Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Preparing students

This article, Encouraging Student Success, on Adobe Education Leaders discusses some areas where our web students could improve in terms of preparing themselves for the work place. He lists the following areas of possible focus for students involved in web design.

  • Develop a good understanding of web standards (and why they are important – for maintainability of the code, for improved search engine ranking, for increased accessibility and all the other reasons). Tools are important, but students need to know the fundamentals before they can effectively employ those tools.
  • Increase the emphasis on web accessibility and usability in the curriculum.
    Increase the emphasis on professional behaviors (arrive on time, test your work before turning it in, admit when you don’t know something and so forth).
  • Help students develop a solid understanding of the use of the appropriate tool and when one must go beyond a given tool.
I am giving these ideas some thought as I plan for my web classes next year. I struggle with how much time to spend on basic file structure and HTML before getting the kids into a web editor. It seems that I often err on too little of the basics. I am looking for the perfect balance.

[ Image: Flickr: "Internet Splat Map"; Uploaded on October 17, 2004 by jurvetson: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/916142/ (CC: Attribution 2.0-Generic)]

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