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Why not teach practical coding to students?

May 11, 2018

I’ve been teaching code since 2003, and created the StudioWeb code training platform in 2011. Our first two schools jumped onboard in 2011 as well.

With the help of hundreds of schools, and tens of thousands of students, StudioWeb’s courses have become increasingly effective teaching students (grades 6-12) how to code.

What makes StudioWeb’s engaging curriculum stand out, is that we are able to teach real-world coding skills (JavaScript, Python, HTML5, CSS3, SQL, PHP), while still keeping the curriculum fun and easy to use.

… Everybody is surprised how easy it is to use StudioWeb! Teachers feel secure in the process, and students are encouraged by how easily they learn to code.

Course Content, and Training software developed hand-in-hand

One of the reasons StudioWeb based classrooms constantly achieve great results, is because both the curriculum and software were develop at the same time … mindful of feedback/data from tens of thousands of students and their teachers.

StudioWeb first launched in 2011, and since that time, we’ve integrated that experience into StudioWeb 2, StudioWeb 3 and now with the soon to be released StudioWeb 4 – the best yet!

Result:
StudioWeb provides a highly refined software and engaging curriculum specially designed for classroom teaching.

Contact us and set up a free demo class – it’s free you know!

Stefan
StudioWeb

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Free Code Courses for Teachers who Teach Coding!

April 12, 2018

We want to make it easy for teachers to get up to speed with code!

As such, StudioWeb will now be providing FREE code courses (professional development,) for teachers in HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and Python.

If you are going to be teaching code during the 2018-19 school year, and you need to learn code, and even programming from scratch … it doesn’t get any better!

How does it work?

Just contact us or one of our partners, and we will set up a custom StudioWeb classroom for your school, with enough seats for all your teachers.

The StudioWeb web app and curriculum makes learning to code easy … even from home! Teachers can quickly learn the most popular coding languages, without having to travel or attend special classes – learn at your own pace.

Our web based code courses are made up of hundreds of bite-sized videos lessons, that are supported by over 1000 code challenges and quiz questions. This combined with the gamified StudioWeb software, makes for an engaging learning experience, with great retention.

What happens if teachers get stuck – is there support?

Support for teachers is just an email or phone call away! But besides that, the StudioWeb software has a great hinting system that almost guarantees you won’t get stuck on a lesson.

If you would like to learn more about the StudioWeb code curriculum or you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. There is no obligation for taking part.

Thanks!
Stefan Mischook

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Classroom Activities for your Web Design Classroom

April 3, 2018

Hi!

The following classroom activities have proven to very helpful in StudioWeb web design classes. These ideas come from our StudioWeb QuickStart Guide for teaching web design.

#1. Note taking:

StudioWeb’s video lessons make heavy use of pop-up note takers: have students take handwritten notes while watching the video lessons for improved retention. Teachers could require that students hand in notes at the end of each week for extra marks.

#2. Student collaboration with paired programming:

Have students work in teams of two, where for each chapter, one student acts a ‘co- pilot’, while the other is answering quiz questions and code challenges. They rotate roles every chapter. This is an industry practice call ‘paired programming’ and is a part of the agile software development technique.

#3. Student collaboration with group projects:

Have students work in teams of 2-3 on the provided assignments.

#4. Student peer-to-peer tutoring:

Encourage advanced students to assist others with both the formative quizzing and projects. It is common to see StudioWeb classrooms with students helping each other out as they learn the material.

#5. Breaking the code:

A great way to learn how to code, is to break it once you have it working. It is very instructive to see how a web browser reacts to broken code, and in the case of JavaScript programming, to see the error message the browser displays in the browser’s console.

Have the students download the project files for each course (found on the homepage of each course) and have them make changes to the provided code and then break it to see what happens. For example:

  1. Have them mess up tags in a web page, and then fix it.
  2. Have students change values in the CSS code such as font colors and sizes. Have them move around braces to break the CSS code … and then fix it.
  3. Have students remove semicolons in JavaScript and change the case of variable names.

Breaking code after you get it working, is an excellent way to accelerate students understanding of code.

#6. Using the provided classroom assignments:

Within the ‘Course Documents’ download found under each course in the Teacher’s Dashboard, you will find a set of assignments/projects that you can assign to individual students or groups. These assignments are bound to chapters in each course.

#7. Using the provided video source files:

On the homepage of each course, you will find a download link to all the files (html pages, CSS pages, images etc) that are built in the videos. These are the files that students can use in classroom activity #5: ’Breaking the Code.’

If you want to use StudioWeb in your classroom, feel free to contact us!

Thanks!
Stefan Mischook

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Setting up a coding environment for the classroom.

April 2, 2018

One of the hardest aspects of getting a coding classroom up and running, is just getting the software installed on the workstation. After considering a many options, we decided to go with the web coding languages, since all computers already have the software you need.

To teach HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, all you need is a  web browser (Chrome, Firefox etc …) and the built-in simple text editor that comes with Windows, Macs and Chromebooks.

… No need to install software!

HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, have all you need!

Another advantage of teaching code with the web languages, is that they are the most important languages in coding today. With the web languages, you can teach students to all the major coding / programming concepts, as they learn the most popular languages used in industry today.

With HTML5 and CSS3, students learn what is called ‘client side’ coding. They will learn how the visual parts of programs are created. These concepts are universal; so once they learn user interface creation with HTML5 and CSS3, they will know how it is done in just about all programming languages.

JavaScript in 2018-19

JavaScript is arguably the most important programming language in the world. JavaScript is used in so many areas of programming (client-side web apps, server apps, ML etc …), and its popularity is only increasing. For example, with JavaScript’s Node.js, Netflix is able to create their amazing video streaming software.

If you want your students to learn real-world programming, JavaScript is your language.

StudioWeb’s Turn-key Code Curriculum 

We’ve been working for schools for over 6 years now, and the StudioWeb program and curriculum has been refined based on what teachers and students have taught us. Our code curriculum makes it fun, and easy for both teachers and students:

  • Over 300 short video lessons.
  • Over 1400 engaging quiz questions and coding challenges.
  • 57 assignments and grading rubrics.
  • Auto grading by course, chapter and lesson – teachers don’t need to know code!
  • Gamified engaging learning.

With as little as 20 minutes of prep, teachers with no experience with coding can have their classroom up and running!

Give us a call to set up a demo … it only takes a few minutes to set up!

Stefan

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Career Oriented Code Curriculum for Middle School and Up.

February 22, 2018

Schools are starting to realize that a code curriculum should be real-world focused.  That means students come away with both conceptual, and practical coding skills. Unfortunately, many courses/solutions offered today only offer conceptual learning.

… There are no jobs in block based coding, or in using code snippets to move a character around a screen.

How to easily teach both conceptual and practical coding

The best way to accomplish this, is through a web design and development based curriculum. The argument for teaching code with the web languages (HTML, CSS and JavaScript,) can be summed up as follows:

  1. HTML and CSS are visual, and so very engaging.
  2. School don’t have to buy special software to create websites. In fact, there are many free optionsthat can be used to teach with.
  3. You can build websites on any type of computer. Even older computers are more than powerful enough for web coding and programming. Windows, Mac, Chromebooks, Linux computers … can all be used.
  4. Web design and programming skills are in high demand. Students come away with skills that have economic value, whether they enter the job market, become freelancers or start a company of their own.

Besides the teaching advantages of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, the web coding languages are only gaining in popularity in industry. Not only are they used to create websites and web apps, with popular libraries like React Native and PhoneGap, web based coding languages are starting in take over mobile app creation.

Conclusion

Because of the aforementioned advantages:

  1. Web languages teach both conceptual and practical coding.
  2. Works on any computer.
  3. Fun and engaging for students.

… I personally believe web based coding courses will become the preferred way to teach code in the classroom.

Thanks!

Stefan Mischook

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Great Alternatives to Dreamweaver for the Classroom

February 20, 2018

This is a common question I get from teachers:

When it comes to teaching web design, what is a good alternative to Dreamweaver?

A few things to consider:

  1. Most professional web designers DO NOT use Dreamweaver.
  2. Teaching web design with Dreamweaver introduces an extra layer of complexity for no good reason. You have to teach BOTH Dreamweaver and web design.
  3. Dreamweaver is expensive compared to many alternatives … especially considering the free software out there! 🙂

Side note: I’ve been teaching code and programming since 2003, and web design is a great vehicle that you can use to teach code with.

… Wed design is great (to teach code with) because it’s visual, easy to learn, and cross platform. Heavy tools like Dreamweaver try to hide the code from users, but that hides the most important aspect of learning web design: writing actual code!

Great code editors for your students

There are many great options to choose from that are free, and you have options for all types of computers:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Chromebook

Taken from the StudioWeb QuickStart Guide:

Sublime Text – for Windows and Mac:
https://www.sublimetext.com/

Notepadd++ for Windows:
https://notepad-plus-plus.org/

Brackets for Mac and Windows:
http://brackets.io/

Caret for Chrome and Chromebooks:
https://goo.gl/cm8WpV

TextWrangler for Mac:
http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler/

Thanks!
Stefan Mischook

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StudioWeb 4 … coming soon!

February 20, 2018

html course badge studioweb

Hi!

Just a quick word about the soon to be released StudioWeb 4.0. This is an exciting release, because it is a total rewrite from scratch! The current StudioWeb 3 is bug free, and is working great in classrooms, but there comes a time when you have to start fresh.

… Steve Jobs famously made that decision, when he moved to OSX and retired OS9. Time has proven that it was a great move!

What’s special about StudioWeb 4?

StudioWeb 4 implements amazing new technology that brings more flexibility and speed to the StudioWeb software. Some of StudioWeb 4’s new features include:

  • District level reporting
  • More classroom management tools
  • Expanding and updating curriculum to include career oriented content
  • Updated video controls and more tablet friendly UI

More details will be released once StudioWeb 4 is made public.

Thanks!
Stefan

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How to Teach Web Design

January 31, 2018

In the video below, I go over my top 7 web design teaching tips for teachers. Here are the bullet points:

1. Use the spiral teaching method
2. Self paced learning is best
3. Encourage students to use online training resources
4. Web Design software is NOT important

…. Watch the video to learn the rest.

The video:

Thanks!

Stefan
StudioWeb

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Coding Courses that Teach Real Code!

November 17, 2017

Writing snippets of JavaScript to move a character 2 steps to the left, doesn’t teach kids anything about programming … at best, it’s a cheap replacement for an xbox controller.

… One teacher called me up recently, telling me how after the initial excitement student’s had moving characters around with code snippets, students fell into a pattern of typing in commands blindly to move the character, and quickly got bored.

In the end, students ended up not learning much of anything.

Teach real-world coding can be very fun for students!

When I first developed the StudioWeb program and curriculum 7 years ago, I wanted to teach students how to actually code real projects.

Most of the courses offered out there, are created by programmers who have no understanding of education. So they all fall back on the erroneous idea that to make coding fun, kids should use pseudo-code (fake code) or code snippets, to move characters in a game.

… But as I mentioned before, this type of course, doesn’t actually teach real coding.  As any programmer / coder will tell you, it is the concepts behind the code that matters.

Have students write real code to learn code:

I come from a family of teachers, and have been developing code course since 2003. I was able to leverage that experience to produce a curriculum that is both engaging, and still teaches students how to write real code, using the most important computer languages today:

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • PHP
  • SQL

Added benefits (to students) learning to code:

I see the value in teaching coding beyond the obvious job opportunities:

  1. Logical thinking
  2. Problem solving
  3. Deferment of gratification
  4. Organizational skills
  5. Digital awareness which can protect them from scams

… Etc.

So even if the kids don’t code in their future careers, they still have much to learn by learning to code.

But I also recognize that I am as biased as you can get!

Stef Mischook
StudioWeb

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StudioWeb Server Power – Doubled!

September 13, 2017

Hi,

With many new schools joining, it’s a been a real growth year for StudioWeb. So we’ve just doubled our server power to manage all the new students!

… Ah, ultra-modern cloud hosting is a dream!

Thanks!

Stefan

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