Saturday, July 14, 2012

Four Good Resources for Learning to Write HTML

Using a WYSIWYG platform like Blogger or Google Sites to create a blog or website is more than adequate for most teachers and students. But at some point you might want to beyond the limitations of WYSIWYG. It's then that you'll want know how to write and edit HTML yourself. These are three resources that you can use to teach yourself HTML. The instructions in these resources are clear enough that middle school students can use them on their own too.

Codecademy is a place where anyone can learn how to write code. Codecademy offers lessons in basic HTML and CSS. Codecademy's lessons in basic HTML start with the very basics of explaining what HTML is, what it does, and how to write the basics. There are seven progressively more difficult lessons that students can work through on their own.

Thimble is a free Mozilla product designed to help users learn how to write HTML and CSS. Thimble features a split screen on which you can write code and see how it works at the same time. On the left side of the screen you write your code and on the right side of the screen you instantly see what that code renders. The latest version of Thimble gives you the option to start from scratch or to modify sample projects. The sample projects include directions for writing code. If you write the code correctly, you will know right away. Likewise, if you don't write the code correctly, you will know right away. Some of the sample projects you can work with include webpages, games, and avatars.

w3Schools has long been my go-to place for quick directions when working in HTML. If I get stuck while working on a project, a quick visit to w3Schools usually reveals the help I need to get past a stumbling block. If you're brand new to writing HTML start with the introductory sections of w3Schools to learn the basics.

YouTube is another of my go-to places for tutorials on writing HTML and many other things. Whether you want an introduction to writing HTML or you just need a quick tutorial to get you past one little obstacle in your code, there's probably a video for you. Here's one very popular video for beginners.

What would you add to this list? Please leave a comment. 

Update: I just discovered that David Kapuler has a list of 15 resources for learning to code. His list includes things besides HTML. 

Save Your Gmail Attachments in Google Drive

If you're looking for an easy way to save and organize the PDF, Word, and other file attachments you receive in Gmail, try Gmail to Drive. Gmail Attachments to Drive is a Chrome extension that you can use to have your attachments automatically saved in your Google Drive account. See how it works in the Tekzilla video below.

Applications for Education
If you accept emailed assignment submissions from your students, Gmail to Drive could be a great tool to help you organize those submissions. Set up a folder in your Google Drive account just for attachments to keep track of the files your students send to you.

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in Greenwood, Maine. This week I had the privilege to work with more than 200 educators over four days of workshops in New Hampshire. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Google Apps bootcamps this week. The bootcamps were long days, 11-12 hours each, and I wasn't able to get my average five posts per day published, but I did get twenty published this week. These are the most popular posts of the week.

1. 47 Page Guide to Google Sites for Teachers
2. Say Goodbye to iGoogle and Hello to Symbaloo
3. Mobile Formative Assessment
4. The War of 1812 in Animated Maps
5. Unite Online to Amplify Teachers' Voices
6. 10 Ways to Create Videos Without Installing Software
7. 5 Free Tools for Curating Educational Videos from Across the Web

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