new Art, Copy & Code film– great example of “web-made movies” / “web-native cinema” / “social video.” It gathers data like time, location, weather and what’s happening on the web — then weaves them into a video that’s unique every time.
“Why I Code”: A young student’s perspective on why coding helps him relax, and the pride and pleasure of problem-solving.
Coding. It’s a new language that opens many windows. Coding is the ability to manipulate electronic and invisible things to do what you want them to do. It is the equivalent to communication with a friend. –Amir
The Build — Great personal storytelling. These bike-makers make the transition from website into film totally seamless.
Churnalism – Spot plagiarism or questionable sources in your media diet. Just plug in text or a URL, and this checker will look to see how much of the article is ripped from another source — and what source it’s ripped from.
Meta-piracy inception. What happens when pirates play a game development simulator and then go bankrupt because of piracy?
Rebooting the brand to focus on makers of all ages
Building a gallery to show all the awesome makes
Creating a Make API so anyone can make a gallery
Deepening learning with challenges + badges
Making it easy to create hackable teaching kits with Thimble
This post is about that fifth element: making it easy to create hackable teaching kits with Thimble. Laura Hilliger, Julia Vallera and the mentor team have created new prototypes toward making this possible — and also updated their thinking and content strategy for hackable teaching kits on webmaker.org going forward. This post shares the prototypes and summarizes the new thinking.
How do hackable kits work?
We want to make it easy for anyone to create their own teaching guides and lesson plans for teaching digital literacy, webmaking or any content relevant to mentors and learners. To that end, we’ve created a set of new prototypes in Thimble. The templates are built around three key teaching elements:
your learninggoals. What are you trying to teach? What will people learn?
your learningactivities. What activities, projects or hands-on making are you going to do?
additional resources. Cheat-sheets, handy reference guides, further reading, etc.
tying it all together. A complete kit then ties all these elements together into one handy link.
New Thimble prototypes
Try them out now. Clicking on a template below will open the Thimble editing window, where you edit the content on the left and see how it will look when published on the right.
These prototypes are just a small first step. By eventually making it easy to display what mentors are creating through a gallery, and surfacing these community-generated resources onto webmaker.org/teach, we can:
showcase what others are doing. See how other educators and mentors around the world are teaching and making. Sharing great activities and lesson plans.
enable easier remix and localization. You can just hit the “edit” or “remix” button in Thimble to immediately start translating, moving stuff around, adding your own images and links, etc. When you’re done, you can just hit “publish” and publish to a new, easily shareable URL for what you made.
make it easy for people to work their own way. The beauty of working in Thimble and simple editable HTML and CSS is that people can create and share however they want. Your Thimble make could follow our existing template — or you could hack it to include whatever you want: a link to your own blog post or web site, article, third-party resources, etc.
We know not everyone likes to edit HTML — and we’re working on alternate workflow for that, like Mentor Mob. This is just a small first step.
Building Webmaker 2.0
What’s our content strategy for these hackable kits going forward?
Move to a “make-based architecture.” Up to now, our teaching resources / “Hacktivity Kits” have been their own separate content type. Moving forward, we imagine kits and educational content to be just another “make,” like any other — tagged so that mentors and educators can easily find them.
Simplify our nomenclature and terms. We’re no longer referring to these teaching guides as “Hacktivity Kits” or “Hacktivities” — we’re going to simplify and streamline our nomenclature, using terms that are already familiar to people and easier to localize. (More on that soon.)
Test and refine these Thimble templates in our MOOC. Through the launch of our new open online course, we’ll be in close touch with hundreds of educators, techies and mentors that can help us test, refine and create their own content. This will be made easier by new “save” functionality in Thimble — so our target is to have an early alpha version of this feature ready to test by May 23.
“Everything is a make”
They key design principle here is that, going forward for Webmaker.org, everything is a “make” – and it will soon become dramatically easier to see and remix what other people are making with Webmaker tools like Thimble and Popcorn.
Can we flow great content like this into our these new prototype templates?
2) Join the open online course. Participants in the course will create their own resources and kits, and have a chance to test new alpha features in Thimble.
3) Try flowing existing content into the new templates. For example, is it possible to turn this great NY Times education blog post into a hackable teaching kit using our new templates? What would that look like? Please hack and experiment and then report back on your results through #teachtheweb.
This week we were proud to partcipate in the White House Science Fair—and have President Obama help us kick off our new Maker Party 2013. This June to September, people will get together at thousands of community-led events around the world. Together we’ll celebrate the amazing things we can make and learn through the open, collaborative power of the web.
Get training and support. Our new “Teach the Web” open online course is like “Boot Camp” for Maker Party. Join in discussions and hands-on learning with other techies, educators and mentors around the world.