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27th March 2009

New Web Series Teaches Kids Computer Savvy They Don’t Learn In School

Story2.OH and giraffesoft announce the launch of Hailey Hacks, a web series for kids 8-13. The Hailey Hacksfunny magazine-style show is hosted by Hailey, played by Marlee Maslove, and demonstrates cool things kids can do with their computers

Toronto Story2.OH and giraffesoft introduce Hailey Hacks, a series of web videos starring Toronto grade 6 student, Marlee Maslove. Hailey (Maslove) is the Hermione Grainger of web wizardry showing 8-13 year olds all kinds of cool things they can do with their computers.

“Kids have these very powerful machines at their fingertips,” says series creator Jill Golick, “but no one’s teaching them the incredible scope of what they can do with them.” The mandate of the series is to broaden tweens’ use of the computer beyond games, Google and YouTube to include the wider world of blogs, widgets, RSS feeds, social bookmarks and the amazing tools that exist on the web for creating, collaborating and communicating.

“Computers will become increasingly important in every aspect of kids lives – for entertainment, communication, work, everything. Yet there’s virtually no computer instruction in the classroom before grade 9,” says Golick.

By that time, many girls have already turned off maths and science and as anyone who has ever attended a geek event knows, women in technology are few and far between. Hailey presents an alternate view of technology for young girls, making it relevant, fun and cool.

Recently web series are springing up on an almost daily basis, but very few are aimed at the preteen demographic even though the age group has clearly embraced online video entertainment. Hailey Hacks fill the gap, bringing kids multiplatform entertainment. Not only can they can watch the videos, they read Hailey’s blog, share lolcats with her on Icanhascheezburger, subscribe to her YouTube channel and Twitter feed and exchange twitter-length videos with her on 12seconds. She even has a fan page on Facebook

The Hailey Hacks videos are available in two length. The shorter versions are available at no cost across the web on YouTube and other popular video sharing sites. The full versions are available for DRM-free download at a cost of $2 per episode at www.haileyhacks.com.

While some adults may have a knee jerk reaction to the word “hack” in the series title, Hailey points out, hacks don’t deserve their bad reputations. A hack isn’t about breaking or wreck ingthings. Rather, hacks are elegant but simple, solutions using technology. (Wikipedia defines a hack as “a clever or quick fix.”)

Outline of scheduled video episodes:

Hailey Hacks April Fools: Hailey demonstrates some favourite low- and hi-tech April Fools tricks, including the famous Desk Top Hack in which the desk top is replaced with a photo. (This drives parents crazy as they try to figure out why nothing works when they click on it.)

Hailey Hacks lolcats: Hailey helps viewers master www.icanhascheezburger.com.

Hailey Hacks Wish Lists: Hailey shows you how to create and share wish lists so everyone knows exactly what to buy you for your next birthday.

In future episodes, Hailey shows viewers how to make a wiki, customize Google maps for school projects, use online tools to throw a party, use privacy settings on social networks, share bookmarks, collaborate using Google docs and how to set up your own blog.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 9:08 am and is filed under Digital Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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