Hackjam Pilot Session

OK, we have piloted a Hackjam session. We expected to keep it short and include only one of the activities we have planned. Also, this activity lasted only an hour but is listed to take at least 1.5 to two hours. We want to thank all of you who participated. We had a good time! We are attaching some awesome pictures we took at the session. ImageImage

 

In a nutshell, participants used X-ray goggles to “hack” a web page. For instance, Dai hacked the School of Education main page. Of course, we did no harm, because these hacked pages are saved on a separate Mozilla web server. While they were doing that, we have them post whatever new knowledge of HTML they were gaining on an online forum. This activity was encouraged by offering points and badges per certain amount of posts. This structure was set up on Youtopia, a resourceful site in which a point-badge structure can be foregrounded.

These are some participant reflections after we finished the pilot:

  • “I had a lot of fun! The only thing that was difficult for me was trying to figure out and hack my page that I was working on, as well as ask for points and post in the forums. So, for me, I could sit and hack forever on one page. But, that won’t get me points. But for me, I didn’t really care. So yeah- there might be kids who are the same, and maybe that doesn’t matter? It really just matters what you want the kids to do/not do. But overall I had a lot of fun! Time went really quickly!”
  • “This is fun. First time know that hack could be easy and fun. It is easy to change the texts and pictures just by clicking what you want to change and replace them with whatever you want to change. To change the color and font style are a little bit challenge because you have to change the code through “advanced” setting. Happy learning process!!!”

Thus, we have learned that the activity is engaging and fun for graduate students, so it probably will be for teenagers. Also, we still need to figure out how to better introduce the points system to interfere the least with the content learning and intrinsic motivation that is already taking place.

We are looking forward to refine a new iteration of the curriculum and get ready for the real one!

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