A long time ago when I first became a school library media specialist, I volunteered to create the school a web presence. At the time the district was hosting their school websites at the local university (University of South Carolina – Aiken.) My assignment was to create the files, take them on floppy disk to Dr. Gary Senn (YES a floppy!!), and he would upload the pages and or changes I brought in. To reflect on that now it seems silly and ridiculous to consider that it was done that way. But my district did not host its own school sites–just the district site itself.
Code from the get go
My first skill set in creating a page was back in library school. Essentially our directions were to find a simple page and copy the code into a text file. Then in the text file, edit to reflect our own content instead of the previous page’s content, and finally submit. We had to have a page that would load in a browser and then have at least one picture and one functioning link.
Hands on learning develops schema
Playing with the code gave me a working foundation of html that I have used many times since, though not really in creating web presence. Soon after I finished library school, I was introduced to wysiwyg editors, and essentially never looked back. After the first year of driving floppy disks over to USCA, our district finally created webspace, downloaded all our webfiles from USCA to their own, and gave us rights to edit pages at school. This was my first introduction to using an ftp application to upload edits to the page sets.
Wysiwyg while you work
My experience has been fairly limited in web creation, using several different wysiwyg editors since then, including Netscape Composer, Microsoft FrontPage, Macromedia DreamWeaver, Site Executive, SharpSchool and now a number of editors that come in wikis, blogs, and othr assorted online apps. The newer programs are now live-edited. The good news is this skills set is needed less and less as new apps are introduced. The bad news is you never know when you’ll need said skill set (ftp, code, and html.)
My PLN to the rescue
I had to seriously brush up on my skills today, as I finally decided since getting help setting up a blog on my own domain (from Chris Craft) I wanted to have a web page apart from the blog for a home or index. It took a lot of email tag (I’m not sure where all Chris answered my questions–some came from his iPhone…) but he very patiently answered my questions or prodded something in my memory. Jennifer Wagner saw some of my tweets today too, and volunteered. Thanks Jen.
…because an elephant never forgets!
THIS is what the power of a PLN can do folks. People out there that I am connected to helped me along the way. I have no doubt that had I not had any experience at all, someone from my PLN would have held my hand all the way through the process. I’m just glad I had a little schema for the information I was being told to look for and act on. It is true–an elephant never forgets.
Here is my index page!
Image: ‘Safari Africa Elephant‘