Audrey Watters is conducting research on the question “Should Mozilla develop a tool to help the world learn HTML5?”. You can join her fireside chat on Thursday and see the interviews that she has already conducted. (If you are in Houston, like I am, I am sure the fire doesn’t sound appealing right now, but the conversation sounds good.)
My answer is YES!!!! And I am hoping Mozilla will build this teaching/learning/doing tool into WordPress so that two of my favorite ideas (other people’s that is) can come together. Earlier I blogged (One webserver per child) about Gardner Campbell’s call to action to give students control over their own web persona and information and I suggested that a simple starting point is a blog site that you control yourself.
So, why do I think these two ideas are related? A wordpress site, especially one that you know how to control and manipulate yourself, can be your resume, your portfolio, the place you show off your credentials formal and informal (badges!), the place you control what parts of your online social media you share and display, etc. So lets teach HTML5 right there. Where the code you create can immediately become a part of your portfolio. Where others can engage directly with you and your ideas.
The web development skills become relevant for everyone, not just future computer scientists. Artists and writers and managers and politicians and engineers all have resumes and portfolios and will need the skills to articulate their talents and ideas. Game designers can build simple demos right on their site. Want to collect some data and analyze it? Use your web skills to collect and analyze, and then display the results as part of your blog. Collect badges from various online classes and code academies and display them on your blog. Show off some fun math tricks with MathJax. The possibilities seem endless.