Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Do Girls Want to Do With HTML?

I recently spent a few classes taking my 6th graders on an HTML crash course. I only intended to spend one or two classes on it but they couldn't get enough! It was interesting to see what really got them excited and what the majority of them didn't really care much for. I put together a couple handouts they could follow at their own pace so as the classes went on you started to see the pages become very original creative projects. Here are links to the handouts:
Part I covers text formatting using HTML tags only, no CSS, including font color and font face, heading tags, paragraph tag, block level alignment, and the image tag.
Part II gets more interesting with hyperlinks, fun and simple tricks with JavaScript, like alerts and buttons to change the background color, and finally using the embed and iframe tags to put videos, audio, and other web pages in your web page.
So while a few girls really got into the JavaScript and hyperlinks, what really went viral was the possibility of embedding videos and putting up images they made on some I HEART website using all their friends' names. So for the majority I would say it became a mini social network right there on our school network where they shared videos, photos, and shout-outs with each other. Pretty cool. I was having them save their pages on a network drive and with two other 6th grade classes doing the same project at the same time the pages themselves almost became a kind of social network, since they knew how to navigate to the network folder and see the other pages. Now I'm wishing I had taught them how to hyperlink to each others' pages! That would really have been a social network.