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How to teach someone HTML/CSS?

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In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Joy Beeson <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Belated reply -- since I know nothing about HTML and wanted to know
> what there is to be learned, I saved this thread to read during the
> two hours a day I'm awake, which slowed things down considerably, then
> Christmas stuff intervened, then I spent a week out of town and
> haven't caught up yet.

Must be exciting being awake for two hours a day. Or perhaps the real
world would seem dull after all that dreaming?

> But I do have some experience as a teacher, and lots of experience as
> a student, and repetition *with pauses in between* is the key.
> So I would advise introducing the class by saying that you aren't here
> to teach them CSS, but to teach them how to learn CSS -- and then
> mention it again every chance you get -- at a minimum, each time you
> give a topic short shrift, each time you skip a topic, and when you
> dismiss them for the last time.

I take a rougher approach:

I use a blackboard for sentimental reasons triggered by a Christmas
story of my own. I got my first blackboard in the north of England one
snow bound Christmas morning (they were always snowbound back in the old
days). My cousin and I crept down in the dawn blackness to find them in
the kitchen. Whatever I scribbled on my brand spanking new board, my
cousin did the same. To this day, I still don't know if it was just that
I was older and therefore just influential on him or whether some spirit
was weaving magic.

Anyway, years later, when I found myself teaching premature babies in
intensive care (from 3 days old to 5 weeks) HTML and CSS, I dusted -
ahem - off these two boards that were still in the attic and used them.
I wanted to emphasise the sheer ordinariness of what can power a

I would write some simple source on one board. And then, on a signal, my
assistant, a nurse, would dim the lights and I would walk, as if in a
trance, under control of a force beyond me, to the other blackboard. I
would then draw rectangles, columns, main headings and paragraphs, pics,
footers and stuff.

Now and then there would some smart-mouthed baby at the back saying
something like "Yeah, right! How long are we going to listen to crap
like this?" (Premature maybe, but they had smart genes, their parents
were rich and successful. They had to be. My show was not cheap.)

At which point I was ready to totally dominate and dazzle.
I would suddenly go to the opposite extreme of technology! The Firefox
browser, decked out with Web Developer Tools and stuff, projected onto a
massive screen from a laptop!

I drag a .html file over the open window. my assistant then lets off a
firecracker and there is a shower of smoke and colour in the
ward/classroom, I launch the web developer program. I go to Misc and
Edit HTML and a side panel comes up. I go to CSS and Edit CSS.
The babies watch, mouths agape, at what happens when you do whatever,
especially to the CSS.

That smart mouthed kid shuts up for the rest of the course, trust me.

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