Been doing an Advanced Computer Applications course for a few years, and have been reading that much of what is taught in HS in such a course is not relevant. Am particularly interested in others' opinions about how to teach web design: html, CSS or an app like Dreamweaver? Or something else?

Also, what would others consider "relevant" material in prep for college?

Tags: design, instruction, technology, web

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Thanks Jeff for your input. This is a semester course that tries to present a variety of other "advanced" computer applications in 20 weeks - how much time overall do you think I should devote to web design when I'm trying to teach image editing (Photoshop & Fireworks), video editing (iMovie), podcasting, vodcasting and web 2.0 tools?
Hi Debra!

Since this thread is more than 6 months old, how did you end up handling this?

If you are still looking for input, here is my suggestion.

With trying to go over so much material in a short time, is it possible to have students break up in groups based on what they want to learn and then each group be responsible for their part of a project as a whole?

In other words, instead of glossing over each other these different skills with all the students, create four teams that each team spends their time focusing on their skill (graphic arts, video editing, web design and social media). So that by the end of the 20 weeks there is a finished project that all students contributed to that also gives them a very real world experience.

One of my biggest concern with students and tech is that they don't end up proficient at anything. I would rather them have one or two solid marketable skills and add to this later in life (post high school) than walk out the door of their HS experience with nothing to offer an employer other than introductory class experience. I know this may sound harsh but it's still my opinion.

Intriguing idea Jay - thanks for the input!
In terms of how it ended up - I guess I'm doing exactly what you're concerned about - doing projects in each of the areas you mentioned - some graphic design, a little video editing, web design and web 2.0. I understand your perspective - mine going into this was to introduce them to as much as I could in a semester and possibly whet their appetite enough that they go out exploring on their own and develop what they enjoy most on their own.

I am developing an Advanced Computer Applications II Course which will be independent study - so your idea would really work well there I think. The only drawback is waiting to meet the students to find out what they're interested in. I think I can communicate with them ahead of the beginning of the year so that I have time to tailor the course - which by the way will be offered via Moodle.

Sweet! I would be interested in looking at your course as I would like to get something going here especially in coding.

FYI, if you run across individual students that have a solid understanding of media and have already expressed a desire to look into this on their own, you could send them to this site: (DISCLAIMER, this is my most recent site). The purpose of this site is to offer a place for HS aged students to meet and get direction on creating and implementing production skills as an entrepreneur.


Awesome! Thanks for the resource - as soon as I get some things together on the IS (ind. study) course, I'll let you know. At this point I haven't yet looked at the students who have registered for the course, but I can definitely point them in that direction! Is it mostly audio/video production?

As far as the coding portion of my course, maybe you'd like to offer some insight as to particular concepts you think would be critical? I'm still in the learning phases of CSS - am more comfortable with intro html and "tweaking" that .....

Hey Thanks Deb...I feel like we are connecting and on the same page. This is why I joined this group and I am blown away already with this whole classroom 2.0 network...

As far as the purpose of my site, it is really intended for media creation and also distribution (which includes web design and coding). At this point it is still new with not much conent. I want to get into everything including Audio, Video, Graphics, Design, Writing, Marketing and anything else that as a one man show, I have to do to get the project out the door. This is why I made the suggestion for your class in that it truly is a real world model.

For my input on coding, I don't think that way at all as I am a visual learner. With the popularity of web 2.0 sites, things like php and ajax are critically important to make a site work. There is going to be huge opportunity in the next 1 to 5 years for anyone with these skills. This is my concern, and I know VERY FEW people local to me that have these skills. I need to pull from whoever I can find that is willing to help me get a program going in our local schools.

Hope that explains it.

Hi Jay -

Thanks for the reply - I get where you're coming from and think that the opportunity you're providing at your website is unique and could be extremely interesting for some students. Just scanned it but will definitely keep it in the forefront as I look toward a new class of students next year. I don't know php or AJAX either but keep hearing the terms and also being a visual learner who likes a challenge ;), would be interested in learning them. I have a resource at my disposal that I think could help me get started and that might be something that I could also incorporate into the class.

I do have my kids doing some introductory Photoshop Image Editing and since we have the Macromedia Suite of programs available to them, try to get them some experience with Fireworks also as well as the open source products similar to Photoshop like Gimp and Seashore (Dreamweaver). Some of what I see them turning out is impressive, even at the most basic level. I think they even surprise themselves at what they're capable of doing! I love that!!!

Lately I have been pursuing more web 2.0 interests like Google Sites for Web Production. I had used Weebly last semester but didn't find it as user friendly in the code department as I had hoped - maybe it just requires another semester under my belt. Previous to that we were using Dreamweaver in a project where they had to go and interview a local business and create a 5-page website for their "client". Again, some dramatic products! They had also done a video commercial and some editing (using iMovie - we're a Mac school) but I'm thinking of having them do something more along the lines of an instructional type video that could be then put up to the internet in the form of a screencast. Wouldn't it be cool for their "work" to be used by someone else?

I am very interested in showing my students what the web has to offer so they're not tied to any one specific application and having them be comfortable searching for these types of tools and then being unafraid to use them to create their own "space" out there.

Maybe we can continue our dialogue and collaborate on something in the future!

Thanks so much Deb!

Since you mentioned PS, have you seen I have a blog post about it and think it really changes things in terms of kids having access to tools.

talk again soon, have a great weekend!

HTML and css are required foundations, but given web design / development (and by design I'm assuming you mean page creation) are now so much more than those two standards, I would provide a foundation for both coding languages (html and css), and then introduce how js, php, databsing, etc now play a role in web development, and work the class toward completing the year with an interactive / transactional site.

I wouldn't worry about web authoring tools, sure Dreamweaver is one the industry biggies, but the coding, languages, and modeling don't require a $600 tool, and quite frankly I think it would be cool to also show students that a high-end interactive page can be created with something as basic as notepad.

Meg's Notebook
Since this class is not JUST web design but other "Advanced" computer applications, how much time and in what order would you deliver the content? Did I mention this is a semester-long course? ;)
ah IC, with image editing, video editing etc you've got your hands full. actually, you may be doing too much. html and css first 6 weeks, and 1-2 weeks for an intro to databasing concepts and other web dev languages. Web 2.0 tools alone may take a few classes, and teaching photoshop is not easy.

ambitious, best of luck.



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