After years of hearing people lament that we would not get a better web until we get better ways of teaching the Web to the professionals (of today and tomorrow), is very exciting to see the recent crop of community driven efforts to provide material and guidance for the teaching of Web technologies.
Within the span of a few weeks we have seen the opening of Opera’s Web Standards Curriculum, and, announced today, the creation by the Web Standards Project of its WaSP Curriculum Framework as a follow-up to the publication of their education survey result.
The part of the survey results that most surprised me was to read that, when asked
What are your biggest challenges to implementing a curriculum for best practices, including accessibility and Web standards? the majority of web educators surveyed responded
Lack of faculty with standards knowledge. Feeling a little lonely in CS faculties where the Web still isn’t taken seriously, perhaps? Another good chunk pointed out the
Lack of appropriate material to aid teaching. Teach the teachers, then help them teach…
The good news is that the two efforts by Opera and the WaSP seem to focus independently on these two needs revealed by the survey: while the curriculum built at Opera will provide many articles for self-education or to be used as extra material for courses, the WaSP framework takes a higher viewpoint and chooses to provide overview of useful courses, lists of competencies to train and test, ideas, resource pointers, and more. One teaches, the other helps teacher do their job.