Category Archives: Projects

Hack-A-Day

This site is really interesting, even for a non-hacker such as myself. The focus for this site is less on hacking websites, but more about hacking life. It works similar to a blog, where you can search for articles by different categories and see the posts by chronological order. But the real appeal is the content. You find tutorials and written how-to’s on any topic here. Jailbreaking an iPhone, to making a really cool looking robot from parts you can find in an old computer, and everything in between, can be found on the site. The best part I like about it are how well written the tutorials are. Youtube is great for tutorials, but the quality can be meh at times. However, hackaday.com has done a great job of keeping the content interesting and well done. Another great site for the curious and mechanically inclined.

Coding Help

Since HTML5, CSS, PHP, and Javascript are becoming more important in the new media curriculum, I’ve been looking for sites to help me increase my coding skills. I’ve been to sites like e3schools.com, but those are better used for reference, and not so much for someone with a basic understanding of code. To be honest, I was a little lost as to where to go from there. Until I found hackthissite.org.

This site is great. It offers a way to increase your skills in a fun and engaging way. They seriously want you to learn how to hack their site. It makes learning all the code more fun and inspires you to learn more, so you can continue on up to harder lessons. The motivation that this site creates is wonderful, and the idea of a site openly inviting you to hack it is definitely new and exciting. The community there is dedicated and intelligent, and there are answers to the lessons found all over the internet, for those lazy enough to give up before figuring it out on their own. It gives the user some practical application to use their skills, and this really helped me get excited to learn code. I didn’t get very far, as this is something I do in my free time, but I would highly recommend trying to get this into the new media curriculum to inspire students to get excited about the skills they are learning in class.

Interactive Textbook

I’ve noticed more and more classes are asking students to rely on online tutorials or texts to help learn the material taught in the classroom. I’ve even been in classes where there was little education outside of tutorials found online and the projects assigned in class. This is a great idea. Text books are an old medium, and an ineffective one at that. I’ve never met anyone who enjoys reading from textbooks that aren’t in their major. I’ve met one or two that actually enjoy reading textbooks. It’s basically just a way for universities to make even more money. I know I’m over generalizing here, but the fact remains that textbooks are an inefficient way of communicating an idea to a student.

Considering this, I love finding online resources available that help me learn what I need to learn, but in an interactive and often interesting way. Here’s a link to an art history site that I used to study for my exams. I really hope that this trend continues and becomes the norm within all aspects of the education system. It’s time to end this love affair with the textbook, because it’s only going to hurt us in the end.

http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/