Week One - Hello World ( and each other )
Welcome to HTML & CSS from the beginning week one. This week you have five tasks to complete.
You've been assigned to groups and the intention is that you'll get to know the people in your groups via your blog and their blog. As the course develops you'll provide feedback to each other and help guide each others learning.
Using group list Find out who is in your group and introduce yourselves to one another. You might want to do this via each others blogs, twitter or email. It's entirely up to you.
Taking it further
You're not limited to your groups, drop by some other members blogs and say hello to them.
Being able to write quality HTML & CSS is one of the goals of this course. This task is the seedling from which that mighty oak will grow. For this week I want you to spend five minutes twice a day writing the same very basic html file over and over again, until you can do it from memory.
This will be the only time I ask you to do this kind of repetitive task, but it's important that you are able to commit this basic document to memory because it will form the structure of almost every html document you write in the future.
As you develop your own understanding of HTML & CSS your version of this document might change a little bit and that's fine, but for now I want you to base your version of the document on my example.
Taking it further
You might also want to try and also write this document out by hand, this is a brilliant way to commit it to memory and to practice writing your html. I like to write html in my greenhouse because it's a place where I think and have ideas.
When you're able to write the document from memory in your text editor or by hand I want you to create a blog post called "Hello World" and do one of the following things
- If you're able to, upload your document somewhere and link to it. If you can't do this, don't worry about it
- Take a screenshot of the source code of your document and add the screenshot into your blog post
- If you can't do that then write your document out by hand, photograph it and put that into your blog post. Here's one that I made earlier
If you get stuck with this exercise see the section under "I'm stuck, where can I go for help?" in the Notes & Guidance below.
Go to any website, right click and choose view source.
You can view the source code of any website by right clicking and choosing view source. This is one of the best ways to get to learn HTML and CSS because you can view the source and compare how it looks on screen. This is how I learned the basics and it is still one of the ways I learn today.
You can also tell a lot about a website by viewing the source code, particularly the quality of the development. Sometimes you'll even find some hidden messages in the source, like on Jon Hicks' website.
As you're browsing the web this week, view the source on the websites that you visit. You'll probably find that most websites have nasty source code that is hard to understand. But some will have very nice html (http://naomiatkinson.com/). All I want you to do this week is get into the habit of viewing the source of the websites that you visit and keep an eye out for sites with nice clean source code.
Mark Norman Francis aka "norm", has a wonderful in depth explanation of the basics of html. I want you to start reading this and taking in the information contained inside it, considering how it relates to the tasks that you've been set this week.
Don't worry if you don't understand everything because over the course of the next few weeks we'll be covering it all. It's important that you start reading it now and taking in the information. If you get stuck on anything, ask the people in your group, consult google or drop into the IRC chat room
None, just read it and keep referring back to it each day or whenever or however often you want to.
Your learning this week.
Reflection might sound a little bit cheesy, but it is a powerful force in your learning. Each week you'll reflect on what you've learned and explored noting any thoughts, ideas or feedback you have about your experience. It's also important to feedback to those in your group to help solidify your learning experience.
Don't worry if it seems hard at first, it is, but it does get easier.
I want you to create a blog post on your blogs called "Week 1 Reflection" or something equally creative and write about your experience this week. Focus on what you've learned, what you've not learned, how you've found it, what else you'd like to learn and anything else that pops to mind.
Try and do your blog post on Friday or Saturday after you've spent the week doing your tasks and when you've done your blog post, drop by the people in your group and leave comments on each others blog posts.
Notes & Guidance
I'm stuck, where can I go for help?
We all get stuck from time to time, it's part of learning. If you do get stuck don't worry about it, you're surrounded by a support network. Here's what to do.
- Google is your best friend. Try searching for an answer.
- Ask the people in your group, but do remember they might in a different time zone
- Ask other people on the course, you can find a list of everyone's urls in the group list
- Drop by the IRC chat room for the course. I'll try and be in there whenever I'm at a computer. I may be working however, so be patient for a reply
- If you've tried all of the above, you can always email email@example.com and I'll do my very best to answer you as quickly as I can.
Why are there no video lectures?
I honestly don't believe lectures work and there is a lot of teaching theory to back this up (Rodgers, Schon). The best way to learn is by doing and that's what this course is all about - doing and taking responsibility for your own learning. P2PU is all about addressing a new form of education free from the constraints of 'old style' academia.
Also there would be no time that suits everyone because of time zone differences.
How can I give Jamie Feedback
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment on my blog on the post for week 1.