Prairie Studio

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dragonflyJohn's Classes at Oakton College

Spring Semester 2015

John will be teaching two courses this Spring semester:

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long-beaked bird

Web Design

The beginning level Art 259 course (Web Graphic Page Design) is an over-all introduction to the web and all the various concepts and workflows that go into creating a web site…we use Dreamweaver as our application of choice for working with web page/web site creation…and Photoshop, Illustrator and Fireworks are the primary graphics programs we'll be using…

I think of the course as a beginning to intermediate web page design course…we will be spending a good deal of time with Dreamweaver, learning the ins and outs of the interface…and a good deal of time on graphics…I also am a firm believer in putting web pages together using accepted web standards techniques, which really just means doing things according to best professional standards…and that means putting a fair amount of emphasis on using HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) properly to separate the structure of web pages from their stylistic or presentational aspects…

And the course will be fun too:)…I like to get students involved in the stuff we work on and if possible get folks involved in discussions of whatever the subject matter de jour might be…we'll have a couple quizzes and a final exam, plus a final web site project (the content of which is up to each student to decide)…we have an extraordinarily good text (HTML & CSS by Jon Duckett) that details just about all you need to know regarding HTML and CSS, along with a fine book that concentrates on how best to use Dreamweaver (Adobe Dreamweaver-Visual Quickstart Guide)…besides working together on graphics, web site design and technical procedures in class, we'll also make use of some quality video tutorials as a change of pace…

Art 259 Web Graphic Page Design: Tuesdays-Thursdays 9:30am-12:10pm
Skokie Campus, Room P105 - Section 001, Code #11169 - Starts January 20, 2015 (to 05/14/15)

The intermediate/advanced level ART 267 course (Web Layout Design & Typography) the upcoming Art 267 web course we'll start out doing detailed work with HTML/ of my priorities at the beginning of the class is to make sure everyone is well-grounded in the basics, so we will spend as much time as necessary focusing on sound html page structure...and of course we will also spend a fair amount of time at the beginning of the class learning how best to implement all the most up-to-date Cascading Style Sheet rules and properties, to manage the visual presentation of our web pages...and we’ll also spend time in Photoshop (and Illustrator) working on graphics fundamentals...

…once the preliminaries are covered, responsive web design techniques in all their glory will be our first advanced area of study: there are loads of new, interesting developments on this front that we'll talk about, and we will put an entire responsive web site together step-by-step in class, so everyone can see exactly how things work…with close to 40% of the surfing population in the USA using hand-held devices to access the web and internet, it is absolutely crucial that all web designers and developers gain a solid understanding of the various techniques and workflows associated with Responsive Web Design…it’s no longer something that’s optional for designers: it’s now a serious requirement!

...the second main area of concentration for the course will be Javascript and jQuery...we'll go through the basics first, touch on the DOM and the BOM, and try our best to attain a good fundamental understanding of the basics of Javascript methodology…then we will dive into the wonderful world of jQuery (a subset of Javascript) and get a feel for how powerful (and relatively easy!) jQuery is…we will do some really cool interface and web page manipulations with the jQuery library, and also work with jQuery web page animation techniques…

...another topic that might be relevant all through the course is frameworks...there are several out there that really help developers get a jump start on web work in a number of different ways, and really simplify how one organizes all the different (sometimes bewildering) technologies that are at out fingertips...we'll dive into one of these in particular that I've been excited about and have been working with for a bit now…

And although some of this will of necessity require us to do some 'programming', my method in this course is to always approach these things from the point of view of the web our forays into the secrets of some of these more technical areas will always be gentle, though hopefully no less short, we will be doing some really cool, really amazing things, that are surprisingly easy to achieve!

Art 267 Web Layout Design & Typography: Thursdays 5pm-10pm (we'll probably start a bit later and end a bit earlier) at Skokie Campus, Room P105 - Section 050, Code #14445 - Starts January 22, 2015 (to 05/14/15)