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Serif webplus v Dreamweaver

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by KevMitson, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Having,taught Dreamweaver now for two years to year 8's I have started to look at a simpler method of webpage creation. In my eyes design etc is the more important aspect of the unit and the learning the nuts and bolts of the application can come later.
    I used WIX for a while which worked great but we now have Serief Webplus on the school system and I thought I would ask if anybody else uses it and what they think.
    YES I know in the real world Dreamweaver is the way forward and the industry standard and for KS4 and above its what I would use but anyone use Serif for KS3 and if so does it work well?

    thanks
     
  2. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I made that switch 2 years ago and have never looked back. Bottom line is that kids really enjoy building websites with webplus as you can get sites to do funky stuff with just drag and drop techniques. I have dumped some video tutorials on the resource bank for the sort of thing that we run with across most age groups. But more importantly if you hammer the concept of the master page they produce something that is uniform and far more professional than most of the sites I have seen in the past with dreamweaver.
    https://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Serif-WebPlus-design-suitable-for-OCR-unit-2-6050537/
    Whilst I use below as an end of year exam
    https://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Serif-WebPlus-exam-6054862/
    I don't see myself eve going back to Dreamweaver with the little ones. Sure Serif does not produce clean code, and I am sure the purists will jump on board this thread, however little kids get the chance to produce something that would genuinely be of use to say a family memebr who had a small business and no net presence. It really is very easy to get results from it quickly.
     
  3. Serif doesn't really produce HTML code at all, it uses it a bit like Postscript, it's a printer driver that outputs sort of HTML code.
    Is this a general issue of dumbing down though ? How far do you go down this 'does everything for you ?' line ? If you use the Wizards in Visual Studio to access a DB online, have you really 'created an online database' or have you clicked a few buttons ?
    All these wizardy things have the same problem ; they are limited to what they do and when you hit those limitations there's no way round it. WebPlus for example is not a Web Page designer, it's a DTP which outputs HTML. This means amongst a vast number of issues no styling and no paging.There's a reason people use Dreamweaver and it's not to do with using harder apps for the heck of it.
    Actually, I'd probably agree with its usage for the little ones as you put it. It's the big ones usage that bothers me.

     
  4. as always some excellent recources and advice and makes loads of sense, Ill knock up a SOW based on your vids so again many thanks
     
  5. God you are productive, djp - surely you'll burn out, soon?
    Do you have time for any hobbies?
    Autism, using Dreamweaver in school is like using a Halfords 70-piece toolkit to crack a nut (not that most nuts wouldn't be too hard for the 'steel' they use).
     
  6. Where do you stop GCSE ? AS ? A2 ?
    I do take the point. The problem is Web Plus is like giving someone a car kit where they have to stick the badge on, then saying they've "made a car".
    This is fundamentally the same issue as VB6. It might make things 'easier' on the surface. It might help boost the exam grade. As actual learning, it's rubbish.

     
  7. It's the finished product, what you see that is important.But that's ICT. I was watching the builders on my house like a hawk.
     
  8. I'm not a fan of Serif. Their webmaking software is too simplistic. It doesn't stretch bright students enough and to be honest, doesn't stretch anyone very much. I agree that anyone can produce nice basic websites using click and drag and drop and might be fine for very low ability pupils but I prefer to teach our pupils skills which are a little more transferable and adaptable.
     
  9. Eminently sensible IME :)
    I'm not sure the same thing doesn't apply though.

     
  10. I disagree. I remember in my own A Level year creating a millionaire style quiz program with database backend and following that the Monopoly board game. The database was MS Access and connected through ADODC admittedly, but I learnt more about relational tables, code structure, functions and events from this than anything else! VB6 was definitely a great learning tool for me - I've got Real Studio 2011 becuase of its simularities.
     
  11. I remember, aged 17, writing z80 assembler. Nothing has seemed intimidating since.
     


  12. Absolutely. But the joy of learning assembler is that without point and click and GUIs, the initial perception is one of extreme difficulty. Once you've cracked that, nothing else seems to hold the same fear factor. It's a bit like learning to drive in a manual car and then getting in an automatic.



    On the other hand, as happened in the states during a recent car-jacking, the robber forced the driver out of the car at gunpoint and then sat at the light crunching the gears before getting out and legging it.



    If given my time again, I'd still do the z80 stuff first.
     
  13. Let's hope we don't do anything vaguely OOP with it.I can understand it as a lazy short cut for projects, but anything else ....
     
  14. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    Can we just have a big banner at the top of the forum asking people to search the forum before asking questions that seem to come around with (un)surprising regularity.
    To paraphrase, some people like it as it is easy to use (great for those who won't do ICT / computing in the future) and you can get good results with it, some people don't like it as it is not PROPER ICT / COMPUTING! and you don't learn anything (?)
    NOT being a proper ICT teacher (ie I have a biochemistry / Environmental Pollution science degree not a computer science degree - mind you it was 1992) I use Serif all the way through our school. You can easily stretch the brighter ones as they can always insert their own HTML coding, etc. I don't feel guilty as I seem to remember that lots of my old pupils tell me that the first term in uni is all about learning to use the programmes they use so I don't get too hung up on the 'am i restricting them?' debate
    So, ENOUGH ALREADY - LOOK IT UP ELSEWHERE
     
  15. colwynexile

    colwynexile Occasional commenter

    And before any smarty bottoms come up with 'oh I was doing computer science before 1992, what does 1992 have to do with it' you need to remember that ICT as a subject didn't exist, school numbers of PCs where extremely small so access was limited (we had 1 in the last year of primary school and 20 throughout secondary school - I have more in my classroom than I ever encountered in my whole state school pupil career), and that they were expensive and I was on free school meals from a broken home where I didn't see my father (and no, for once I'm not joking for comic effect) and so the option to own a computer (yes even a spectrum) was never on the table.
    However, I'm relatively stable and employed in a job i love. So can we stop moaning about the little things, it does for some and not for others, look the past arguements up
     
  16. I'm filling up here....
     
  17. We made the call to use WebPlus for KS3 and KS4 last year and it worked a treat. We still use Dremweaver for KS5 though to give us the extra power for making Web 2.0 sites with Access databases and Visual Web Developer.
     
  18. You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic
    tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper
    bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t' mill, fourteen hours
    a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our
    Dad would thrash us to sleep wi' his belt.
    And then make us program in Visual Basic 6.


     
  19. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Absolutely - it seems to be web design without the web design.
    Isn't the point of learning "web design", rather than word processing, that you learn how a web-page is constructed, that objects are linked rather than embedded, divs, styles, etc? If you don't do that, and consider browser compatability, download size, etc., then you're better off using Word.
    A lot of courses, and tasks set by schools, do seem to be ridiculous. I worked with a student who had to produce a "navigation bar" for OCR Nationals. She'd been taught to do it in Fireworks, which created a nice mess of JavaScript and multiple images for her, and she hadn't got a clue how it worked. I showed her that she could have done the same thing, in a comprehensible way, with no images or JavaScript, just using <div>s and "hover:" - but then it wasn't "web graphics" any more, even though it was a better solution as it was much smaller and less complex.
     
  20. Or Powerpoint.
    There is a feature in Powerpoint (or was anyway) that allowed you to dump most of the presentation as HTML output. WebPlus is just a jazzed up version of the same thing.
    JSMenus are a good example. In WebPlus it's very easy. Until you want to do something slightly different, then you are totally stuffed.
     

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