Tag Archives: standards

The Value of a Higher Education

I’ve been kicking back and forth whether or not to write this article, but this concept has been weighing on my conscience for far too long.  Being a student in Computer Science, I am beginning to notice the students around me more, and their level of competency when it comes to the narrow topics that are being discussed in class.  For the most part, everyone tries their best and gets things done, and as adults tend to actually attempt to understand all of the material.

But there are a select few students that either are just not getting it, or are relying on the “No Child Left Behind” mentality to simply skate through the college experience and earn their degrees.  One problem with this set of students is that they are going to be completely shocked and overwhelmed when they reach a real work environment, and not all requirements and steps are set in stone and handed to them on a silver plate.

This is where my problem with the state of higher education stems.
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Resources for Web Developers and Designers

Recently, I’ve been going back to college to finally get my degree in Web Development. For a teacher, I gathered links that I had used in my work out in the field. Here is a collection of everything I could think of.

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Project Visions: iGoverness – Part 3

Part 3 of our feature on improving our education system using modern technology and the iGoverness idea comes straight from Part 1 and Part 2. If you have not read Part 1 and Part 2 yet, please go back and read them so that you know the motivations for the following article.

The way I see it, there are a few major flaws with the way classes are handled in schools today:

  1. Classes go as fast as the slowest student. This alienates the faster student, and causes them to perform lower quality work.
  2. Classes are strict structures with defined times, schedules, deadlines and pre-scheduled exams.
  3. The 30 students to 1 teacher ratio does not ensure that our children’s needs are met.
  4. Class material is often taught “to the test” to get a passing score on a standardized exam, rather than teaching real-world problem solving skills and basic human functionality.
  5. A student is forced to learn the subjects that are set aside as required. A student has no leeway to learn the subject that he or she has the most desire to learn.
  6. The parents are increasingly being removed from the learning process.

Alright, so what does this mean in terms of solving these problems using technology? Continue reading

New Site Design

As a part of two of my college courses, I am working on a new site design for Stroz.net. At this point, everything is very sketchy, and I don’t really know what I want to do yet.

I have a few ideas that I am going to implement:

  • Move blog off of the / directory. Most likely I will put it at blog.stroz.net, and link to it from the main page.
  • Portfolio page. I want to give links and descriptions of the web pages that I’ve constructed. I might even re-host some of the defunct stuff so that I can show that off too.
  • Sketch gallery. I have a sketch gallery, but it’s part of WordPress. I’d rather do something up that’s a bit more homebrew, and more engaging, completely separate from the blog.
  • Photoshop / Fireworks gallery. A similar gallery for all of my digital designs that aren’t sketches. Logo work, page layouts, etc. would be here.
  • Hosting Info. While the hosting part of the site isn’t exactly a strong venture, I’d like to put up some info about what I can offer. I have a few sites that are hosted right now, and I would like to expand that a little bit.
  • Online Presence. A page with links and info about all of the different communities and social networks to which I belong.

Like I said, it’s just a rough sketch as of late, and more planning will go into it over the coming weeks. If all goes right, I would like to have it in full swing before December 1, 2008. This will give me plenty of time to get things ready and bugs worked out for grading.

The overall feel I want to get with this is a more simplified browsing experience. I’d like to use solid colors, a good color scheme, and a less cluttered layout for every page that survives.

One thing I’m trying to figure is whether to have a splash page. A splash page is so 90s, but I’m not sure how else to present all of the different site pages. I’m sure there’s a better way, and I’m going mull this over for a long time before I settle on it.

One thing that I’m excited to get into is a totally table-less layout. I’m planning on using CSS divs and layers for the whole thing. My first goal will be XHTML and CSS validation, then, once that’s done, I’ll go back and fix it for the poor folk who are using Internet Explorer.

browser_share

According to this quickly hobbled together set of stats from August 2008, Internet Explorer takes up 52.7% of all visits to Stroz.net. I am extremely happy to see that only 16.3% is attributed to IE6, as that’s where the trouble with CSS design lies. Even completely validated pages tend to have problems in that archaic browser.

I’m sufficiently confident with IE7’s capabilities, and think that IE8 is a great step in the right direction toward standard integration.

In conclusion, validated XHTML THEN bug fixes for old browsers. I guess this is fairly commonplace with most developers. I’m putting this stuff out there to show a bit of my thought process.