Let’s start with the conclusion: PHP is a great language to start teaching middle and high school students programming. My 10yrs + of teaching web design and programming has taught me that.
PHP is a much more approachable language compared to other popular languages out there.
For example, Ruby is a great and powerful language but you have to grasp some pretty advanced concepts to just get going with it. If you look at PHP, it has an easy to understand layer that can be used as a gentle introduction to programming.
Ok, now to the main article:
Many K12 teachers are now being asked to teach web programming/development for the first time. This presents a challenge since few teachers have professional programming experience.
I was approached about two years ago by a couple of schools who needed a way to more easily teach web programming and web design. Luckily, I had been working on an application that would more than just help: Studioweb is an interactive web design and programming training system that automates the teaching process:
- automated quizzing
- automated scoring
- automated hinting
All based around a proven turnkey curriculum that I’ve been training people with for years.
The Key to Modern Web Design and Development
Web design/development has evolved a lot over the last 20 years, the way webapps are built today is nothing like the way we did it back in the early 1990′s. It is so different in fact, that web programmers/developers from that time, would almost have to completely retrain themselves!
Today, creating web apps is about:
- HTML 5 … NOT XHTML
- CSS and CSS3
- Responsive web design – Bootstrap
- PHP & MySQL
There are other server-side programming languages that are used a lot today – for example:
- C# (.Net)
… But far and away, PHP is the most widely used programming language out there. Something like 85% of sites run PHP!
The Recognition of the Importance of Code
One of the biggest changes in the last few years, is the world’s realising that code is now as important as reading, writing and math. When kids learn to code, you give them a practical skill set along with problem solving experience … all the while, you reinforce logical thinking.
Studioweb focuses on teaching real-world web design and programming techniques as well as the key fundamental concepts. Students come away with demonstrable skills that can be applied in the real world on real projects. The aforementioned cognitive benefits come as a bonus.
If you want to learn more or if you are interested in trying out Studioweb, feel free to contact me.