Teaching high school students the principles of Web design is a challenging but worthy undertaking. With everything from television and movies to newspapers and books now available online, many future career opportunities may exist for young people in this field. Students that may be successful in this type of course will be adept at art, photography, drawing or other visual practices. Web design is divided into three main parts: construction and layout, content and images, and site management.
Teaching Web Page Design
Begin the course with the principles of construction and layout. Students should first learn the very basics of creating a Web site, including creating a custom layout by either altering a pre-designed template or drawing a layout from scratch. Software packages like Adobe Photoshop (which can be used to manipulate images) and Adobe Illustrator (which can be used to create drawings and graphics) may be required to teach students these steps. Adobe Dreamweaver is the most common way to connect Photoshop and Illustrator to the Web, making them compatible with the Web language of HTML.
Teach the class about content and images. Next to the layout, what actually goes on the site is the most important. Allow your students to choose what type of site they want to design: a football team fan site, a blog about soccer or maybe a digital version of the high school newspaper. Depending on the type of site that they choose, you should instruct them how to power their site through a content management system (CMS); WordPress and Blogger are popular, free systems. These CMSs make posting words and images very simple.
Other principles that you may teach your students are how to insert ad banners (important for commercial sites that sell advertisements) and how to maximize words for search engine optimization (SEO) so that search engine surfers can find your site.
Instruct students on site management. Once the site look is completed, it's important to teach the class about how to protect this important asset. Depending on the type of content displayed, site disclaimers may need to be written and displayed, releasing the creators from liability because of images shown or words written. A well-rounded Web design course may also include information on how to market the site to potential readers, how to gain email subscribers and how to routinely test the effectiveness of the site.
In lieu of a textbook, students may learn most from the user's manuals that come with the different Adobe software packages (Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver).