How can we make coding and webmaking a family affair?
As part of Mozilla’s big Summer Code Party (kicking off June 23), we’re inviting the world to host teach-ins and learning events. Everywhere. At their local library, at partner events, at Mozilla offices, and with small groups of family and friends around their own kitchen table.
Recipes for webmaking: testing the “Kitchen Table” event kit
This new Kitchen Table Event Kit is a draft “how to” for hosting your own kitchen table hack jam. We invited you to help prototype and test it in preparation for going big this summer, using Mozilla webmaking tools like Hackasaurus and Popcorn.
More than fifteen awesome groups of families and friends got together to test it out — from five-year-olds making web pages about snails with their dad, to adult friends getting together for a “mimosas and making” party. Here’s what we learned together.
What was your favorite moment?
Here’s what our brave beta testers said was their favorite part of the experience:
- “The SQUEAL when my friend first hacked Google.”
- “When my mom replaced an image of a chocolate chip cookie on a webpage of a kitchen table with an image of matzo so it was kosher for passover.”
- “When (5 and 6-year old) Lucas and Kai saw themselves in a web page with their freshly captivated snail, they so began to get the idea of how info gets into the web.”
- “Watching my boyfriend and my mom work on something together.”
- “When my friends started ignoring me completely so that they could make their remixes more remixy. I was talking about something and they were like ‘What?’”
What we learned:
- People enjoyed the format. But sometimes found it awkward to get out of a traditional “teacher” role.
- Keep the activity asks simple. But be familiar with the specific skills and interests of participants.
- Grow a leadership community of people who’ve done the events and can support others.
- Make it interest-based. Start with something people are already interested in. Or a web site they use all the time and are familiar with — then have them take it apart and remix it with the X-Ray Goggles.
What we’ll do to improve:
- Continue to refine the Kitchen Table Event Kit. Polish it up for our May 15 announcement bout the campaign.
- Create clear communication channels for hosts. Before, during, and after events.
- Provide more simple learning projects and curriculum. Offerings that help people find activities that fit their interests.
- Smoother “share” functionality. Create a gallery of hacks and completed projects, so you can see what others made.
Going deeper: your analysis and feedback
There’s lots more great analysis and feedback from our testers, with take aways from:
- Laura Hilliger (broken down by different demographic categories, from youth newbies to intermediate adults)
- Jess Klein (hacking the kitchen table at Passover)
- Lainie De Coursey (hacking with the whole family)
- Bananigans (Hackasaurus with college friends)
- Michelle Thorne (“Mimosas and Making” with adult friends)
- Malcolm in Chicago (Hackasaurus and Popcorn with teens)
- Peter (Hackasaurus with 5 and 6-year-old brothers)
- More raw data from betatester feedback
- Host your own Kitchen Table Hack Jam. Try out the new event kit for yourself, and let us know how it can be improved.
- Learn more about our Summer Code Party campaign.
- Sign up for more teaching resources, event kits, and updates as they come available.
- Read Mark Surman’s post on kitchen table hack jams and creating a “big tent for anyone who shares our goal of a more web literate planet.”
- Learn more about other fun coding and webmaking tools like the Love Bomb maker and upcoming “Web Arcade.”
- UPDATE: See Mark Surman’s excellent “Teaching Webmaking in 10 mins“