While I was at Mozfest, we came up with this random idea to teach people the concepts of web native filmmaking. Basically, the idea is to take a well known story and remix/hack it using random content, popcorn, html, and CSS. It’s just a way to get the creative juices flowing when you’re not sure what all is possible with just a little bit of code.
I hung out on a sofa with Shane Tomlinson and David Illsley for a while and fiddled around with Popcorn. The entire point was to forget everything I know about HTML, CSS, JS, and the web and be guided by the desire to make something and participate. We laughed and hacked on the couch, but my idea didn’t really materialize.
I let the idea ruminate for a while. I’ve been decontextualizing what a person needs to be a web maker (in this case with video), and have some solid ideas (ie recontextualization ideas) about project based learning and what that can mean for creativity. I’ve been doing this because in order to teach someone how to be a web maker, one needs to understand the different aspects that make up a web maker. It’s self reflection, and understanding your own creativity is a pretty big task.
Yesterday, I made a demo of the idea. While I was doing it, I was reminding myself that those using curriculum teaching this kind of storytelling might not have code skills at all. The process made me think that those of you out there looking to learn must be feeling like you’re missing an arm when it comes to making things on the web. Eventually, I put some CSS properties into the curriculum outline just so that I could make a demo that only semi-sucks.
We need to teach the world to code at least a little bit, but how much code does a person need? How do we define the absolute essentials and get people interested in learning them even when they don’t feel like they want to?
I’m really invested in the idea of getting people to be creative with their content. That means giving them the tools they need to be creative because not everyone is going to be invested in learning more than basic code. Luckily, there are people working on those tools.
As for the demo, I’m not happy with it, really not. So I’m going to hack at it sporadically. Maybe I’ll toss it completely, maybe I’ll figure out how to make it awesome. Either way, it was a good approach to deconstructing what learners might need. I got a lot of good notes out of the process. I’m making progress in my decontextualization of the maker mind. So at least there’s that.