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Ten Tips for Teaching Web Development

Monday, August 17, 2015

For those new to teaching Web Development, here are some tips to give an idea of how to tackle this subject in the classroom:

  • Start Simple: Avoid starting with any difficult coding languages like C# or Java when teaching beginners. PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, and Python are much simpler and easier to pick up. From there, you may consider moving on to more advanced and complex languages!
  • Don't Cover Everything: It's not necessary to teach every single nuance of a programming language. Leave out aspects that aren't used often until later in the course; in the meantime, focus on the most important aspects of the language so they can build a basis of knowledge upon which to expand.
  • Students Love Analogies: Analogies help students frame difficult concepts in their head in a way they can understand. For instance, StudioWeb developer Stefan Mischook suggests to compare different types of programming languages to different types of cars in order to show students why there are so many programming languages in use.
  • Show Your Mistakes: Whether accidental or on purpose, mistakes show students that making errors when writing code is normal. It also helps students feel less nervous about writing code.
  • Test Broken Code: Have students break their code to see how a language reacts to broken code. Creating errors will allow your student to better understand them.
  • Start Coding!: Get your students started writing simple code as soon as possible. Theoretical knowledge of a code and actual practice are two completely different beasts.
  • Small Steps: Today's teens consume information in tiny bites (or bytes). Keep your learning segments small to keep your students focused. Many of StudioWeb's courses are under 4 minutes for this reason!
  • Be engaging, be interesting, be funny!
  • Use the Flipped Classroom Teaching Method: Your students are bound to learn at very different paces. Teaching the same thing over and over can be time-consuming and frustrating. Save time by helping individual students or by creating more interesting projects for your classes to work on.
  • Show the Big Picture: Giving students the context of a language or technology can help bring clarity. For instance, show how PHP relates to other languages like HTML, CSS, or JavaScript.

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