Web Design for Kids (...and curious grown-ups!) is a DVD class written for kids to teach them HTML and basic web-design. I was doubtful at first that the boys would be able to learn anything useful; I figured Hank would be too young and Jake too old. I was very, very wrong.
The author, Brian Richardson, used to be a middle school computer teacher, and he uses two middle school-aged kids in the video to demonstrate the steps. The video is in a classroom setting, and the 'students' ask questions throughout the video. Mr Richardson then walks you through the answer, demonstrating each step. He also had them make mistakes to see what would (or would not) happen and then walked them through fixing the mistake.
So now you're thinking "HTML?? Who uses that?" Well, anyone who creates websites. Of course almost everyone uses programs like DreamWeaver to do the bulk of their design. If you run into a problem though, you'll need to know how HTML works to fix your webpage. I actually needed to use HTML to make some changes to my blog this summer. To prove web design can be done using only HTML, the author created his website using 95% HTML hand coding. Impressive.
We sat down and watched it one time through. We brought the laptop into the living room and the boys watched it again following each step. Of course Jake had no trouble following the clear, step by step instructions, but I wondered if Hank would get it. He totally did. For the sake of time, I had Jake do the typing, but I had Hank tell him what to type.
They created a handful of fun and creative web pages following the instructions. They were thrilled to pieces at what they were able to do.
Some of the subjects covered in the DVD are:
- The 10 Basic Lines of Code
- Coloring the Background and Letters
- Making Letters Move Across the Screen
- Designer Backgrounds
- Changing Fonts
- Adding Pictures
There is also a Bonus Chapter on File and Folder Management.
A second DVD is scheduled to be released later this year and will cover the following topics:
- Embedding Games
- Embedding YouTube Videos
- Basic CSS (Cascading Style Sheets - The newfangled way of design)
- Linking Web Pages
- Most Important...Uploading Web Pages Using Free Web Server Space!
There will be 3 BONUS sections as well:
- Online safety
- The history of the World Wide Web
- What really happens when you upload web pages
The DVD normally costs $40 but is on sale right now (8/13/09) for only $19.99 plus $3.99 s&h. You can buy it here, and you can read what other TOS Crew members have to say about it here.