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Content Creation

The X-Ray Goggles and the "HTML and CSS Basics" section of the Hacktivity Kit PDF communicate most of the Content Creation skills.

We're currently particularly weak on "Content vs. Theme", though, as we don't yet teach the concept of CSS selectors (we only talk about applying stylistic properties through the style attribute, and the Goggles only allow remixing of computed CSS style, not CSS rules). The CSS Descrambler prototype is an attempt to help people understand CSS rules by allowing them to drag-and-drop CSS properties.

Privacy and Security

Hackasaurus doesn't currently teach anything about Privacy and Security, but we would like to include an "ethical webmaking" component in it. One scenario of this might be to have learners add a Facebook "like" button on their page and then use a tool like Collusion to learn how the choices one makes as a Webmaker affects the privacy of people who consume their content.

“Privacy and Security” and “Create Content”

We don't currently teach anything about this in Hackasaurus, but teachers, parents, and some kids have lots of questions about the "publish" functionality of the X-Ray Goggles--they want to know who owns a published hack, where the published hack "lives", and so forth. This is an opportunity to educate them about such things.

We do touch on these topics a bit in the "MoYo Ambassador" trainings- discussing concepts such as the digital footprint, however, we need to incorporate the curriculum into self guided tools.


We noticed at many hack jams, especially those with younger kids, that many folks are not very proficient at navigating the Web. Further, there are some "computer basics", such as being able to use copy/paste habitually, that greatly limit their ability to create Web content, at least given current tools. While we don't have any materials that explicitly teach this stuff--it can be particularly hard because this varies between OS and browser vendor--we do have a Navigator Badge challenge that is used for assessment.

Also, once we assume that users know how to copy/paste URLs for the purpose of making hyperlinks or <img> tags, we know that they have the ability to copy/paste them into emails and tweets. The "publish" feature in the X-Ray Goggles gives them a URL that they can share out, so to that extent we teach (albeit quite implicitly) a sharing skill.


So we don't really get into searching in our tools that we put out, however, this is something that we do deal with in the physical hack jams, because many youth will come to the event never having searched for something. This is particularly notable if we run events in libraries, where learners might not have access to a computer at home, so the interaction is more business like- cut to the chase- show me the site and leave. I do think it's important but it is not a primary learning objective for the project.


We talk about being part of the Open Source or Open Ed Resource communities in our jams and talk specifically about the sharing, community and push v. pull here. But, I wouldn't say that we are a definitive "Miss Manners" and I wonder really if it is 100 % relevant for us to be teaching this. It seems like a bit of scope creep, with the exception that it really does speak to the culture around participating in the web. But not necessarily, the culture of webmaking. Jury's still out.

Sharing and Community

We do talk about online Resources and this is the concept behind the Hackbook/Hacktionary prototype. However, we really need to build out this part of the work that we do because currently, they come to a jam or do an activity and there is little area for follow up.

Create Tools

I think that creating tools is out of scope for Hackasaurus as it is more of an introductory/ base skill set that we are trying to develop.