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Teaching HTML and CSS to journalism students

I’ve been looking at the open-source course materials for Web Design 1, from the WaSP InterACT curriculum project. I think these materials can easily be adapted for use in a journalism curriculum.

The idea is to acquaint our students with the building blocks of the Web they use every day. For students who want to work in presentation (that is, design), there’s more to be learned after this little taste. But for the average journalism student, this course covers what they should be familiar with so that they can work comfortably in a CMS that needs the occasional tweak or fix (as all CMSs do).

The assignments in the WaSP course are quite reasonable and practical. Detailed grading rubrics are provided.

Really, I wish this were a standard course in all U.S. high schools. It concerns me that our students spend hours every day using a medium that is open and easy for producing original work — but they use it merely as consumers.

Don't be the product, buy the product!