KillerPHP Blog

Curriculum

StudioWeb 4 is Live and is Packed with New Features.

November 30, 2018
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The newly released StudioWeb 4 has many new features teachers have been asking for. Here are some highlights:
  • New certifications: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Python.
  • Teachers can reset student progress on the chapter, lesson and even question.
  • Teachers can now allow students to skip chapters they don’t want students to do.
  • Teachers can set whether students can update their profiles: name, password.
  • Teachers can assign / revoke courses on a per student basis.
  • StudioWeb now provides district and school level performance reporting. All classroom statistics can be monitored on a single page.
  • Videos are now streamed from multiple sources.
  • We now provide closed captioning (CC) on all our videos.
  • StudioWeb 4 tracks the average time it takes each student to answer questions, and compares it to the classroom average.
  • Class leading reporting and sorting for grades and other assessments.
  • Massive performance increase, since StudioWeb 4 is a total rewrite from scratch, using the latest tech.
If you would like to demo StudioWeb 4, please feel free to contact us.
Thanks,
Stefan Mischook

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Teaching Web Design with StudioWeb

November 30, 2018

You are looking for a curriculum for your web design course … how can StudioWeb help?

… You need to know the course outlines, lesson plans, handouts and classroom management tools that StudioWeb provides.

In a nutshell:

Course outlines can be found here:

https://www.studioweb.com/courses/

Projects are bound to the chapters in each of the courses. They start simple, and build up in complexity as your students progress. For example, by the end of the CSS course, your students will be building production ready websites that work on desktop and mobile. One of StudioWeb’s unique qualities, is that it is vocational. Students learn real-world web design and coding, that is used in the workplace.

We currently have 57 projects/assignments for the HTML, CSS and JavaScript courses.

Lessons plans are designed around a self-paced teaching model. We have found over the last 7 years, that self-paced learning is best way to teach code and web design. StudioWeb curriculum and software is designed around that model. That said, StudioWeb’s software and curriculum is flexible enough to work with whatever lesson structure a teacher prefers.

Handouts: we provide all the source pages and code from the 300 video lessons. These can be used as a teaching tool and optionally, for extra assignments. For each project in the CSS and JavaScript courses, you are provided with handouts that contain the template and instructions for students.

 Classroom management: StudioWeb makes managing a classroom easy! The video based lessons with quizzing, frees up teacher’s time since the StudioWeb software tracks and grades student progress in real-time. The StudioWeb training platform is fun and gamified, students are engaged and motivated.

 If you would like to try a demo, please feel free to contact us.

 Thanks!

Stefan Mischook

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Should you have Detailed Lesson Plans for Coding Courses?

August 20, 2018

I’ve been helping schools teach code over the last 7 years, and that experience has allowed us to refine the StudioWeb platform.

The StudioWeb curriculum is ideal for middle school, high school and college level students. One important lessons we have learned, is that an open-ended lesson plan, is by far the best approach to teaching code in the classroom.

Open-Ended Lesson Plans are Flexible

Our video based curriculum engages students, as they answer concept reinforcing quiz questions, and code challenges. This interplay of video and hands-on interaction with the content, produces amazing learning outcomes. Your students will not only understand the core fundamentals concepts of coding and programming, they will be able to demonstrate actual real-world skills.

… Something we have not seen in any other coding platform.

Video based Learning Supported by Projects

In addition to the many video lessons + quizzing, we provide 57 projects and classroom activities, for groups and individuals. You will have a lot of material.

Lesson Plans

Our lesson plans are open ended, to give teachers flexibility, to easily manage a classroom with students of varying abilities.

Most teachers simply start students on StudioWeb, allowing them to work at their own pace – the videos make this natural. When they complete chapter 3 of the HTML, you have the first projects you can assign. With each chapter in each course, you have new more projects you can assign.

… Don’t worry, grading the quizzes is handle by StudioWeb. For the hands on projects, we provide a super easy to use grading rubric, that makes it easy to assess students assignments.

StudioWeb’s lesson structure keeps students busy, and your classroom running smoothly. Your better students will not get bored, and students who need a little more time, will not feel left behind.

If you are interested in trying out StudioWeb, please feel free to contact us.

Stefan Mischook

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StudioWeb: a Proven Vocational Code Curriculum

July 27, 2018

There is a growing awareness in the value of vocational education. For many students, college and university may not be their best choice, so it makes sense prepare them with valuable in demand skills.

With that in mind, it’s safe to say that coding and programming, is the 21st century vocational skill.

StudioWeb’s unique curriculum

A vocationally capable code curriculum is hard to find. In fact, I haven’t found any other than StudioWeb.

This is probably because to create an effective set of courses, that teach both practical coding skills and theory, the courses (and software) has to be created by someone who:

  1. Has teaching experience and skill.
  2. Has commercial experience writing code.
  3. Is an accomplished presenter and author.

Seven years ago, when I first designed the software and course structure for StudioWeb, I was able to pour into it my years of experience teaching code, creating courses, and writing commercial software. I believe this combination, was a key reason why StudioWeb’s curriculum has proven to be so popular with students and teachers.

StudioWeb takes away the pain of teaching and learning code

A huge problem with code courses these days, is that for both teachers and students, it can be painful process. Things are not clear, many hit roadblocks with no answers, and students come out with no discernible skills. Finally, teachers have no way of measuring if they had an impact on their students.

From a teacher’s perspective, what does StudioWeb offer?

  1. Easy prep: with no prior coding skills, teachers are up and running in just 30 minutes!
  2. Easily assess: StudioWeb automatically tracks your students progress, and even generates accurate grades by course, chapter and lesson. Grades are exportable in Excel format too!
  3. Built in hinting and help for students – it is impossible that students get stuck on a lesson or concept.

From a students perspective, what does StudioWeb offer?

  1. Fun, engaging lessons.
  2. Students learn real-world coding skills.
  3. Students get instant feedback and rewards, as they learn valuable coding and programming skills. These are skills that students can use to get a job with, start freelancing, or start a business.

If you want to learn more or try a demo, feel free to contact me.

Stefan Mischook
StudioWeb

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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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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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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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Learning to Teach a Python Course

September 7, 2017

One of the first questions teachers ask us:

” … how long will the PD be, in terms of learning how to teach a code class?”

Whether you are teaching Python, JavaScript or just a basic web design class, with the StudioWeb app and curriculum, the real truth of the matter is, it take practically no PD at all!

🙂

Teacher and Student Feedback 

It has taken us 6-7 years to polish our app and curriculum, but StudioWeb has been refined to be amazingly easy to teach a code class with … so, there isn’t much prep required. Teachers are happy to discover how quickly they feel comfortable leading a code class with StudioWeb.

In a nutshell, the prep with StudioWeb is:

  1. Watch our PD videos on setting up a StudioWeb class. It’s really, really easy since you just have to give account ids to students.
  2. You can do the course(s) as a student does them … to get familiar. Since StudioWeb has a powerful hinting system … students can never get stuck, which means you never have to answer code questions. So even doing this is not really required.
  3. Since SW does all the grading automatically, you don’t even need to grade!

If you would like to learn more about teaching code with StudioWeb, you know what to do!

Stefan
StudioWeb

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