Thanks to a growing number of software programs, it seems as if anyone can make a webpage. But what if you actually want to understand how the page was created? There are great textbooks and online resources for learning web design, but most of those resources require some background knowledge. Introduction to HTML5 course is designed to help the novice who wants to gain confidence and knowledge.
We will explore the theory (what actually happens when you click on a link on a webpage?), the practical (what do I need to know to make my own page?), and the overlooked (I have a page, what do I do now?). Throughout the course there will be a strong emphasis on adhering to syntactic standards for validation and semantic standards to promote wide accessibility for users with disabilities. The textbook we use is available online, “The Missing Link: An Introduction to Web Development and Programming” by Michael Mendez from www.opensuny.org.
Introduction to HTML5 course will appeal to a wide variety of people, but specifically those who would like a step-by-step description of the basics. There are no prerequisites for this course and it is assumed that students have no prior programming skills or IT experience. The course will culminate in a small final project that will require the completion of a very simple page with links and images. The focus of this course is on the basics, not appearance. You can see a sample final page at http://intro-webdesign.com/html5-plain.html.
This week we will uncover the “mystery” behind the Internet. What happens when you type a URL into your browser so that a webpage magically appears? What is HTML5 and what happened to HTML 1 – 4? We will also cover some practical concepts that you need to master before you begin coding your own pages.
This week you will need to take a deep breath and jump into coding. I will cover a large number of HTML tags, but it is important that you do more than just listen to these video and read the text book material. You need to practice (and fail!) in order to learn. Believe it or not, once you master the basic idea of using tags and attributes you will know everything you need to use any HTML5 tag.
The page may not look the way you want it to look yet, but you will be able to use text, links, images, tables, and even music and videos! If you want to refer to a textbook this week for reinforcement of concepts, we will be using the Shay Howe online textbook as a reference. I will include links after the lectures, but some students prefer to read before the videos. (My preferred approach is to read/watch/read again.)
Okay, you created a file…what now? This week we will begin by covering the important but often overlooked concepts of validation and accessibility. Did you follow the DOM structure when you created your page? Did you use semantic tags to make sure that page viewers can access all of the information, even if they have physical or cognitive disabilities? This is knowledge you can use if you would like to pursue a career as a web accessibility specialist. Finally I will briefly cover the steps needed to post your site to the web. There are many free and paid services that you can use to get your work off your computer and on to the Internet.
Colleen Van Lent, Ph.D.
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