Building the next  web with GitHub?

And where do I start as a teacher with GitHub?


In the Dutch computer science core curriculum(pdf) it is stated that students should be aware of coding techniques and data representation. And my students love data representation. The love starts with basic html, css and a little javascript. The fun of code is something most students get in a few lessons. And using industry tools like GitHub gives my students a competitive advantage!

We designed an assignment to develop a basic (and static) website in 15-17 hours; the time does include learning the language. Students can really lose themselves in the assignment. I’ve seen websites build in not 15-17 but in 30-40 hours. It is really a creative outlet for the young adolescent.

In this blog, I want to get into the practical implications of building websites with students and how to publish them on the web. And in the slipstream how to use industry tools, techniques, and standards.

Examples of their work can be found in the repository on GitHub.

Hosting on GitHub

Starting with GitHub is at first a bit intimidating. It’s an industry tool and not an educational tool. So it’s well maintained, documentation is up to date and the tool actually works. (sight for the edu tools).

Hosting on GitHub is relatively easy. Together with Jesse van der Pluijm and Sander Laarhoven we designed a hands-on guide on the subject GitHub Pages. For accessible it’s in Dutch. The guide Handleiding GitHub can be found here.

In a short survey, I’ve learned a lot about using GitHub and updated the guide accordingly. I’ve asked my students for short statements about GitHub in English so that the findings can be shared with a broader community (you). Do try to read between the lines. My students love building things, especially things that can be viewed by other people. Students shared the following feedback with me.

Student feedback

  • Search what you need, don’t use any classes, it costs way too much time.
  • Make sure you know your shit before you start.
  • Making mistakes isn’t the end of the world, you learn from it.
  • Take your time to built a website
  • Do not forget to save!!!
  • Google and Stack Overflow are your biggest friends.
  • Trial and error. It’s the only way.
  • If you get stuck with a thing don’t work further because otherwise, it will take much time.
  • never give up and try
  • Learn from your mistakes and not from the explanation.
  • Background set it to fixed. Then you will create a parallax effect!
  • Use your time, you will need it!
  • On youtube, you can also find a lot of explanation about building a website because then they explain it step by step and so you can also follow it.
  • start and learn while you work.
  • use w3schools
  • Make use of w3schools.
  • Vraag dingen aan de docent als je vastloopt. Gebruik atom i.vp. html-kit tools.
  • Use w3schools it is really useful
  • Start with the basics, and work out the details.
  • Follow what you think is best.
  • Nothing that you do is wrong if you feel good about it.
  • you first have to practice well
  • learn while practicing
  • Start on your website as soon as possible.
  • Start simple and work accurately.
  • If you don’t know how to make something: Just search a video or a tutorial!
  • Trial and error. It’s the only way.
  • Stay positive
  • Use code academy to learn how to build a website. It takes a lot of time to finish it but it’s very useful.
  • Don’t worry about the little things when you first get started on your site. Worry about them when/if you have time left.
  • Start simple, then add more things to it. Don’t get too chaotic at the beginning.
  • try Javascript, it really is fun.
  • When you don’t know how to fix a problem, search it on google or on youtube. There is a big chance that it will tell you what to do plus you will save you time.
  • Don’t give up if you don’t know how to do something. Also, Google is your best friend
  • Don’t begin officially just try something first and this way you can build your website. (don’t expect it is easy)
  • Do the workshop on codecademy
  • There are many helpful people online on forums. If you run into any problems, don’t hesitate to ask them for help.
  • When in doubt use
  • “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
  • It is more work than you think!
  • Oiy mate! Take inspiration from sites you like using and everything will be fine.
  • Don’t spend too much time on w3schools, start with codeacademy and use w3schools as a helping tool during the building process
  • Start in time!
  • Veel proberen en als iets niet lukt gewoon vragen
  • Make sure you read a lot about what kind of things you want to put on your website because there is a lot you can find on the internet about building a website.
  • If u don’t know how to do something, google it.
  • Google everything
  • Everything is possible!
  • Use w3schools
  • Make sure you put your website online when the teacher explains how because otherwise, you won’t know how to do it
  • Work accurately when building a website. A small mistake can have a big impact on the website and a small alteration can solve a big problem.


Looking up?

Why this picture? Again a Wonderfull free picture from Unsplash.

Unsplash Beyond the Cosmos by Joshua Sortino Unsplash Beyond the Cosmos by Joshua Sortino