Web education, and the Opera web standards curriculum

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This is a talk I presented at the 2011 campus festival in the Philippines, covering the problems with web education, and how to use free resources such as WaSP InterACT and the Opera web standards curriculum to customise your own modern, best-practices web design/development curriculum.

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  • Web education, and the Opera web standards curriculum

    1. 1. Web Education, and the Opera WSC Chris Mills, Opera Software Slides available on http://slideshare.net/chrisdavidmills
    2. 2. Today we’ll talk about...‣ The web education problem‣ Potential solutions‣ Using the WSC and other tools in the classroom
    3. 3. The web education problemThere is a skills shortage in the web industry‣ Many web developers need educating‣ Well-trained graduates are also needed‣ But these needs aren’t being met
    4. 4. Think of other professions‣ Accountancy‣ Architecture‣ Law‣ Medicine
    5. 5. These have features like‣ Regulatory bodies‣ Codes of practice‣ Qualifications‣ Faculties at university
    6. 6. The Web is different!We have the W3C, which is a standardsbody, but what we call standards areactually recommendations.
    7. 7. Codes of practice?There are best practices......but mostly we just view source, and copy andpaste.
    8. 8. Low barrier of entry‣ The web is easy! (well, sort of)‣ This is largely a good thing‣ And it make the web what it is today‣ But there is a lot of bad code out there...
    9. 9. And it hangs around forever!(like the undead)(that’s Jeremy Keith!) http://www.flickr.com/photos/adactio/2990904057/
    10. 10. There are exams‣ At some universities‣ But good ones are few and far between‣ and they vary a lot in content‣ Some consistency would be nice
    11. 11. Many educators get it‣ Including many of you guys!
    12. 12. But many don’tCourses vary a lot‣ 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
    13. 13. So ... WTF? http://www.flickr.com/photos/anemoneriot/258339006/
    14. 14. Standards becomingstandard?Didn’t happen at the beginning‣ For example HTML didn’t become a standard until about HTML3‣ Browsers took a while to catch on
    15. 15. Browser support......was a nightmare for ages‣ So tables for layout, etc., were needed‣ We weren’t thinking about accessibility as much‣ Or progressive enhancement‣ etc.
    16. 16. Outdated coursesThis is when many course were written‣ Things have changed so much‣ 10-15 years is a lifetime in web terms‣ Updates in courses and teaching skills desperately needed
    17. 17. Courses should have‣ HTML, CSS, JavaScript + best practices‣ Universal design — REAL accessibility and usability‣ Proper production skills, like workflows, testing, teamwork‣ websites not looking the same across all browsers!
    18. 18. We should get rid of‣ Tables for layout, spacer GIFs, inline JavaScript‣ Resources on HTML3 and Netscape DHTML‣ Courses that try to fly before crawling‣ Dumb sysadmin policies (e.g. IE6 lockdown)
    19. 19. The web is an orphanWhere does it fit into education?‣ CompSci is a solid technical discipline‣ Traditional design is not very technical‣ Web design is technical, artistic, social, linguistic, media, publishing, psychological...
    20. 20. Therefore it isn’t takenseriously‣ CompSci folk think it isn’t real programming, and is a bit “arty farty”‣ Design folk think it is scary as it involves code, and loss of control
    21. 21. Why oh why (oh why)??‣ Lack of web standards teaching experience‣ Updating curricula too hard/expensive‣ Lack of support from department‣ Lack of teaching resources
    22. 22. Enough moaning already!!
    23. 23. Let’s look towards some solutions
    24. 24. Getting rid of the excuses‣ Create the resources teachers need‣ Do evangelism/outreach‣ Mold better web developers!
    25. 25. The Opera web standardscurriculum‣ http://www.opera.com/wsc/‣ Over 60 articles‣ All the web design and development basics you need‣ Translations underway in multiple languages‣ Released under creative commons
    26. 26. (Aside) Open knowledgesharing‣ ...is absolutely vital‣ It represents the spirit of the Web‣ Makes everything easier‣ Build up a useful network of allies
    27. 27. WaSP InterACT‣ http://interact.webstandards.org‣ Resources for teachers‣ Course structures, rubrics, sample assignments and exam questions, etc.‣ Perfect complement to the WSC‣ Also Released under creative commons
    28. 28. InterACT with webstandards‣ http://interactwithwebstandards.com‣ Written to meet the needs of educators‣ A collaboration between educators and web industry people‣ Holistic view of web design
    29. 29. Using these resourcestogetherLet’s look at an example topic. Let’s choose HTMLand CSS-based web design.
    30. 30. HTML and CSS courses
    31. 31. Each contains usefulresources
    32. 32. Competencies
    33. 33. Competencies (cont.)
    34. 34. Assignments
    35. 35. Assignments (cont.)
    36. 36. Exam questions
    37. 37. Resources
    38. 38. Learning modules
    39. 39. Web standards curriculum!
    40. 40. WSC article example
    41. 41. WSC article example
    42. 42. WSC article example
    43. 43. WSC article example
    44. 44. Other resources worthmentioning‣ Mozilla/P2PU school of webcraft — education that works outside traditional channels‣ W3C Open Web Education Alliance — looking to create a worldwide standard for web education
    45. 45. Final thoughts
    46. 46. Reach out!‣ Getting everyone doing outreach‣ At universities, school, colleges, local companies, user groups?‣ Helping those who don’t get it‣ Pointing them to reliable learning resources
    47. 47. It’s not just educators...‣ What about existing web developers?‣ What about non-technical team members?‣ They need to understand modern best practices too
    48. 48. How does it all worktogether?Improve Createcurricula resources Examination/ Web Accreditation Professionals! Train Evangeliseeducators/ best practices students
    49. 49. Thanks for listening!‣ cmills@opera.com‣ @chrisdavidmills‣ http://dev.opera.com‣ http://www.opera.com/wsc‣ http://interactwithwebstandards.com

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