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Monday, August 31, 2009

Web Design For Kids Review

My husband makes a living as a Computer Engineer. He can create websites, write software, and slave a hard drive with the best of them. I, on the other hand, just have to walk into a room for a computer to break down. God knew what He was doing when He put the two of us together!
My kids fall along the same lines. My boys love all things technical. The oldest has helped his daddy load software or wipe hard drives clean on computers that people are getting rid of, etc. Both boys are masters of the Wii and know it's ins and outs way better than I ever will. But my oldest daughter? Technology is NOT her thing. Give her a pen and paper over an Ipod anyday.

I'm telling you all this so you will understand how FLOORED I was when the Web Design for Kids DVD was delivered to my house and SHE was the one who wanted to watch it. REALLY. She has a vision of creating a website for her to sell her artwork on, and so she is driven to learn how to create her own website. She begged to watch it, and she sat down that first day and did just that. That's so amazing in and of itself that it is worth the price of the DVD :-).

Web Design for Kids (...and curious Grown-Ups) is a DVD that offers step by step instruction in how to design a website using basic HTML code. Now if even that sentence makes your heart beat faster, and not in a good way, let me assure you that it really, truly is step by step. My 9 year old did 90% of the work herself. And she understood it well enough to tell others about it. More impressive still? I did it too. And I didn't break the computer or get it stuck or need to call my husband to bail me out! All you do is pop the DVD into your DVD player and begin watching. You will need your computer and your TV remote handy. The instructor and driving force behind Click Drag Solutions-the company that puts out Web Design for Kids-is Brian Richardson. He is easy to understand, pleasant to watch, and passionate about teaching the kids in a way that they will really understand. Each section build on the previous one, and by the end, the kids (and adults) have a real basic knowledge of how to design a web page.

The "pros" are that even a totally computer illiterate person like me, or a child like my daughter, can learn basic HTML in a way that makes sense. The DVD lays a foundation that you can easily build on once you understand the core skills involved. It's easy to use. And most importantly, it's really inexpensive relative to what you learn. The DVD is on sale right now for $19.99 plus $3.99 shipping. My husband bills out at FOUR times that amount per hour, and while he understands it extremely well himself, I am certain Mr. Richardson explains it better than my husband would do. And, lastly, I think it's great that he has you intentionally "mess up" so you can learn what happens when you do it right, what it looks like when you do it wrong, and how to fix it.

There are only two "cons" that I would mention. First is that the DVD moved faster than my daughter, whose typing skills are poor, and so she needed my help to pause the DVD frequently while she hunted and pecked out the required text. It was too hard for her to manage the remote and keep up with what she needed to be doing next on the DVD, so I was a captive audience through the process (which is how I learned to do it too, so maybe that's not all bad, :-) The second is that the DVD is a bit, well, cheesy in some parts. The kids on the DVD are a little over-the-top happy, which my sister noted too when she happened to be at our house while my daughter was watching it. My daughter never noticed a thing though, so it's probably only an adult's perspective.

The bottom line is that if you have any interest in learning HTML or in designing your own website, this is the perfect resource for you. To order your copy of the DVD, go HERE. To see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say, go HERE.
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