Initial Distill of Kitchen Table Lessons

Mozillians have been beta testing the Kitchen Table format. After reading a lot of good write ups about individual tests (from Joe, Jess, Lainie, Peter and others), I was inspired to start distilling lessons. I’m sure we’ll do more in depth reviews, but for now here are some things to think about if you’re going to run a kitchen table event.


  • Follow the KISS principle – a couple people (including myself) have written that they tried to do too much in the session.

Adult Newbies

  • Generally find the Goggles cool, but really need the instructional and explanation layers.
  • Need a specific ask
  • Need real motivation (“Why should I care about CODE?”)
  • Generally more interested in using the web better
  • Willing to play, but seem to crave a little more in-depth instruction and understanding (“Why am I doing this?”)

Teen/Young Adult Newbies

  • a very loosely structured remix ask seems to work well (even if they spend too much time collecting assets)
  • quick on the uptake of how to use the tool
  • questionable deeper understanding – having fun playing, but probably need the instructional and explanation layers for retention of tags, attributes, etc. Interest driven learning + some guidance works really well.

Adult/Young Adult/Teen Intermediate

  • Quickly bored with the Goggles, quickly bored with the sandbox
  • apparent disinterest can be fought with more immersive games
  • need activities to inspire further learning, more advanced content for “almost webmakers”

Kids (pre teen, or early teen)

  • an “assignment” like Inanimate Alice or a specific remix seems to be the way to go
  • younger kids need a theme and specific ask

All that tells me that:

  • we should be figuring out a way to build in instructional and explanation layers in the web maker/learning tools
  • adult newbies with low or non existing intrinsic motivations will be a hard sell (even if they have extrinsic motivations)
  • we’re right on the money with our approaches for teens
  • we need to figure out next steps, new projects and resources for intermediate coders (activity/mission scaffolding)
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Initial Distill of Kitchen Table Lessons

2 thoughts on “Initial Distill of Kitchen Table Lessons

  1. It seems to me that what is needed is real personal relevance for doing these tasks, otherwise they are just tasks, not real engagement. Just a perspective…

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