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Web publishing for kids?

I am going to start teaching the computer class at my kid's private school. (Hey, the money is good)

I have put together an aftercare program where I will teach them how to create a family Web site. The grades are 2,3 and 4. I don't think that CD will be an easy program for them right away.

I plan on using FrontPage for its WYSIWYG, HTML and Preview modes.

I wonder if there is anything even simpler for kids. Does anyone know of a program that may make it simpler for kids to create and maintain a Web site?


John Cesta

John Cesta
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Maybe you should use FrontPage Express.  It's free, so the kids would be able to use it at home without having to buy anything.

Alex Chernavsky
Thursday, August 28, 2003


Considering the (young) age of the children, I would ask yourself specifically what your goals are going to be.  Faced with a similar task myself recently (I have two children in that age range), these are some of the questions I asked myself.  In hopes that they may be of some assistance in your endeavours, there they are.

1) How much do the children know about the Internet?  Do they understand the basic (really basic) concepts of the web?  That is, do they comprehend the difference between their computer and the Internet? Between a web server and the Internet?

2) How much information about design are you looking to impart?  If your objective is fundamentals, I can see where you want to mask the markup.  On the other hand, a sound understanding of some of the "building blocks" will serve them in the long run.

3) (and this is really a content question) How will you keep them engaged?  What are their interests, and how can they be tied into the course?  (By way of explanation, my oldest is interested in wildlife, the younger by all things violent and sporting.  Never the twain shall meet, but they'll do pretty much anything to further their interests in those topics.)

In sum, if the objective is to impart the concept of the Internet, a tool that masks as much of the detail as possible will allow you to focus on the course material without bogging down in the details.  Products designed for a development or even desktop publishing environment may be too complex. 

A simple site in CityDesk would probably afford you the opportunity to build excitement about putting themselves into the information space while hiding the details.

Best Regards!

G Peters
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Thanks, G.

Yea, the goal is to teach them how it all works. I want them to be *aware* of HTML but I am not really going to *teach* it. That's why I like the idea of FP, it allows them to work in the WYSIWYG and click to see the HTML it creates.

I would like to use CD, and I will introduce it later, but I think the scripting and all may confuse them since the goal really is for them to see how it all works. The reward is having a family Web site in the end.

Like I said, I will introduce CD as an alternative way of creating a site. I do think it is a much better and easier way of building and maintaining a site. But for 2 and 3 graders maybe not the way to go right off the bat.

This is funny:

Last week I was in the school working on some computers. I was in the 3rd grade class hooking up a printer. I had been thinking about the different age groups and wondering what level they were all at and what I was going to teach to each grade level.

This little blonde haired kid with two new front teeth, dressed up in his Tae Kwon Doe outfit appears.

"What'r you doing?" he says.

"I'm trying to get this printer going." I replied.

"Windows 2000. Built on NT technology!!" he spouts off.

"What did you say?" I replied.

"Windows 2000. Built on NT technology!!" He says again.

"What grade are you in?" I asked.

"Second!" he answered.

"Oh!" I remarked and then said, "Well, I need to get this printer going. I'll have to get a printer driver."

He says, "Are you going to download it from the Internet?"

"Yes," I said, "but not from this computer. It doesn't have Internet access."

"Are you going to put it on a floppy disk?" he asked.

"It won't fit." I replied.

"Why don't you use Winzip?" He spouted off.

"What grade are you in??" I *had* to ask again.

I couldn't believe it. This kid was about 6 or 7.

At least I left that day with a little bit more info on the level of knowledge some of these kids may have.

John Cesta
Thursday, August 28, 2003

BTW, where can I get thaFP express? I used FP from my office 2000 cd but express would be a better option.

I searched MS site a little but couldn't find it...YET!


John Cesta
Thursday, August 28, 2003

And speaking of little kids. My son barley knew how to read, but he remembered the Hebrew Alphabet on my English keyboard (without the Hebrew stickers), typing and making up his own words.

He wasn't yet 2 years old.

Proud Father
Thursday, August 28, 2003

My friend is a computer programmer turned grade-school teacher. The joke is that the kids will be able to teach HER things about programming. I got my first computer around when I was 7 - 10 or so. Someone came to our house and showed us how to use it. Can you imagine that happening today?

Anyway, basic programming wasn't too far off, thanks to some of the great computer magazines around at the time... One had basic programs published in every issue... but you had to re-type them (no disc). Man.. I first learned to hate troubleshooting errors back then.

I first learned HTML (in the mid 90's... I was in my late teens, early 20's) from the WYSIWYG editor that came with Netscape. So I'm guessing frontpage should be fine. I'm not going to assume I was smarter at 20 than these kids are at 8.
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Hmmm, maybe running FrontPage Express isn't as straightforward as I had thought:

Alex Chernavsky
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Oh, Not good on the FP Express front.

Ok, I couldn't resist...check this out:


John Cesta
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Who's Dave the mystery man ?

Thursday, August 28, 2003

>Who's Dave the mystery man ?

Yes, that's correct. That's Dave. Can you believe it.


John Cesta
Thursday, August 28, 2003

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