Beginning to Design the Hackjam

Alejandro and I met to visit the Monroe County Public Library and visit the space where the Summer Hackjam 2013 will be held. The MCPL is a wonderful  welcoming space that hosts many events throughout the year to engage  and educate the community. The day we visited, they were hosting an event to help people with their taxes.

Chris Hosler met us at the information desk and showed us the room where the Hackjam will be held. It is a room with several computers and a projection screen. The room has a removable wall, and we will use the open space on the other side of the wall for lunch, snacks, and general break time throughout the six hour day. Chris also showed us where the 12 Hour Comic Book Day will be held the Thursday before the Hackjam. We are hoping to integrate the characters youth create during Comic Book Day into the Hackjam, so I intend to attend that event as well to get to know the youth who will be at the Hackjam and to learn about the kinds of characters they  create.

After seeing the library, we sat down to work out the logistics of designing the Hackjam. We made a list of goals, tasks, and created a detailed timeline. The timeline includes making community relationships and partnerships, redesigning the assessments, and refining the curriculum.

Here is the short description of the event that will go in the library’s program:

2013 Summer Hackjam Learn to (legally) “hack” the Herald-Times or any other online newspaper or webpage. Create and publish news or stories about you and your friends, family, team, pets, superheroes—whatever you care about.  Expert web designers, writers, and journalists will first help you create, write, edit, and design for the Internet.  Working individually or collaboratively, you will then find a newspaper or website to remix at Mozilla’s Hackasaurus site after activating their X-Ray Goggles in any web browser. No previous experience in web design is required.

Details:  Open to all youth ages 13-18.  June 29, 2013 at the Monroe County Public Library, 11:00-5:00.  Complimentary pizza lunch and snacks will be provided, along with all of the materials.  Sponsored by the Indiana University Center for Research on Learning and Technology and the Monroe County Public Library.  Please register by ___ at ____.  Space is limited; drop-ins welcome as space allows.  For information about this event, contact Christopher Hosler at ____  Visit to find more information and other hackjams, or to learn about hosting your own.

You can read more about last year’s Hackjam in the following blog posts:

Three Firsts: Bloomington’s First Hackjam, ForAllBadges App, and Participatory Assessment + Hackasaurus

Summer 2012 Hackjam: The Wiki

The Role of Artifact Reflections in Participatory Assessment

We are well on our way to designing an engaging six hour Hackjam for the young hackers of Bloomington.


2 Responses to “Beginning to Design the Hackjam”

  1. 1 sophiabender February 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    This sounds really cool, and very much related to the making stuff Kylie’s lab has been working on. It’s all about learning how to produce rather than just consume media :). What kinds of attitudes and competencies do you hope the youth will learn in the hackjam, and how will you design for that?

    • 2 Rebecca Itow February 12, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      We are working on the following standards:
      Common Core College and Career Anchor Standards for Writing:
      Primary: 4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

      Secondary: 6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

      New Media Literacy:
      Appropriation: the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content. Being able to remix media content (and knowing when doing so is appropriate) can help you understand literary works, music, and art; it can also help lead you to a deeper understanding of copyright and cultural clashes.

      Hackers will hack the Herald Times and appropriate articles with the character they created at the 12 Hour Comic Book Day or one they make up that day.

      We are in the process of revising the curriculum and assessments for this, but will keep you posted as we make progress.

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