A New Direction For Teaching Web Technologies

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At 1:45pm on 3/21/2018, I attended A New Direction For Teaching Web Technologies, presented by Michael Schore, at the 2018 North Carolina Computer Instruction Association Conference in At Asheville-Buncomb Technical Community College in Asheville, NC.

Time to Leave Dreamweaver Behind

The focus on Dreamweaver for our students should be coming to an end. Dremaweaver has fallen out of favor in most professional wed development environments. The workflow of the modern developer simply doesn’t work with Dreamweaver as the main tool. So what do we need to be teaching? The tools in many of today’s developers are Git, Node.ja, CSS, Gulp as an activity monitoring device, mobile-first development tools/frameworks, and of course Javascript. This presentation discussed each of these in turn and demonstrated their use in our teaching environments.

Sometimes working into what the modern developers wish to use is a bit like dropping down the rabbit hole. Every twist and turn brings a new style and way of approaching web technologies. Its cool, but a whole different mindset is required.

Code generates money. The less time which is required to generate the code translates directly into more money.

purpose of the Presentation

Why are we looking for a new direction? Our advisory committee has been telling us we need to change our tools as taught in our program at WTCC. We, the teaching community needs to model our teaching and methods to mimic and prepare students for the real world.

Installing Software

They have a concern: Security issues. It has been our experience than many students entering our WEB program don’t have much experience installing software and they are leery of doing so. PHP installation can still be daunting for many students since manual installation is still the preferred method. They are unaware, and need very closely to have hands held

CSS And It’s Issues

CSS can be difficult to work with, but it also has some programming abilities. While CSS is really like the skin and muscles’ the HTML’s skeleton, it is often difficult for programmers to grasp and play with. Why? CSS has no variables.

A Look At Git

Git is an easy version control system students can use to their projects. Rather than seeing a project accidentally go bust, GIT is a version control system to allow them to restore an older version. Git is available at: https://git-scm.com/

Git is currently available for any user in windows, MacOSX, or Linux.

The installer for Git comes with Git Bash, a command line environment. we like graphic interfaces because its all drag and drop. We don’t have to type. We don’t need menus. We’ll need to remember the syntax, order, etc. So this may be a hurdle.

GIT should be introduced to students early on. Because it focuses on version control, it would avoid issues with overwrites, different versions, etc. Its Open Source, and widely used VCS. You can save periodically (at your discretion). Git is populat because it meets so many people’s needs. However, Git helps with project file management whether in team of individual environments. We then went through several common Git commands and how they’re used.

It is run on a local computer, and should not be confused with GitHub.

GitHub

At this time GitHub has over 80 Million repositories worldwide. Imagine how many lines of code that must be! There are currently 27 Million developers worldwide. GitHub’s users create and maintain influential technologies alongside the world’s largest open source community. Developers use GitHub for personal projects, from experimenting with new programming languages to hosting their life’s work. There are also 1.8 Million businesses and organizations worldwide using GitHub. Businesses of all sizes use GitHub to support their development process and to securely build software.

A Look At Node.js

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient. Node.js’ package ecosystem, npm, is the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in the world. We can learn more about Node.JS at their website: https://nodejs.org/en/

A Look at Gulp

Gulp is a toolkit for automating painful or time-consuming tasks in your development workflow, so you can stop messing around and build something. It can be visited at: https://gulpjs.com/. By preferring code over configuration, node best practices, and a minimal API surface – gulp makes things simple to use. Using the power of node streams, gulp gives student the ability for fast builds that don’t write intermediary files to disk. By enforcing strict guidelines, plugins stay simple and work as expected.

Questions?

Have you introduced your students into SoloLearn? It jumps your students directly into coding.It can be visited at:https://www.sololearn.com/ While there are free versions, you can get examples for C++, JAVA, and Python3. It encourages everyone to be the top dog in their group. Could be great for CSC students.

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