Hackasaurus: getting ready for the Digital Media & Learning Conference

Hackasaurus is packing its bags for Long Beach this week, getting ready for the Mar 3 – 5 Digital Media & Learning Conference. Supported by the MacArthur Foundation and organized by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub at the University of California, the conference will gather innovators from around the world working at the intersection of education and the web — and provide a great opportunity for Hackasaurus to recruit partners and contributors. Its mission: help youth hack. By learning HTML, design and computer science skills, and general digital literacy.

Sneak peek at the Hackasaurs DML Ignite talk

The event’s opening night will feature a Mozilla Science Fair full of great hands-on exhibits — including a Hackasaurus station. And the Hackasaurus team of Atul Varma and Jessica Klein (above) will have a chance to strut their stuff with their Hackasaurus Ignite talk. They shared their draft Ignite presentation in today’s Drumbeat community call. The feedback from the group:

  • The artwork and images look great. Jessica has done a fantastic job with design and visual storytelling (samples below.)
  • Showcase the Hackasaurus tools more. The X-Ray Goggle and HTMLpad tools are impressive, and it would be great to show off how they really work. Atul is working on adding short screen casts for each tool.
  • Reinforce the learning outcomes participants come away with. There’s a ton of different digital literacy projects out there — we need to underline the concrete take-aways for learners.

  • Emphasize that this is about teaching youth “real” HTML. Not a “kid-ified” sandbox or made-up language. Rafi made this point well. Many other web literacy tools require kids to learn a new environment. Hackasaurus is special in that it makes the web itself the learning environment. Starting with what participants already know and are familiar with. e.g.,  peer under the hood and remix your own Facebook page.
  • Emphasize the “looking under the hood” and “seeing into the Matrix” theme. When Brett and Jess asked youth at recent hack jams how many of them had ever clicked “view source” in their browser, almost none of them had. Hackasaurus makes it easy and inviting to see what’s behind the curtain.
  • Got feedback? Please add your comments here. Or dive into the various community tools on the Hackasaurus project wiki page.



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