Building a generation of web makers in Africa


With the release of the Mozilla Hackasaurus “hacktivity kit,” hack jams are starting to pop up around the world — including the first-ever Hackasaurus event in Africa.

Held last week at the Nairobits Design School in Nairobi, the jam introduced youth and novice web makers to the basic building blocks of HTML, all by messing around with their favorite web pages. (Check out Cliff Argwings post on the event here.)

The goal: help youth see the web as something they can actively make and shape, and potentially open the door to deeper design and web developer skills.

Prototyping web maker jams for the world

The event was also a chance to test out some of the new Hackasaurus Hacktivity Kit, a how-to guide designed to make it easy for anyone to host their own design jam for novice web makers.

Our goal is to massively scale up these local design jams in 2012, by providing the tools and resources local communities need to self-organize and adapt the template to their interests and needs.


Messing around with the web

That’s what the Mozilla Kenya team did last week, kicking off with a brief intro to the Mozilla Mission before diving into Hackasaurus. Cliff writes:

Then came the moment of truth: we had to test if the kids grasped how the Hackasaurus X-ray Goggles worked — and also test their html and css skills.

The results are a great example of what we mean by web making, and the “a ha!” moment that can happen when people play around with Hackasaurus for the first time: a shift to seeing the web as something you can tinker with, and a potential gateway to deeper skills.

Before Hackasaurus...
...after Hackasaurus

I really like what Joyce wrote in her hack:

I find it filled with fun… plus am also learning a new skill. I wish I could learn more and more of this!!! thanx for the skills!!!

"i wish i could learn more of this!!!!" Joyce's remix from the Nairobi jam.

Photos, sample hacks and more

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