Learning HTML for Kids!

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Celebrating over 15 years of helping
kids create websites!

It’s really a bit amazing that Learning HTML for Kids has been going since the late 90s. During these many years,  people throughout the world, kids and adults alike, have written to express how the tutorial helped. Teachers have used it to teach HTML in their classroom and even some folks have written to tell me this is where they started to learn for their new careers! It’s been fun to hear from you all and to know that I’ve made a difference.

To be honest, it all started with my son who was in fifth grade in 1998. I had been designing webpages for a couple of years by then. His teacher was big on science, math and technology. So I thought I’d put together a short tutorial to help the kids understand HTML.

These were the infant days. In fact, the language of HTML had been written by Tim Berners-Lee (1955-) in 1990, while working at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). He was big on sharing information with other scientists. Universities and government agencies had been sharing stuff since the 1940s, but the process was slow.

In fact, there was already a basic mark-up language being used called SGML (Standard General Mark-up Language) that included tags for paragraphs, lists and even headlines. But what set Mr. Berners-Lee proposal apart from the the rest is he created the first browser and used the concept of hypertext (links). He called his first browser the world wide web.

Things started to move along rather quickly after that. Mosaic, another browser, came out in 1992. Netscape was released a couple of years later, which changed everything. Netscape became the premier browser and people took notice. Then in 1995 Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer.

It was about this time, when I started to get involved with websites. I owned an advertising and public relations agency at the time. I catered to small- and medium-sized businesses. Interestingly, I had some very forward-looking clients, who wanted a presence on the Internet. Either I had to learn how to create websites in a hurry or lose business.

It was a hard hurdle for me, especially since I am a creative type, not a techie type. But I struggled and learned the code. In time, I was creating sites and clients were happy. To be honest, those early sites were more like on-line brochures, well-designed, but not very interactive–that would come later.

One day, I thought if I can learn this mark-up language on my own, kids can too! I wrote the tutorial and tested it with my son. Then I offered it to his teacher. Sadly, she couldn’t fit this program into her curriculum. So I turned the tutorial into a website and uploaded the site in late 1998. It’s been there ever since.

Today, I no longer run my ad agency (got very ill in 2005). Instead, I teach drawing and painting to adults through the local community college and my studio.

My son is now a young man who writes and designs websites  and is studying to be a physician. He came to me recently and asked if I would review the old tutorial again because it was rather out of date. Although I’m mighty busy with my new “passion,” I agreed to rewrite Learning HTML for Kids with an update.

Yes, things have indeed changed. Today we can use editors to write entire sites (I used one for this tutorial). But one thing hasn’t changed, you still need to know and hopefully understand the code to move on to other higher mark-up languages. Besides, it IS fun learning HTML.

Thank you for all your support all these years. Learning HTML for Kids may have been my gift to the world, but the world has actually handed it back to me with many, many blessings.

Hope you enjoy this new version.

Jill Jeffers Goodell

August, 2015

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Some history

A big fat Thank You!