Programming is the act of giving computers instructions to perform. This is true whether the output is your word processor, central heating or aircraft control system. If you can’t code, you are forced to rely on those that can to ensure that you can benefit from the greatest tool at your disposal.
I can’t agree more. Every kids should learn to code. Even if it’s just a little bit. Programming skills are empowering and they teach kids the importance of building models.
To dive into programming, check out these tools to get kids started. My personal favorite is Scratch. It is free, easy to use, and designed so even young kids can understand programming without actually having to write out complex code. Below is an overview.
Resembling Scratch, App Inventor is another easy to use programming tool for building apps on Android devices.
Finally, maybe for the more experience coders, give VPython a look. It allows students to create 3D interactive models. Compared to Scratch, it looks a little intimidating. However, there are many sample programs and tutorials available to help you get started.
As a web page designer, I am please with all the options that the Firefox browser provides. Even though Microsoft has made some significant advances with the release of Internet Explorer 7, they simply haven’t matched what Firefox has been able to accomplish.
I consider the vast collection of Firefox extensions its biggest strength. Here are my five favorite extensions for web page design:
MeasureIt Draw a ruler across any webpage to check the width, height, or alignment of page elements in pixels.
ColorZilla get a color reading from any point in your browser
Aardvark See how the page is created, block by block
Web Developer Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools
IE View Lite IE View Lite opens your current page in IE with just one-click
Looking for an easy way to create a website? Checkout some of the new portal sites that are emerging. Many allow you to drag and drop content onto the page with ease. This might be the perfect place to set up a quick webpage for you and your students.
All of the sites have similar features such as rss readers, email checkers, to-do lists, photo albums, and etc. It’s really a matter of finding one that works best for you.
Approximately one out of every twelve males has some form of color blindness. Take a look at how they see the world.
Should you think about this disorder while creating your next presentation or website? That depends on your audience. If the majority of your audience is male, I would let color blindness influence the design of your next project.
Here are a few things to consider when building a presentation or website:
do not place red and green together (especially in menus)
avoid using color as the only distinction between key elements
find a color blind friend to look at your work
view desaturated versions of your images to see if their features still can be detected
In between his time as a husband and father, Dale Basler is a Technology Integration Specialist, science teacher, and podcaster. Dale also provides consulting for other institutions, organizations, and product developers who seek to improve K-12 education.