Hacking as Learning: A Slice of Mozilla Drumbeat
On Wednesday, October 12, 2011 I attended a workshop put on by Mozilla. Turns out a recent graduate, Jessica Klein, from Parsons MFA Design and Technology helped orchestrate the conference. The workshop started with everyone in a circle following this video….How To Do The Robot (Totally Rad 80’s Dances)
Jessica presented a prototype for youth that is geared towards allowing kids to write their own web code; HTML and CSS. As a group we worked on giving feedback to her team at Mozilla about the current site, http://hackasaurus.org/ Jessica and her team are encouraging the community to help with the co-development and are seeking feedback to enhance the global project. She presented the “hackbook tool” which is moving towards “social persistence” so that two kids (friends) can work on the website at the same time. The program is similar to Firebug or Bolt but is unique because it is a kid friendly and simplified version. There is a cheat sheet for kids and homework lessons that can be given to students. HTMLpad.org is a good resource for people who are just starting their first site and want to collaborate with friends to edit it. You can check out her prototyping process on her FlickR page Jessica has an example of an interactive comic where the kids have to do something (a task) in order to progress through the panels on the comic. There are also assignments where the students are asked to fix webpages and dive into the code like in this sample. Finally Jessica came up with the idea to give peer mentor badges. Children are nominated by a friend and have to strive to improve their web browsing skills by working hard to earn it. These incentives are important when dealing with elementary school students.