KillerPHP Blog

Teaching Code

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:

Notepadd++ for Windows:

Brackets for Mac and Windows:

Caret for Chrome and Chromebooks:

TextWrangler for Mac:

Stefan Mischook

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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:



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Middle School Web Design Courses that Teach Actual Code!

August 21, 2017

A teacher called yesterday looking for a web design course that teaches real web design coding skills. Like other teachers I’ve personally spoken to, she understood that dragging around blocks on screen, where the app writes the code for the student, is not nearly as effective as the student actually writing the code!

… Teachers quickly discover that students don’t learn much about coding with blocks.  🙁

So many code courses fallback on the misguided practice of using block-based teaching apps, thinking that this is helping students. As the teacher observed herself, with these systems, students quickly get bored and just follow the pattern.

Teaching code by having students write the code

Our experience has taught us that for students to actually learn to code, they have to write the code, make the mistakes, and get the feedback as they learn the languages of web design: HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The StudioWeb app provides instant feedback and hints, to help your students as they code.

Motivate your students!

Nothing motivates a student like seeing their code produce actual real-world results!

With the StudioWeb web design curriculum, your students interest levels will skyrocket, as they quickly see their code magically transform into websites that flex and flow on small smartphones, all the way up to giant 4k displays.

… Web developers call that ‘responsive’ design and your students will learn those marketable skills with StudioWeb.

If you would like to learn more, check out



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Starting your Web Design Class

August 10, 2017

Getting your web design class up and running is easy with StudioWeb.

The steps are:

  1. We set up your StudioWeb classroom(s), where each student gets their own user ID.
  2. Teachers give students their IDs, and they log in and start with the HTML course.
  3. As your students watch the videos and answer quiz questions, the StudioWeb software tracks their progress auto generating grades for you by course, chapter and even the lesson!
  4. You have the option to assign them projects that we provide. The projects start on ch3 of the HTML course.
  5. We have a total of 57 projects between the HTML,CSS and JavaScript courses. Each project bound to a chapter in a course.
  6. We provide an easy to use grading rubric for the projects. Even teachers who don’t know code, can accurately assess student work with help of the grading rubric. Using the projects is optional, since the StudioWeb auto grading is very accurate.

It is practically impossible for students to get stuck on a lesson, given how the StudioWeb app and courses are designed. But, if ever a question should come up (and you don’t have an answer,) the course creator (Stefan) will be able to answer questions the same day.

… I make it a point to be in contact with teachers. I am able to do this since we get so few questions! 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Stefan Mischook

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Coders code with code, so we Teach with Code

August 4, 2017

html course badge studioweb

There are many approaches to teaching code. Unfortunately,  many make the mistake of going with block-based coding, while others create code simulators, in an attempt to introduce coding to students.

We have a different and proven effective philosophy:

We teach code with actual coding … how radical!!  Our courses are real-world centric: coders code with code, so we teach students with code, and the tools that coders use. And the results are in – it works really well!

Neither do we try to replace teaching techniques with gimmicks and games: good old fashioned teaching (that my father taught me), combined with years of actually coding experience, is the foundation of our coding curriculum, and as such, we achieve amazing student outcomes.

Students learn from 360 video lessons, quizzing and assignments

With StudioWeb, students learn to code with video, supported by instant quizzing, and code challenges. The code challenges that come after the video lessons, have students write real code as our StudioWeb engine evaluates it instantly.

In addition, StudioWeb provides 57 assignments that allow students to build real things (web pages, responsive sites, animations in web pages etc …) with the coding skills they acquire in the StudioWeb app. We also provide a grading rubric for the projects with 3 levels of assessment that make it easy for teachers to evaluate student projects. It’s easy to use.

The secret to our success?

StudioWeb has been refined over the last 6-7 years. Built with feedback from many teachers, and data from ~200k students.

Contact us, and we will be happy to set up a demo classroom for you.


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