of what you’ve presented in this video, and provide any qualitative or quantitative data that supports this impact.
Moonshots have enabled us to extend the collective capacity of a citywide network to address large but achievable challenges in ways that broaden our reach beyond the network’s already impressive projects ( The hack day at Hive Chicago Buzz activated the seeds of solutions generated by our Moonshot working groups. We produced several prototypes, plans and projects which were further supported via in-person working sessions at monthly Hive Chicago meetups and asynchronous connections through online forums and other digital channels. These efforts continued to generate real outputs. One such output is a web app that is a response to a common reality: even in a city rich with cultural resources programs, many Chicago youth can’t access these programs due to transportation barriers. RideW/Me started from identifying and articulating community needs fundamental to transforming the learning landscape all the way through to a participatory, community-driven, co-constructed project that leverages and builds web literacy at every stage. RideW/Me was one of six projects selected to present at the Chicago Education Innovation Pitch Fest, part of the US Department of Education’s Ed Tech Developer’s Guide Tour. A second output is Hive’s Connected Learning PD Calendar, which unites Hive organizations and others to develop a year-long calendar of teacher PD offerings that will effectively engage educators and schools in applying Connected Learning principles in the classroom. The recent Teacher PD Calendar Crunch Party was attended by 30 educators and administrators, including representatives from the Chicago Public Schools, bringing together their many professional learning events into one calendar to more fully empower Chicago teachers to leverage the best of technology and the Web to deepen youth engagement.
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