Not A Whopping Cough - Hackasaurus Helps Kids Get The Most Out Of The Web
There is a conspiracy afoot. While it's kind of cute to have to ask your 11 year-old to program the DVD player or fix the computer, it can also be a little unsettling. How much do they really know? What can they do to us? What hope have we got, now that our very own children are making us obsolete?
The truth of the matter is, we simply don't want them to know any more than they already do. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and all that. Look what happened in Lord of the Flies.
Well, there are people out there who feel differently. Let me preface this by saying, these people are clearly not parents.
Some of these people are at Mozilla, running a project called Hackasaurus. Led by Atul Varma, these subversives are helping "youth hack using familiar web pages and real HTML." They claim that they "come away with fundamentals like HTML and CSS skills, safe browsing habits, prototyping and iterative design, and understanding the web’s conceptual building blocks." But it is obvious to any adult of the parental persuasion that this is pure subterfuge - what they're really doing is amassing a mutinous army of geeks to enslave parents, forcing them to work long hours and hand over all their pay, while treating them with merciless scorn and disrespect.
Hold on. Computer skills aren't necessary to do that.
What's happening over in Hackasaurus land is really very cool. Using "hacktastic super-tools" like Web X-Ray Goggles (which let you modify text and images on any web page you want) and HTMLpad (which gives you the tools to make an instant webpage), users do get to learn a lot about how the web works.
And if that's not enough fun for your progeny, you could always send them to a hack jam. Just get them to sign up, and Hackasaurus will let them know when one is coming their way.
You can even get involved, if you know how to use a computer and how to educate kids; and you want to empower kids through technology; and you can communicate with grownups as well as children, manage a team, and also promote this project; and you actually understand why this is such a good idea, then there could be a job in it for you.
Here's the aforementioned Varma, waxing lyrical about Hackasaurus: