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Class is in session

June 12, 2012

Last night, I began teaching a course on building Websites the right way with HTML and CSS at the Bridgforth Academy. My students are my 11 year old daughter and 8 year old son.

I had the idea over a year ago to teach my kids how to build a Website. I just needed to commit to doing it. I thought summer would be a good time to do it. The kids have been excited for weeks. We had a really good time last night.

For my first class, I explained:

  • what a browser is
  • the four major players in the current browser market (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer)
  • what a Web server is
  • that the Web is now about a variety of devices
  • what makes up a Webpage (HTML document, images, video, and CSS) – I know there are other things like JavaScript, etc. but I wanted to keep it simple for our first class

I talked about the difference between the HTML, which defines what is on the page, and CSS, which determines how the page looks. I used the example of a house and the structure of the house. We had recently been to a friend’s house who is adding on an addition. I talked about how the studs and drywall make up the structure and the paint is how the wall looks.

The kids really enjoyed our time. I think they really enjoyed doing something with me but also learning and understanding more about what I do. I really liked teaching them and sharing my world with them.

To finish the evening, I talked about the elements that every Web page must have:

  • doctype declaration
  • html tag
  • head tag
  • title tag
  • body tag

In our next class, we are going to get on the computer.

  • I am going to show them how to view source on a Web page
  • I am going to teach them some HTML markup tags
  • We are going to code a very simple page so they can put it into practice

I am using 2 resources to help me organize and teach the course:

  • Build Your Own Website the Right Way using HTML and CSS – I used this book as the basis of a training I did with my creative team at Campus Crusade a couple of years ago. One of the best books I have seen.
  • HTML & CSS: design and build websites – This is the book I wish I had when I learned how to build sites. It is visually inspiring, not the typical boring manual. Beautiful graphics and illustrations, it is my new go to book to tell those who want to learn how to write HTML and CSS.

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