Several weeks ago when my 3rd grade son, Alexander and I presented at the regional technology conference in Plano, Texas, he won a free copy of WebBlender software from Tech4Learning. He has wanted to make his own website for quite a while, and several years ago he made a little progress using a WYSIWYG webpage editor (Claris Homepage)– it was pretty cumbersome, however, and neither of us were really happy with the experience of using it or the results.
Today he finished his first website that he created with WebBlender. Originally he just wanted to use the clipart library and make pages showing the flags of African countries, but I showed him today:
- How to copy the country’s name into the search field of WikiPedia and search for the WikiPedia article about that country.
- How to copy the URL for the country’s WikiPedia entry onto the computer’s clipboard.
- How to switch from the web browser back to WebBlender.
- How to select the country’s flag and create a hyperlink to the country’s WikiPedia entry.
Alexander “published” his website to his desktop repeatedly to preview how his multi-page website looked, and when he was finished I helped him enter some FTP login credentials to publish his site to the Internet.
Although this website doesn’t represent a lot of deep thinking on the subject of African geography, cultures, politics or anything else– I think it is quite remarkable that as an 8 year old Alexander was able to create these pages independently. He was quite excited to learn how to link content to the Wikipedia– and I think understands the importance of writing with hyperlinks to “connect” his knowledge and knowledge products to the ideas of others.
If you have feedback or comments for Alexander on his web project, feel free to comment here– I’ll make sure he sees and reads your comments! 🙂
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