Sunday, March 27, 2005

web presence

The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, always envisaged that the Web would be something that users would write to and that it should be easy to write to. He wanted users to be active participants not just passive readers and surfers.

It's important for student's to be able to publish their web pages out there on the Web so they can look them up, show them off and work on them outside of school hours. Conceptually and psychologically there is a quantum leap difference between publishing on the Web compared to just preparing something for the teacher, which never makes it to the wider world.

I've discovered a way to enable students to do this which develops naturally and hopefully would be a first step along the path of them establishing a more permanent web presence that they will continue with in their own time.

The first step is to create a flickr account and publish some pictures you like on it.

Then you need to learn a little HTML. This is not too hard and there are advantages of starting with HTML compared with visual design tools such as Dreamweaver. HTML is fundamental and there are lots of web applications, such as webnote and blogger, that you can do a lot more with if you know HTML.

Finally, you can create a webnote space and quickly create a web presence. To publish a picture on webnote you look up the URL of the picture on flickr and use the img tag and src attribute to access the graphic.

Through this exercise my students create a web presence at flickr and webnote, they have become web publishers. They have found out that HTML is useful and can be quickly applied to publish a simple web site which they can look up and work on outside of school hours. The whole process is relatively quick and simple.

I asked my students (year 10) for permission to share their work, here are some examples of what they created:


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