Friday, August 28, 2009

Review: Web Design for Kids

I'm not the most computer-literate person in the world. (That's hubby's domain.) All I need to do is answer emails and bunny hop around Google. That's it. I'm content to stay blithely unaware of anything beyond that.

However, the same cannot be said of my children. In fact, 2 out of 3 have already asked to build their own websites. Now, I realize it was only a matter of time before this happened. After all, their Dad's already put 2 websites together and they've each got their own computers.

Alas, my sweet babes are no longer content to abide safely with me in Ignoramusville. No...the little dears are ready to move on. (You can almost hear a strolling minstrel playing softly in the background... Ahem! Moving on!)

Lucky for them, our latest review product arrived just in time to spare them further agony! :)

Web Design for Kids (...and Curious Grown-Ups!) is a DVD program by Click Drag Solutions. Creator and on-screen instructor, Brian Richardson teaches children how to quickly build their first web page from start to finish. No fancy software necessary! Simply fire up Notepad, Paint and Internet Explorer and you're on your way.

In Web Design for Kids, the technical jargon has been watered-down (but not "dumbed-down"), which not only helps eliminate the typical "Huh?" factor, but also helps produce a clear mental image of what a particular bit of code means. (For example, an "end tag" is now a "stop sign".)

Instructor, Brian Richardson presents the lessons in a classroom format, complete with 2 additional "students" following along on their laptops. These students ask plenty of questions, which my son and I appreciated. (It wasn't just the teacher up there talking, talking, talking to the camera, making for a dry presentation!)

Mr. Richardson cheerfully "shows-and-tells" what each piece of code does, without making students feel like they have to do exactly what he's doing. He states many times that, "This is your web page." So if you don't want color, don't add color. If you'd like a marquee, here's how to do it. Richardson also takes the time to explain how to go about fixing a mistake, should the situation arise (like it did for me. Ahem!).

This unique program consists of approximately 90 minutes of teaching, divided into 7 chapters, spanning topics such as:
  • The 10 Basic Lines of Code
  • Background and Letter Colors
  • Making Text Move
  • Adding pictures and more
Here's a clip of the program in action, courtesy of their website:

My son, Ethan (10) really enjoyed the program and although he did get stuck a few times, Mr. Richardson and I were able to help him get back on track. (Ha ha! Like I had anything to do with it, right?) However, my daughter, Sierra (13) already has a basic understanding of HTML, so she didn't get as much out of it as Ethan and I did. She also felt that the instructor "talked down" to her, whereas Ethan didn't feel that way at all.

Web Design for Kids (...and Curious Grown-Ups!) is originally priced at $40. But through their Summer Special, you can purchase this great teaching tool for only $19.99 (plus $3.99 shipping). Either way, the content is well-worth the price! Not only are you getting clear, solid HTML instruction but a portion of the proceeds benefit several different charities.

I was very pleased with the results of this program and highly recommend it. We give Web Design for Kids two thumbs up!

Be sure to check out what other Crew Members had to say about this product by clicking here.

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