April 26, 2017
After nearly 7 years of working with schools, it seems clear to me that the best way to teach code, is with an open ended lesson plan. Here’s why:
- Learners will learn at different speeds
- Different schools have different schedules
- Rigid lesson plans will inventively break
Overly rigid lesson plans can easily be derailed … I hear about it all the time. Once that happens, teachers are scrambling to get things back on track. The other approach is to use a flexible lesson plan that allows for variability in the classroom:
- Student misses a few days.
- Student is talented and moving fast
- Student is struggling and needs more time
- School gets cancelled a few days for whatever reasons …
A curriculum designed for reality
Instead of a set of highly structured lesson plans that can be hard to implement, we provide a fun and outcome focused set of courses that give students the freedom to learn at their own pace.
… A student missing a few days school, working more quickly or more slowly than other students, won’t break the flow of the classroom.
The goal is that students learn to code, and that they understand the basic concepts behind the code. Luckily, this can be achieved very easily and early on in the courses. For students who are high performing and have zipped ahead of the class, you have plenty of course material in StudioWeb, where they can learn another language (Python, SQL, PHP) or build more elaborate web sites and apps.
April 25, 2017
One of the reasons PHP is a good language to teach server side programming with, is because it is relatively easy to setup a PHP environment on each student’s workstation. With free apps like MAMP and WAMP, you can install a fully functional PHP installation with MySQL, Apache and it comes with an easy to use control panel to manage the servers.
With this 1-click install running, students will be able to explore concepts like:
- web servers
- database servers
- http directory and how it impact server side code processing
… And more.
StudioWeb’s interactive PHP courses teach not only the fundamentals of programming, we also have included key project based courses (crud with PHP, PHP tag cloud) that allow students to see PHP used in a real-world programming context.
Teachers benefit from the interactive training in StudioWeb, since the StudioWeb app tracks student performance including:
- Time on each question
- Question attempts
- Right and wrong code attempts
As such, we generate accurate grades by course, chapter and even the lesson – all presented in simple to read tables. This means that teachers will instantly know how well students have grasped each subject.
PHP is a powerful language that students can almost immediately use in the real world to build great web apps. StudioWeb itself is a PHP app, and after 6 years of refinement, our student outcomes just keep getting better and better.
If you are interested in teaching PHP or learning PHP, check out StudioWeb.com
September 23, 2016
Some of you know that StudioWeb, my app that many schools use to make teaching PHP easy, takes up most of my time these days.
… Ahh, the life of an innovative nerd!
In my continued attempts at getting the word out, I recently appeared on TV. You can check out my appearance on Canadian TV.
If you are interested in easily teaching PHP and SQL to your school or district, feel free to check out StudioWeb.com.
If on the other hand, you are an individual who wants to take advantage of StudioWeb’s powerful training platform, check out my new Interactive Web Developer course.
December 29, 2015
I finally finished my brand new Beginners PHP course! It has 46 video lessons, and 121 quiz questions to reinforce the concepts and techniques taught in the videos.
This is my latest course to provide an immersive learning experience. Previews coming soon!
Thanks for reading.
August 1, 2014
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:
… 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.