Advancing your Web Site: Tackling the Joys and Jitters of Javascript

Career-Technical Education Summer Conference 2008
Business & Information Technology Education
Pre-Conference Sessions
Monday, July 21, 2008; 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
The Joseph S. Koury Convention Center, Grandover East
The Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons, Greensboro, NC, USA


Ready to take the next step in web site development? A full 14% of the North Carolina e-Commerce curriculum is devoted to including JavaScript, Cascading Stylesheets, Multimedia, and Java Applets in web sites. Furthermore, students love adding pop and sizzle to their web sites, so why be afraid to add them? This workshop will gently lead teachers into an understanding of JavaScript, what it is, how to work with it, and how to include it both effectively and safely in a web site.



6 responses to “Advancing your Web Site: Tackling the Joys and Jitters of Javascript

  1. There was an interesting video on the Discovery Channel last spring related to the Browser War between Netscape and Microsoft.

  2. Students shouldn’t be involved with JavaScript, just like they should not be involved with word-art in Microsoft Office.

    They overdo things. There’s a difference between creating something unique and effective, and browsing a script archive adding everything they see.

    Students do not see it as hurting the design and development of the site adding so many effects, but see it as “cool” and “interactive”, with 500 DHTML marquees floating around the page.

    It just doesn’t work, and if teachers are going to explain JavaScript along with CSS and site design, they also need to explain site ethic, design ethic, and when and where to use things.

  3. I both agree and disagree with your points. Let me explain:

    As a teacher, I cannot just pick and choose what I teach. That has been (unfortunately) decided for me. So, since JavaScript is on the menu, but most teachers are ill equipped to teach a programming language (even a simple scripting language like JavaScript) most must do what they can with what they have.

    I agree that students tend to overdo things, but that’s also precisely how they learn. Students learn better when they’re allowed to make mistakes within the confines of an environment that is safe for exploration. You just can’t have it both ways – prevent students from making mistakes AND train students on how to use JavaScript.

    BTW, site ethics, design, etc. are loosely part of the curriculum too but are not covered in the presentation. There just was too much material and not enough time to do it justice.

  4. Design ethics can’t get stuck in student’s heads.

    They believe mis-matching and highly “neon” colors make an attractive website.

    I agree with some points, just don’t see why JavaScript should be a part of class.

    PHP & MySQL based applications should be taught first.

  5. Some students do, but I’ve found that when I take students step-by-step through a process (this works for anything complex with lots of choices like making a web site), if I lead them through those steps in an efficient order, they get the whole process in their heads without getting stuck on one aspect of it.

    e-Commerce II is a course that focuses on databases as back-ends for web sites. I’m not certain what’s actually in the curriculum since we do not teach that course at my school, but if PHP and such are covered it’s there.

    On my own I have been trying to learn Ruby on Rails and one of my graduate school classes required us to learn and use ASP. If PHP is as easy as ASP, then I certainly agree that’s the way to go with these courses.

  6. I hate Ruby.. with a passion, I’ve been involved in quite a few studies on Ruby.

    It’s benchmarking scores do not compete with PHP at all.

    I hate Ruby about as much as I hate IE, and sometimes Windows in particular. (Unix ftw).

    ASP is just as bad, considering anything you can do with ASP, you can do with PHP.

    Except PHP is a multi-platform language, supported by almost any OS you can think of, ASP… Windows.

    If I were you, I would forget RoR, and it’s lovely “scaffolding”, and move to something like PHP ;P

    Mix in a little MySQL, and you have a complex web application.

    I’ve been experimenting with C# the past few months, integrating it TehUpload, and PHP provides the server-side integration, whereas C# provides client-side.

    Quite a team!

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