Notepad is your friend! (ideas for the home-learner)Mar 13, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
First of all, it's only fair to say that no single method of learning is going to work the same for everybody. Being as it is that we are all unique, we each respond to things a little bit differently--the way in which we learn most effectively is certainly no exception.
Some people may prefer to go to a class, while others would be much more comfortable learning at home, at their own pace. I myself have found that classes tend to go a lot slower than most people need, but many of the classroom techniques can easily be adopted into the home-learner's education.
Here are some ideas for those who decide to give it a shot at home.
I would recommend that you use Notepad, or a similar program, to begin practicing HTML on. HTML editors are not likely to actually teach you HTML--instead, you will find yourself learning an editor, not the code.
Document editors, such as Word, must be reminded to save your work as a plain text file--if you do not tell it to, it will be formatted as a .doc file, or whatever extension is relative to that specific program. For this reason, Notepad is one of the easiest and most straight forward programs to use--all you have to do is type in your code and save it as an .htm or .html file.
It's best to become familiar with whatever editor you decide to use beforehand. You may also want to make a new directory that is specifically used for your HTML files and your notes.
Explore the Internet
There are many resources out there that, at the very least, have tags and elements listed and explained to some extent. It's a good idea to save these to a text file and compare them to explanations given at other sites--you can learn many different effects this way.
Look at Source Codes
Sure, it looks confusing and maybe even a little intimidating at first, but it will help you become familiar with some of the code.
For example, look at the source code of a page with a black background and white text. Examine the "<body>" tag and all of the information in between the "<" and ">".
Next, find a page with a white background and black text--look at its source, and find the differences in the body tag. This will help you understand some of what this tag does, and how it does it.
Experiment, and Experiment Again
Using information that you've gathered about various tags and what you've seen in other source codes, build your own experimental web page and view it in your browser. Look at what you've done, then change something, reload it, and see how it has been affected. Experimenting with, playing with, and messing up your web page is a great way to learn.
When you find a new tag, or something new to do with a tag, write it down with a detailed explanation. Even experts need quick reference from time to time. We often think we'll remember how we did something, only to forget when we try to do it again. Notes are also great for remembering all of the tags and the elements related to them.
Don't hesitate to copy down little pieces of code, either. While it's wrong to use another person's code directly, there's no reason not to learn from it and create your own from your newly attained knowledge.
Talk to Yourself
It might sound crazy, but talking to yourself as you work and learn may actually help you. When I am building HTML worksheets, or creating a new page, I often talk to myself, narrating what I am doing. It keeps my train of thought clear and precise, while drilling the information into my head through repetition.
Draw Your Page
As you advance, drawing what you want your page to look like will give you a clear, visible goal to work toward--you will be able to compare your progress with something you can really see, rather than just visualize. It's a wonderful feeling when what you've been working toward is suddenly there, staring back at you.
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