Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Should Libraries Offer Programs on Hacking?

School Library Journal has an interesting article posted this week about organized educational efforts, including conference workshops, to introduce kids to hacking:

License to Hack: Kids are getting into hacking in a whole new way. And that’s a good thing.

Workshops covered picking locks—the school locker variety—Google hacking, and coding in Scratch, a programming language for children. In a session entitled “Meet the Feds,” kids were invited to press the flesh with agents from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency and chat with them about “intelligence gathering, cyber weapons, war strategy, and more.”

It’s an interesting convergence, with the global exploits of hardcore hacker groups Anonymous and Lulzsec in the background, but hacking—in various forms—is another way in which kids are engaging technology and one that’s evolving.

What do you think? Is this the sort of thing libraries should be dipping our toes in? Is this how we get teens truly interested in new technologies, or is this getting into ethically dodgy ground?

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