My friend, Sven, wrote a post about a visiting artist, Paul Cantanese, who spoke at Bradley University last week. I was unable to make the lecture, unfortunately. Paul does some great work and is very much into Processing right now, as I gather from the chatter around campus. Paul turned Sven onto the awesome Graffletopia. Wow! What a cool resource. Wish I could have caught his session, it’s always great to .
As a part time instructor, and one mainly focused on professionally minded multimedia and web development, it’s important to keep my toolbox full of great stuff… I try to choose the best books, best tools and best software to maximize my actual contact time with my students (which unfortunately is fairly minimal as I am also employed full time). For example, Sven relayed my use of Del.icio.us to Paul as a library of sorts. To me this was never a real innovative idea, as it just seemed to fit the purpose of Del.icio.us perfectly for me. It’s always on, allows asynchronous communication and works dependably and reliably.
My del.icio.us page has nearly 400 links that are purely web design and development focused. It’s primarily standards focused with mentions of multimedia content generally only when there is crossover between the two realms. I have been building that list over the last two years and do prune it fairly regularly for dead links. Not only is it a reference for my students, but one for me as well. I add to it and consult it often.
For the last two semesters, when I taught a class on PHP/MySQL, we used the CSS Definitive Guide to serve as a desk reference and the Dreamweaver 8 with PHP by Jeffrey Bardzell for the main software teaching book. As I tried to keep the class largely tool agnostic and more focused on the actual code written, all work in the Bardzell book was self directed with me available for questions if needed. While the Dreamweaver Server behaviors are nice, in the long run, I don’t believe a college level course in web design should tie your knowledge to a software vendor.
I am interested in hearing other resources, etc. I should be investigating from other instructors out there… What are you using to help your students navigate this big world? Web resources, books, software etc.