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Brainstorms!

posted Sep 14, 2012, 3:07 PM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai

At this week's meeting the Hackers brainstormed ideas for the upcoming CTK Student News!  Here's a bunch of story and segment ideas (click for full size image):

news ideas

They also started planning out backgrounds and sets for the video news:

sets

Finally, another team set up the site for our news network!  It's not quite ready to share yet, but it's going to be great!




First Hacker's Club Meeting Tuesday, September 11th!

posted Sep 5, 2012, 4:33 PM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai

We will be kicking off another year of hacking this coming Tuesday!  We are grateful to have Mr. Bocek joining us again, offering his indispensible experience and guidance.  And we are going to need it, because this we are jumping right into the deep end!

As many of you know, at the last meeting in May I proposed a change to the kind of club that Hackers would be.  While last year was really fun and we all learned a lot, I felt that we were stuck in a place where stuff didn't really get done.  We all certainly spent a lot of time WORKING on projects, but not enough of them were ever FINISHED.  I came away feeling like we needed a goal to really reach our potential.  I had a feeling that CTK News could be that goal.

News provides its own goal: publishing.  Without publishing it, what's the point of making news?  News provides its own motivation: deadlines.  If you don't make deadline, you don't get published.  And what's better than getting published?  Seeing our own work out there, for the world to see, for everyone to admire and enjoy.  It feels good.  So let's do it!

We're going to create three branches: written, video, and audio.  The written part is simple; it's going to be like a student newspaper, but published online.  Anyone in the school will be able to submit their own writing, art, or stories.  The video branch will be like a TV news show.  We're going to produce interviews, sports, and stories about the school community and tie them together in one show.  The audio part will be a podcast, telling stories in the style of news radio.  This will be a great way to share stories that we can't use video for, or to showcase some of the wonderful music that our students create.  All of this will be tied together by a website that will be designed and maintained by the Hackers.

I proposed this idea at the last meeting, and many of the students seemed excited about it.  I know that we have so many talented, creative, hardworking kids among us, that it's completely possible to develop an outstanding student news organization.  To make sure that everyone who attends is committed to that goal, I've asked that anyone who wants to join complete a short application.  You can find it online here.

We're going to need students working on many different jobs to pull this off.  Here's a list of positions that I can think of, and maybe you will come up with more ideas once we get rolling:
  • Writers: This is going to take a ton of writing!  Every segment will need to be planned out thoroughly, otherwise they just won't work!
  • Editors: We're going to need team leaders to check others writing and planning, as well as to organize and motivate every aspect
  • Anchors/Hosts/Interviewers: People to be on-camera or behind the microphones.  Need to be strong readers and speakers!
  • Camera People and Audio Engineers: These people need to do their job right or we won't have quality video or sound.
  • Audio Editors: These people will work with Garageband to put together our radio stories.
  • Video Editors: These people will work with iMovie to put together our TV news.
  • Web Designers: Making a website requires lots of skills!  You need to learn a content management system, work with images, and make it all user friendly for people.
  • Content Managers (to make sure the content actually gets online!):  You'll learn how to upload video and audio to the web, make a podcast feed, and even get your show on iTunes!
  • Set Designers: We need a newsroom!  And a teleprompter!  And maybe a sound-proof closet!

Last Hackers Meeting May 22!

posted May 10, 2012, 8:10 AM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai

The final meeting of the year is coming up!  We've had a great year, full of exciting projects and impressive learning, but it's almost time to put down those keyboards for the summer.  We've only got two more weeks left, so now's the time to wrap up those projects before school's out!

Today's Mission: Update your Hackfolios!

posted May 8, 2012, 2:33 PM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai

Learning how to share your work is sometimes just as important as the work itself.  Today in Hackers, EVERYONE has to update their portfolios to reflect all the amazing work you've done this year.  For guidance and help with this, go to this page.

And just in case you need some motivation, please be aware that next year students will have to APPLY to join the Hackers club.  And for current members your Hackfolio will be the single most important part of your application!

Good luck!

How to run Ruby Code

posted Apr 3, 2012, 3:58 PM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai

  1. "cd" into the right location in Terminal (the same as your file).
  2. Make sure that your code has been saved.
  3. run "ruby <filename.rb>"

Code Words Week 2

posted Apr 3, 2012, 3:21 PM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai

chomp - cuts off the \n from input
# sign for comments
to_s - to a string
puts - printing stuff
while - repeat this while... something is true
end - goes at the end of a block of code
interpolating - putting code in the middle of text

Code Words

posted Mar 27, 2012, 3:05 PM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai   [ updated Mar 27, 2012, 3:11 PM ]

This is stuff we learned last week:

puts
cd
gets
if - then - else - end
ls
ruby filename.rb

3rd Meeting

posted Oct 18, 2011, 4:10 PM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai

We started working on our missions!    A smaller group came today, so it was a bit more manageable.

2nd Meeting

posted Oct 11, 2011, 3:57 PM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai

We troubleshot ActivClassroom Systems and made Google Sites.

1st Meeting

posted Oct 11, 2011, 3:56 PM by Michael Dreyfus-Pai

We talked about our goals and we put together some computers

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