Build. Make. Hack. Grow.
Those are the words that make up the anthem of DIY.org, a new website designed to teach people new skills through a series of challenges.
The skill sets available to learn on DIY.org range from woodworking to backend developing on computer systems.
The site is colorful, very engaging, and seems designed so well that even kids could enjoy signing up for it.
In fact, it turns out DIY.org IS for kids.
I discovered DIY.org early Thursday morning when it was posted on Reddit and had made the front page of the site.
I clicked the link, and was immediately engaged with all the opportunities for learning that presented themselves. Earlier in the evening I had been looking for new online courses I might be interested in, checking Stanford and Coursera for new courses, while also spending a little time with some lessons on Codecademy. I am a sucker for online learning, and DIY.org hit me at just the right time. Intrigued by the course lineup and the way it included both online and offline types of skill learning, I signed up for an account. The signup process involved choosing an avatar (from a wide selection of well-designed animals and birds) and I guess my first tip-off that this was a site for kids should have come when in the e-mail address sign up form, DIY asked me for my parents’ email. I just assumed that it was treating me as if I were the avatar I’d just created, and was asking for the email address of the parent of the avatar.
When I received my confirmation email from DIY, however, it became clear that this was a site for kids (and reading the Reddit comments further confirmed this, but I shared the attitude of many Redditors by saying ‘forget that it’s for kids, this is awesome stuff!’) with the confirmation reading as follows:
OK, so it’s a site for kids. That doesn’t mean the content can’t be fun for adults, however, and I look forward to diving deeper into some of the lessons, perhaps starting with the bike mechanic and forager lessons for some “in real life” leveling up.
This really seems like a great resource for parents, though. Based on the young people I have in my life, I see a void of wholesome, educational, useful websites for kids and teenagers, and as a result see kids spending a lot of time on social networks and playing games. Something like DIY seems like it could fill the void of providing something that creates value for a user, without seeming too much like school.
I was excited to stumble onto DIY.org, and would love to hear about how ZAGGblog readers are using DIY and whether you’ve had any experiences yourself (or with your kids) learning from the site.