Some cracking first-websites produced by my CS summer-school students (πŸŽ“ #tech)

Oxford Summer Courses left their 16-17 Computer Science syllabus pretty open, so I focussed it on web-design because you don’t need specific Apple hardware, all their friends can use the product, and they learn coding basics in multiple languages.

I guided them through 2 projects over the 2-week course:

1 Customizing Retro Website

Just like a previous 1:1 student who’s now gone on to study CS at QMU, using my w4.rner.me OG website homage page as a code template, they added CSS to customize it as much as possible!

peterelchapo.github.io/retrowebs… customized to a Dark Mode with CSS:

kadilbek.github.io/qadylbek went for a some colourful gradients, and also styled buttons, as well as playing with HTML media embeds:

Cool to see so many people standing on the shoulders of the Original Giants of the internet like Tamara Munzner

2 Interactive website project

I guided them through a 2-step process, of low-fidelity prototype followed by working website. Students who hadn’t picked up coding as quickly, or really wanted responsive sites were encouraged to use Webflow as an alternative.

iamoghy.github.io/RetroLand is an exceptional effort from a student who came to class with basic website experience, so I pushed him to add JavaScript interactivity, which you can see in this .gif:

Namely, a Flickity image carousel, and a Form to direct users to relevant links.

Bonus points for incorporating the retro vibe from the first exercise too!

Conclusion

Academic-year Computer Science syllabus need to be radically overhauled. In 2-years of say A-Level, students would not create anything of the level shown here in 2-weeks, mainly because there is so much distracting focus on learning a wide-range of terminology and history of computing, rather than the basics of implementing a user-experience.
Apart from the last example, these 2 students and their 4 other peers had never published a website before, and all of them were able to publish something in the end. As they get better, I suspect they might update these websites or unpublish to make room for better sites, but I wanted to acknowledge the brilliant tech teenagers can create when given the right guidance.
If you know teenagers who could benefit from working with me, either in a summer-school setting like this, or a larger workshop or even a more focussed 1:1 online, please visit Lea.rner.me

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