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So I have to make this website for my class...


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#1 nukie

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:06 PM

Hi there,

At school, Im currently doing a web design course where the teacher has told us up front he will not teach us everything and we need to "learn things ourselves." So I was hoping that people here could recommend me some techniques and such I should use/learn.

Now the programs that we are using are: Dreamweaver, Flash and Photoshop and any Javascripts that we can "rip" off the internet. And also we're only designing a Web 1.0 website so no PHP or CSS. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by nukie, 27 February 2009 - 06:11 PM.


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#2 groovicus

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 06:52 PM

The best technique that I know is learning how to use your search engines. Everything that you need to know is out there already. And I wouldn't tell on you if you used a search engine to learn how to use Dreamweaver, Flash, or Photoshop......

Incidentally, Flash is really associated with Web 2.0, (as are advanced javascript techniques). PHP and CSS are standard technologies from before the .com bust, which is generally considered to be the birth of Web 2.0. Actually, I never really understood the distinction.

#3 Wolfy87

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 05:44 PM

A great website, wherein i lernt all of my HTML/XHTML within a few weeks, is http://www.w3schools.com/
Damm i wish we built websites in school :thumbsup: we just write up reports etc in i.t
Good luck

Hope this helps, Wolfy87.

#4 txtchr

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 08:32 PM

Hi there,

At school, Im currently doing a web design course where the teacher has told us up front he will not teach us everything and we need to "learn things ourselves." So I was hoping that people here could recommend me some techniques and such I should use/learn.

Now the programs that we are using are: Dreamweaver, Flash and Photoshop and any Javascripts that we can "rip" off the internet. And also we're only designing a Web 1.0 website so no PHP or CSS. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


And your teacher is PAID? Wow. What a job!

I teach two courses: A multimedia course where I introduce my students to web design (literally walk them through everything), and then a web design course in which my students maintain websites for the school. We use Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash, HTML, DHTML, and basic Java on their very first site (as stated, I have detailed instructions on how to do this stuff). For their second site, they work with CSS. Only my web design students (most of them I've had for a second year) get into PHP and more advanced work.

My students have built and currently maintain 19 sites on an off-site server for various clubs, academics, and sports teams in our high school. PM me if you want to see what my instructions are or if you'd like to see what my students have done. They're my inspiration, and believe me, they have taught me just as much as I've taught them.

FYI, though, my web design students have to sign a webmaster contract when they walk in my room. It's a job for them, and they know it. They work for a club or team and are responsible for maintaining their site. If they mess up, I may take the administrative heat, but they feel the heat from me. That doesn't happen very often. I've "fired" (re-assigned) webmasters several times. It's a great learning experience for us all. We did have to develop a copyright statement this year, however, because some of the students' graphics were so good, they were being copied and "used" on t-shirts and other paraphernalia that the teams were gaining profit from (which we were not). The school and community loves what we do, since everything we do is free, and my principal pays for our server space. Win-win.

Edited by txtchr, 01 March 2009 - 08:38 PM.


#5 KamakaZ

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 06:24 PM

txtchr, are you talking about courtney again? Still wish her plate was a little less full...

i'd have to agree with groovicus on this one, a lot of good coding can be "borrowed" and then edited from many places on the net.

If you are looking to learn it though, i would head over to w3schools and read up, it's a very good website, and you may find that you searches will direct you there most of the time anyway...

I also am wondering why your "teacher" is still in a job...

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#6 txtchr

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:51 PM

Chelsea, as we've discussed privately, is one of my **third** year students. I'm talking about beginners. The OP talked about a web 1.0 site, so I took that to mean basic construction, basic file structure, no CSS, original graphics used for backgrounds and within the site.

Much can be learned on the web, as you state. However, that is not, let me repeat, not, what a teacher is supposed to be directing their students to do. Students can be directed to web sites for supplementation to what they learn in the classroom. But if this student wanted to truly learn web design, web development, and move to the next level, why would they bother to enroll in a class, spend time in a classroom, and turn in assignments and projects for a grade that can affect their grade point average (and frankly, be judged by someone who put forth no effort in instruction of said projects)? To me, a teacher of way too many years, this doesn't make sense, and it's not fair to the student sitting in front of that computer screen who has a desire to learn. Obviously Nukie has the intrinsic desire (hence their coming here to seek help). This does not negate the lazy excuse for a teacher that they obviously seem to have (IMHO).

I may not teach everything to be completely up to compliant code, nor may I teach everything to be exactly the way true developers believe sites should be constructed. However, what I do provide for my students is some guidance, a feeling for working with websites, and the knowledge that they can achieve and adapt and learn much more complex concepts that are not within my grasp or capabilities (after all, I'm working with high school level equipment through tightly filtered internet access -- I can't even log into our webmaster email account as it's blocked from our school servers). My students have no fears when they leave my classroom. They can "talk the talk" and they can, indeed "walk the walk".

Unfortunately, all too many teachers know absolutely nothing about websites and website development. There are four high schools in my district (each high school has enrollment of over 3500 students). I am the only teacher in my entire district who teaches the web design class that I teach. In my multimedia class (which other teachers in the district do teach), I focus on web development and the integration of web software (Flash, Fireworks) solely during second semester of the course. The other teachers will teach Flash and Fireworks, and they'll show them what Dreamweaver looks like, but they never build a site. Not once. Two of my first year (first-time) students have already uploaded their sites. So, after 5 weeks of instruction, have built a 6-page site with custom background graphics, rollover menu buttons, hyper links to outside sources, incorporated and linked PDF files, added java scripts (thanks to Dynamic Drive) that they've customized, and their own individually made animated bullets. And then I showed them how to make a FTP connection, create folders, and transfer files to our server. You and I and many other people reading this section of the forum may know what I'm talking about, but grab the average teacher and you're talking over their head -- way way over their head.

Nukie deserves better.

Off my soapbox now. Sorry.

#7 groovicus

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:32 PM

In the absence of a good teacher, I stand by my advice. However, I agree, a teacher should provide the direction and resources that a student needs; but at the same time, a student needs to learn how to learn, which is a skill that I think will be of great help. As a student myself, I am expected to figure out how to do things on my own. The teacher is there when I need them, but by no means will they teach us everything. As a teacher (I teach a small class), I expect my students to show some initiative and see how others have done similar projects. As a (hopefully) good teacher, I am competent enough to know how to craft my assignments so that my students can not just pull ready made solutions from the net.

At any rate, welcome txtchr. By the way, have you heard about DreamSpark for High School? Check out the tab on the right. :thumbsup:

#8 txtchr

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 09:34 PM

Agreed, Groovicus. I expect the same from my students -- show them a bit and they run with it. I'm amazed every day at what they produce with just some initial instruction to get their feet wet (primarily so they don't have their arms flailing aimlessly). I, too, expect my students to do research. I've often said that they show me as much as I show them. Many of my students do indeed show quite a bit of initiative, going above and beyond what I had ever hoped they would accomplish, especially my beginners (some, however, have no desire whatsoever to be serious about anything).

I guess I got the impression from Nukie's original post that he/she wasn't being given very much instruction at all. As I'm sure you've seen, there are far too many teachers/instructors out there who simply say "go for it" and are met with blank stares by their class. I have also had the pleasure (ahem . . .) of having students transfer into my class from other schools where they were enrolled in a "web design" course. This has been half-way through the year or second semester in my multimedia class. I assume they know how to construct a site, as my students do. When I look at what they've done after I leave them alone, though, I gasp -- files scattered everywhere, Photoshop files contained and linked within the site, no root web folder (yikes!), and on and on. So, apparently they were never properly instructed in the first place. It's hard to undo bad habits, as I'm sure you know.

I'll check out your link. I'm always looking for new stuff for my kids.

There's so much more out there now than there was years ago when I first started learning all this. Nukie will have an easier time finding information that we did, say, 10 to 12 years ago.

Edit -- thanks for the link. Unfortunately, though, working for a school, I cannot download software (even if it's free) without it going through a software review by the Central Office IT guys (aka GOD). You wouldn't believe what we have to go through, and it's rarely approved unless it's of benefit to the majority of the student body. It took me 2 years of begging and pleading to get a $100 scanner in my room, and only when one was donated to me did I finally get one!

Edited by txtchr, 02 March 2009 - 09:38 PM.


#9 groovicus

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 09:49 PM

Just for clarification..you don't download anything, your students do. :thumbsup: But yes, I understand the hoops one has to go through for the school boards.

it's rarely approved unless it's of benefit to the majority of the student body.

That's the part that bothers me, and it is prevalent. Maybe it will only benefit one or two people, but maybe those two people will go on to have a career in a tech related field. It isn't like we have an over-abundance of students interested in tech. My focus the last year or so has been on high-school aged students, and I am considering doing presentations for middle school students. It irritates me when good resources go to waste due to politics.

#10 txtchr

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 10:41 PM

Agreed. Let me clarify.

My students have the lowest level of rights. They can't even connect to our server. I have to establish a connection after signing in under my username and password and then they sit at that machine. I've griped at IT about the fact that they're jockeying their sites back and forth onto flash drives and over to "host" machines to FTP, but IT says it's too much of a "security risk."

I have the next level up of rights. I can download brushes for Photoshop and fonts. That's about it. IT opened the port for me to connect to our Yahoo server, but no more. Administrators (principals) go one level up and have more rights, but even they can't install software. Only our technicians can.

I teach career and technology. We have the lowest level of equipment at the school. Our school district two years ago dropped a chunk of money and bought the site license for the entire district to be able to install CS3 on all equipment. Problem is, the only equipment that can handle it are the ones in the "core" (English, Social Studies, Science, Math) areas. And guess what? Those teachers have no idea how to use any element of CS3 (and prey tell, what are they using it for, anyway?). I'm begged constantly to teach classes after school (taught one this afternoon for two hours of comp time) on Photoshop. My machines barely handle CS2 (white screen constantly). But we don't get upgraded, because we're not a core area. Every English, Social Studies, Science and Math classroom has upper-level new computers, starboards, document cameras, digital cameras available, etc. In my classroom: I have 3 scanners, 1 digital camera and 5 year old HPs that cough and choke. Our drama website is hosted on a different server (due to security with play ticket sales); our drama webmaster (one of my students) has never been able to connect to her server -- IT for some reason can't unblock the port and won't keep trying -- after all it's only ONE student, one site, one server. So, I finally enabled the wireless on one of our laptops, logged off the school network, and tapped into the Starbucks connection from across the street to enable her to upload changes. Isn't that unbelievable?

I'll beg and plead and try to do everything to promote my program. After all, every site that my students maintain is for a school organization -- and we do it all for free. What PR for the school and the community! It's helped some, but not enough, in my eyes. The money just isn't there -- at least that's what we're told. We're not a core area, we're not a state-mandated tested area, so money and focus are not on us.

We've fought this fight for years to no avail. I suppose I'll keep fighting it until I retire. Too many of my student do end up going into this field or a field related to graphic design/web design. They deserve the absolute best education that we can provide them. I do the best that I can, and often, my wallet is what provides them what they get.

#11 Orange Blossom

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:41 AM

Hmm. It could be that the teacher is providing most of what is needed, but the students in creating the website are to develop troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.

I had a class in which I had to create a small website, actually two of them. We too had to figure things out on our own; however, our teacher was there for us if we well and truly got stuck. We had to provide a detailed explanation of what we had done and what we had tried to do to resolve the problem before the teacher would provide assistance. And no, we did NOT download stuff from the internet or discover coding that way either.

That teacher was one of the best ones I've had.

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#12 KamakaZ

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:43 AM

wow, sounds like you's hardly have room to breath there with those sort of permissions, i know when i went to school, 2 years ago), we could install programs, download anything, only things that were blocked were sections of the network (admin side) and malicious websites.

Any who... this topic has change dramatically...

I think that the general opinion is, have to be able to learn yourself, but this is no excuse for a "teacher" not giving you any guidance at all.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
There are 10 types of people in the world, those that can read binary, and those who can't.


#13 nukie

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 03:17 AM

Now I didnt say my teacher taught me *nothing*, but really heres his structure of teacher.... And Im not exagerating at all here:
Firstly he'd introduce to us the program and such.

and show us some basic functions of the program and such.

And then he'd try to do something more complicated in program, get halfway through, and then realise he doesnt know what he's doing. And then asks a student to bail him out. and then tells us all that we should learn ahead like that guy and know all the functions like him (that guy is like a professional he does work for people and stuff).

and thats the end of the class...

I feel like I'm missing alot of the program's actual potential because we're not actually being taught the functions and I have no idea where to find them online (especially flash stuff)

Wolfy thanks for your website, looks like thats gonna be my rock of learning for the next year or so...

txtchr sounds like youre an amazing teacher with particularly amazing students aswell...




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