A web sized education problem?
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A web sized education problem?



This presentation discusses the big issue with web design and development education: that there is a great shortage of skilled new graduates coming into the web industry, but most of the related ...

This presentation discusses the big issue with web design and development education: that there is a great shortage of skilled new graduates coming into the web industry, but most of the related educational courses out there don't teach current standards and best practices. It starts by discussing causes of the problem in detail, and then looks at solutions, and resources the web industry is making available to help educators get up to date.



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A web sized education problem? A web sized education problem? Presentation Transcript

  • A “Web-Sized” Education Problem? Chris Mills, Opera Software, OWEA/Open Edu Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Let’s talk about... Web education • The problem • Potential solutions • What the community is doing • Improving things together Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • The education problem Skills shortage in the web industry • Many web developers need educating • Well-trained graduates also needed • But these needs aren’t being met Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Think of other professions Such as • Accountancy • Architecture • Law • Medicine Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • These have features Such as • Regulatory bodies • Codes of practice • Qualifications • Faculties at university Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • The Web is different • We have the W3C... • ...but this is a standards body • And what we call standards... • ...are actually recommendations Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Codes of practice? • There are best practices • But mostly we just view source... • ...and copy and paste Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • (Low barrier of entry) The Web is easy (sort of) • It has a low barrier of entry • Which made the Web what it is today • But there’s a lot of bad code out there • Which hangs around forever! Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • There are exams • At some universities • But these are few and far between • And vary widely in content Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Many educators get it Including many of you guys! Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • But many don’t Courses vary • Some teach bad front-end practices • Some don’t teach them at all • Some teach a really odd mix of skills • Some are just comedy Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • So ... WTF? Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Standards becoming standard? Didn’t happen at the very beginning • For example HTML only became standard at about HTML3 • Before that things weren’t standard • Browsers took a while to catch on Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Browser support... Was a nightmare for ages • So tables for layout were needed • We weren’t thinking about accessibility so much • Or progressive enhancement Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Outdated courses This is when many courses were written • Things have changed so much • 10-15 years is a lifetime in web terms • Updates in courses and teaching skills desperately needed Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Courses should have • HTML/CSS/JS + best practices • Universal design - REAL accessibility • Proper production skills, like workflows, testing, teamwork • Web sites not looking the same across all browsers! Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • We should get rid of • Tables for layout, spacer gifs, inline JavaScript • Resources on HTML3, Netscape DHTML • Courses that try to fly before crawling • Dumb sysadmin policies (IE6 lock) Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Also, web is an orphan Where does it fit in to education? • Comp/sci is a solid technical discipline • Web design is technical, artistic, social, linguistic, media, publishing... Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Not taken seriously It doesn’t get taken seriously • Comp/sci folk think it isn’t real programming • Design folk think it is scary as it involves code Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Why oh Why?? • Lack of web standards teaching experience • Updating curricula too hard/ expensive? • Lack of support from department? • Lack of teaching resources? Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Enough moaning already! Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Now for the solutions... Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Solutions We want to get rid of the excuses! • Create supporting resources • Evangelise/do outreach • Mould better web developers! Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • The pera WSC The Web Standards Curriculum • Over 60 articles • All the web design basics you need • Translations underway in over 10 languages • Released under creative commons Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Open knowledge sharing Is absolutely vital • Spirit of the Web • Makes everything easier • Build up useful network of allies Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • WaSP InterAct Web design curricula • Course structures, rubrics, sample assignments, exam questions, etc. • Perfect complement to the Opera WSC • Also released under CC Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • InterAct with Web Standards “The book of the film” • Written to meet the needs of educators • Written in collaboration between educators and industry folk • Holistic view of web design Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Mozilla/P2PU school of Webcraft Community led accreditation • “Student” builds a project • Assessed by industry professionals • Gives them a portfolio • Works outside university structure - useful as not everyone has access Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • OWEA Open Web Education Alliance • W3C incubator group • Looking to provide a “standard for web standards” education • Also performs outreach activities Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Reach out! Trying to get everyone doing outreach • Educate the ones that don’t get it • Point them to our resources, and share your own • “Train the trainers” Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • University tours Started by Opera • Deliver guest lectures • Evangelize standards and good teaching practices • Getting local representatives on board too Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Other meetups From big to small • WE Rock events • Highjacking Ignites, bar camps, etc • Ad hoc discussion meetups Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • It’s not just educators... Existing web devs and non-technical team members also need educating • Existing web devs: improve practices • Edu administrators: hold the power • Marketers/managers: non-technical team members need to understand Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Summary Final thoughts... Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • How does it all work together? Improve Create Curricula Resources Examination/ WEB Accreditation PROFESSIONALS! Train educators/ Evangelise students Best Practices Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Forging links between industry and educators Is two-way • Industry updates educators on curricula and best practices • Educators provide industry with validity, respect ... and fresh meat! Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Government, international? Both of these already in consideration • Working on government (hush hush) • Eventual aim is to spread this worldwide Wednesday, 15 September 2010
  • Thanks for listening • cmills@opera.com • @chrisdavidmills • http://dev.opera.com • Web standards evenings in Manchester! http://standards-next.org/ Wednesday, 15 September 2010