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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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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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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 StudioWeb.com

Thanks,

Stefan

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As the founder, I believe my #1 priority is to be in direct contact with teachers.

August 10, 2017

I realized a few years ago that as founder, I had to get out of the back office, and be in close contact with teachers. Steve Jobs famously took tech support calls at Apple stores, to stay in touch with clients. I figured I should do the same.

Talking directly to teachers counts

A few years later, that move has proven to be one of the most important decisions I’ve made. As a result, direct feedback from teachers (and students) has had a major impact in terms of the quality of the StudiWeb app and curriculum. We’ve always had good results with students, but now the we consistently get great reviews from both teachers and students.

Support is priority #1

As I see it, support is the #1 priority in the service that we offer. My goal has always been to make it easy for teachers to teach and for students to learn. Support is a key ingredient in that, and so it makes sense that the primary course creator be reachable.

Let us help you teach web design

If you need to teach a web design class (and now we offer Python too!) please don’t hesitate to contact us. Most likely, you will be speaking to me on the first call, and you can count on being able to reach me throughout the school year!

… Some people wonder how I can find the time to speak to teachers? The simple answer is that after nearly 7 years, we’ve refined StudioWeb to the point that we don’t get many support calls. Things run pretty smoothly now.

Stefan
StudioWeb

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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
StudioWeb

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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.

Stefan
StudioWeb.com

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What Yale’s Socially Assistive Robots and StudioWeb have in Common

August 2, 2017

I was reading an article on Yale University’s research with socially assistive robotics, that help to teach kids. The main points I got out of the article:

html course badge studioweb

  • Robots learn and adapt to individual student need.
  • Students are motivated when the learning process is turned into a game. A little competition is very motivating for many students. Otherwise known as gamification.
  • When students work one-on-one with a robot, they are not afraid to answer questions, since all the students are busy working with their own robots.
  • The robots look like fun toys.

This is interesting to me, because the StudioWeb app and curriculum, has been developed with an awareness of the above lessons.

StudioWeb’s experience reflects Yale’s:

StudioWeb’s software shares similar traits (if you will) with Yale’s socially assistive robots. StudioWeb is a gamified app where students learn to code, as they unlock levels, earn badges and score points. Students work on their own computers, at their own pace, and so they don’t have to worry about social pressures.

Understanding the importance of the emotional component of teaching, each of our courses are represented by fun and cool animals: two frogs, a sheep, a spider and a python. Each animal also becomes the course badge students can earn. Finally, we add to the learning process fun, with the gaming aspect, and good old fashioned humour.

… Students come away smiling and giggling as they learn to code.

StudioWeb does not replace teachers … but we help! 

From the article:

“You may have a public school where there are 25 to 30 kids in a classroom and the amount of time that the teacher can spend one-on-one with each child is relatively limited,” said Scassellati in an interview with R&D Magazine.

Socially assistive robots free up teachers time, so they can concentrate their efforts where it might be needed – say students who made need special attention. This is a far better approach than trying to teach a classroom as they did in Plato’s time.

In a nutshell: the core lessons need not be taught over and over again by the teacher. That’s where assistive technology (robots and apps) come into play.

StudioWeb provides the same benefit. We’ve designed our curriculum and app, in such a way that it is nearly impossible for students to get stuck on a coding lesson, whether it be theory or actual coding. As such, students happily work through the video based lessons, without having to ask the teacher questions that have been asked countless times.

Rather than using an Ai, we’ve been able to refine our lessons over the last several years, eliminating the common questions, by addressing them in the lessons themselves.

… Good old fashioned teaching my father taught me, combined with data from a few hundred thousand students and your courses start to get really good!

Stefan Mischook
StudioWeb.com

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Complete Web Design Curriculum for 2018

July 26, 2017

StudioWeb first entered the classroom nearly 7 years ago! In that time, we’ve listened to teachers and students, as we continued to refine both the StudioWeb software, and course curriculum.

Our current coding foundation courses:

  • Beginners HTML
  • Beginners CSS
  • Beginners JavaScript
  • Beginners Python
  • Beginners PHP

StudioWeb might be the most effective teaching tool today for teaching web design and programming. But, I admit that I am biased! 🙂

That said, our system is so effective, teachers will tell you that StudioWeb does most of the teaching, while they simply facilitate!

This is made possible because of the tight integration between the StudioWeb software, and our custom designed courses. They work hand-in-hand to produce the outstanding outcomes with students.

Flexible Lesson Plans

One of the lessons we’ve learned over the years, is that you have to have a flexible lesson plan structure, if you want to make a coding class effective. Teachers inevitably find themselves with students who have a range of talent, and so it is important that the curriculum doesn’t get in the way of teaching.

… Fixed daily lesson plans can create headaches for teachers.

Leveraging the spiral teaching method, and a self-paced lesson structure, a StudioWeb classroom provides a flexible structure that yields results with students of all abilities. Our outstanding student outcomes, is why we have a 100% renewal rate. StudioWeb works.

If you would like to try a demo or you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Stefan Mischook

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