Yesterday, the high school students in our digital literacies workshop began using Thimble, the Mozilla Webmaker tool, to begin tinkering around with website creation. Soon, they will be creating a portfolio of some of their learning around hacking, remixing, game design and other strands of thinking, and I am leaning towards having them create their portfolio in Thimble. First, though, they need the basics of HTML coding.
I showed them this famous video yesterday as we continued our discussions around the possibilities of technology and the job market when they graduate. A few are definitely interested in a technology career. They were struck in this video by how far-ranging technology skills are in various jobs, and they were very intrigued by the videos of the workplaces in these technology companies, even though I pointed out that most smaller companies probably do not look like this (for example, having a sound room with drum sets. Cool.)
I tried to find a one-page simplified sheet of HTML coding commands, but then I gave up and made my own, inspired by some of the examples at another site. After showing an example in Thimble, I set them loose, bringing them to a blank Thimble page and having them play around a bit. This is not easy, and I tried to use the metaphor of learning another language (these students are all English Language Learner students). But they do persevere, a nice quality to have in a technology workshop, and a few of them even published some basic “fan” pages of artists they like. Their eyes shone when I would tell them, “You have just published a site to the Web.”
If it helps you, then feel free to use my HTML Code Sheet:
Peace (in the commands),