2021 HTML Workshop: “How to Look Cool Online”

Inspiration – an interview with the creator

By Amy Imsdahl, EchoX Staff

Last month, we wrapped up our first fully virtual online workshop, “How to Look Cool Online!” The workshop, imagined by EchoX DIGITIZE Youth Council member Jacob Arnez, was created for middle & high school students to learn HTML basics and become more comfortable expressing themselves online.

“My first introduction to HTML was when I was a freshman in high school,” said Jacob, a 2021 graduate of Jackson High School. “It was neat, but when you’re in that environment, you aren’t as motivated to learn it on your own. What made me very involved in HTML was when I was building my own website and using it as a tool for design.”

While oftentimes we think of social media platforms as today’s main source for personal creativity, Jacob learned that he could easily add his own flair and authenticity in his coding. “I learned how to express myself online with web pages,” he said.

As a DIGITIZE Youth Council member, Jacob came up with the workshop concept, had the opportunity to create material for the workshop, lead several of the lessons, and provide helpful feedback on the student websites.

“This HTML workshop Jacob created is a perfect fit for what DIGITIZE is all about,” said Ann Wright, EchoX Executive Director. “Supporting teens to lead the exploration and expression of their cultural heritage in creative and collaborative ways, including digital tools and an engaging platform. DIGITIZE is a team driven program, so when Jacob came to us with this amazing workshop idea he wanted to share with his peers, we created a team to help him create and deliver this workshop.”

This fall, Jacob will start college in Portland, OR, where he intends to study computer science and work on creative projects in web development. He encourages other students that are curious about tech, community, or sharing their creative ideas and hobbies to explore DIGITIZE’s Youth Council:

“If you join the youth council, you can really help participate and make workshops of your own. I really hope that people can see that they can make [workshops] for themselves and their community.”

See the student winners here!

Interested in learning more?

  • We hope to offer more Digitize workshops like this in the future! If you’re interested in staying in the loop about future events and other youth opportunities, join our mailing list or email us at Digitize@echox.org for questions!
  • We’re recruiting middle and high school students for Digitize’s Youth Council for the 2021/22 school year! If you want to learn more or have any questions, please email us at Digitize@echox.org

Special thanks to Aaron Ottinger, Fariha Zainab, and Hasibur Rahman for lending their skills and talents to “How to Look Cool Online!” And a big shoutout to Randy Pagulayan, Carolyn Callaghan, Jacob Arnez, and Rav Kang for taking time to give thoughtful feedback while judging! You helped make this workshop great!