Have you ever wanted to learn how to navigate the world of html, but you felt overwhelmed even trying? I have, especially with blogging, I've wanted to learn more about it for a little while now. I've tried getting books at the library to help me, but most of them are so big and heavy that I can barely lift them up to my desk, let alone fumble through them trying to find the pages I need for help....ok, so I exaggerated a little there, but you get the general idea.:)
Today, though, I was fortunate to have received a dvd for the Crew called Web Design for Kids (...And Curious Grown-Ups!) put out by Click Drag Solutions.
It's full of basic information on how to build a website and how to use html. It's directed toward kids, and I did think about trying it with Jacob, but I'm just not sure he's ready to try this. I think by the middle to end of this school year, he might be ready to tackle something like this, though, and I plan on using it with him to teach him some basic computer skills. I think his own website, secure and guarded, of course, would be a great way for him to keep in touch with his grandparents.
The dvd is about an hour and a half long, and Brian Richardson, the host, takes you through various steps to start your own basic website. He has two kids on the video with him, and they are following along as well.He works on basic html, adding pictures and color to your background, making a marquee screen, etc. I liked how sometimes he would pop up just by himself to give you a shortcut or tip, embellishing on something similar to what you were already doing. For instance, he gave tips on the cosmetic look of your blog and how to match the colors, so that it is completely readable by your readers. He also taught shortcuts, such as using the F5 button to refresh. Just these basic things thrown in can teach your child and you how to basically use a computer.
The most interesting part for me was learning how to code with html. It was very basic, but that is what kids and beginner grown-ups need, to start out. He used the sandwich metaphor, teaching how to sandwich certain things between the vital bits and pieces of code. He also showed what could happen by leaving just one tiny detail out, by having you create real mistakes, then correcting them. There was a helpful game/quiz thrown in to see if we could find the incorrect code. Even the kids who were learning with him would make mistakes, and he would show how to correct them. It was interesting to see all of the different colors that can be used for a blog background; I didn't even know Thistle or Tomato were colors, but I used Thistle for my basic page shown here. He also gave helpful sites or programs you could use to add pictures to your site. At the end of the video, he gave a visual example of how to organize your online files, using a file cabinet and folders as visual objects portraying your computer folders.
All in all, I felt this was a really well-rounded program with really great instruction. Again, I'm not sure my son is quite old enough yet; my main fear was that he might not be able to keep up with it, but then again, he could very well prove me wrong. I was able to sit and watch the dvd on my computer and have Notepad up at the same time, so I could follow along. I would definitely recommend it if you are wanting to learn the basics and just wade into the world of html; it will get you started. It was enjoyable, since I could learn the best by watching and doing at the same time. So, it's very good for visual/kinesthetic learners. The dvd is priced at a reduced, special summer rate for a limited time, of $19.99. Part of the proceeds from your purchase also go to help organizations like the Ronald McDonald House, Children's Miracle Network, The Smile Train, Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and the American Foundation for the Blind. You can see a clip from the dvd here, and you can check out actual websites that other kids have made here. The websites are really fun to look at; they would make great inspirations for your own kids' creativity.
For more reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew Blog!