FAQs on Project WoW (Working on Websites)
Q1) What is “Project WoW!” about?
A1) “WoW” stands for “Working on Websites”, and the exclamation mark highlights the “Wow” feeling it creates among children when they complete a website. The project aims at encouraging middle school children to learn to make, maintain and monetize websites.
Q2) Who are the people and organizations behind this project?
A2) Hobbeez (www.hobbeez.com), a division of IRIS Learnware (P) Ltd, with the help of Lambdanets, Inc., a US-based firm (www.lambdanets.com), are behind this project.
Q3) What is the history of this project? How did it start? How did it evolve?
A3) Project WoW came from the need of tech-savvy middle school children to express themselves on a global platform. It started in 2011, with a batch of 5 students. In 5 years, this number has grown to over 4,000.
Q4) What are the various components of this project?
A4) The core component of this project is the middle school child. He or she should identify a theme for the website. The theme should not be too general, but have a specific focus and scope. Once the theme is agreed upon, the website is designed and created. In parallel, content is identified, curated and hosted. Other children are invited to add content, which is then checked for accuracy and added to the site. The websites incorporate all social networking options that are appropriate. Where feasible, smart phone versions of websites are also created.
Q5) How does this project help the child?
A5) As the child is creating a website in an area of their interest, they do not feel the pain of learning coding in HTML and are able to easily learn the use of tools like WordPress, CSS and Smarty. The child learns the power of coding as well as the value of reaching out to a global audience. At the end of a website assignment, the child feels a sense of achievement and accomplishment. He or she is encouraged to share this with friends and family. This adds to his/her confidence. Where feasible, we help the child to monetize the website – for instance, merchandise such as t-shirts could be sold on the website. The website is also used to support good causes.
Q6) How long does it take to create your own website?
A6) Typically, it takes about 2 to 4 weeks. Classes are held in 2-hour modules, every day or 4-hour modules on alternate days. In summary, it takes about 20 hours of online instruction, usually over Skype/Facetime/or other equivalent platform.
Q7) What does a child need to join this project? In what geographies is this service available?
A7) All that a child needs to join this project is access to the internet and a Personal Computer. The service is available to children across the world. Right now, the medium used is English. We plan to extend this to other languages as well.
Q8) How many middle school children have been trained so far?
A8) During the last 3 years, over 4,000 websites have been created.
Q9) Where can I get more information on this project?
A9) Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.