Tag Archives: hackasaurus

Webmaker Recipes 101: How to host your own kitchen table hack jam

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

the new "Kitchen Table event kit" prototype

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.

8-year-old Amelia liked remixing images and text to create her own web page

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:

Get involved

Girls Learning Code at Mozilla Toronto

This morning, the Mozilla Toronto community space is packed full of fired-up girls aged 11 to 14. Their mission: spend the next week learning how to hack with Mozilla.

Local entrepreneur and Mozilla community member Heather Payne is the driving force behind the “Girls Learning Code” camp, springboarding from her hugely popular Ladies Learning Code web development workshops.

The kids will spend the week learning about HTML and the basics of webmaking, using Mozilla Hackasaurus and other tools to get started.

Tackling the gender divide in tech

Heather says it’s the only just-for-girls camp of its kind in Toronto. The goal: get more girls interested in tech.

“I don’t want them to see coding as nerdy and geeky. I want them to see it as cool and empowering.” –Heather Payne

Or as The Toronto Star put it:

“While men may rule the technology industry, there are no boys allowed at Girls Learning Code…. Women only represent 22 per cent of the natural sciences and engineering workforce, according to a Research Council of Canada 2010 report. Despite efforts by alliances such as Canadian Women in Technology, that proportion has increased just 2.2 per cent since 1994.”

Building a more web literate planet

We need a more web literate planet. Part of that is getting more and more kids to learn how to code,” Mark Surman, Mozilla’s executive director, told the Star.

Interested in learning more about the Girls Learning Code camp — or how to host your own?

The Mozilla Hackasaurus "Hacktivity Kit" provides step-by-step instructions for hosting your own hack jam

This Valentine’s Day, drop a love bomb on someone you love

Here at Mozilla, we like to drop “love bombs” on our favorite friends and colleagues. To reward great work and show we care.

The good folks at the Mozilla Hackasaurus team have taken it a giant step further. As part of their ongoing mission to make webmaking fun and easy for the planet, they’ve created this lovely “Love Bomb Builder” protototype. Making and sending hand-crafted love bombs has never been simpler! (See Jess Klein’s “On Inspiration and Lovebombs.”)

How does it work?

Simple! Choose a template, say a little about who and why the love bomb is for, then fire away! Your mom, dogwalker or special someone can click on the link you send them for a lovely digital token of your affection — lovingly handcrafted in HTML and CSS. I got one from my wife the other day, and it made me blush.

WARNING: Love Bomb Builder is an early prototype and still a little rough around the edges. May prematurely detonate. May cause blushing and/or spontaneous emotional combustion. No webmakers were harmed in the creation of said love bombs.

Some samples of what your customizable love bomb can look like:

  • Atul’s love bomb to Tim Berners Lee for creating the world wide web.
  • A fist bump for Vint Cerf for thinkin’ up the whole “open Internet” thing.
  • A wrestler mask for Madonna. Cuz she’d look great in one!

So what are you waiting for? Go make one now and send it your geekiest Valentine!