During our chat on This Week in Ontario Edublogs, Stephen brought back a memory from a long, long time ago.
In schools, we were working hard to create websites. Everyone and every school just had to have one. In the beginning, our creations were nowhere near the glitzy fancy stuff that we see today.
We were truly crossing the bridge as we were building it. Nobody had taken a course in HTML, or the latest, CSS. We had books that gave us summaries of what each instruction did. If we were browsing the web and we saw something cool, we would do a “reveal codes” and check out the code behind the scenes that made the magic happen.
We truly were learning as we went.
Then, there were some of us who were learning enough to do a workshop for others to crank out their own web presence by the end of a two hour session.
Looking back, those workshops were incredibly popular. Everyone wanted to do things. Since we only had a couple of hours, we used the wisdom that content was better than looks. (Looks took more than two hours to master although many did put the time in)
Anyway, the web being as critical as it is had plenty of people monitoring the blood, sweat, and tears of others. Stephen brought back one of the mainstays “Web Pages That Suck“. During the show, I made a mental note to check it out. Stephen doesn’t like typing during a show; it’s too annoying.
Anyway, unlike many mental notes that I’ve made in the past, I actually remembered this one and did track it down. The domain is still registered although the content seems to have stopped in 2015.
Design is still a content though. I do have to smile; some of the content there reminds me of some of the things that students enjoyed creating.
Lest I be accused of throwing stones, I went back, way back, using archive.org to 2002 and took a screen capture of a site that I created and managed. I even had badges at the bottom. Everyone of consequence had badges. Everyone of consequence had something on their website done in Flash which, while the rage at time, is no longer supported!
Even older was this from 1999.
Of course, these days, we would be too embarrassed to turn out stuff like this but it was cutting edge and a demonstration of learning for us at the time.
These days, people don’t hard code websites from scratch much. Everyone has moved to content management systems like WordPress or Google Sites or any of the other powerful tools that make you look great without sitting down and coding from scratch.
Oddly enough, coding with HTML hasn’t gone away. I read recently that some people teaching the Grade 11 College course are using HTML to teach some of the content.
Actually, it was kind of fun looking back and so I thank Stephen for the nudge.
Aren’t you glad that the web matured and we have the tools that we have today?
Have you ever looked back on your first creations and shake your head wondering what you were doing?