Tag Archives: online education

Achievement Unlocked: HTML and CSS

Today, at long last, I have completed Saylor Academy’s PRDV251: HTML and CSS for Beginners course (CC BY 3.0 wrapper, comprising both open and closed resources).


The course requires some light hacking; in particular, figuring out how to use a text editor and browser to create a cohesive website from local files is largely up to the student, but there is no shortage of help available from the Web. In any case, I regard this friction as a good thing, driving learning and retention.

Rather than take notes in an outline format for this course, which is my wont, I decided to create a website that would serve as both sandbox and documentation for what I learned. The result, written in a series of lightweight text editors and published via Google Drive is this:

PRDV251: HTML and CSS for Beginners | Demonstration Site

Demonstration Site: PRDV251: HTML and CSS for Beginners
Overall, the course is very good and recommended not least for its introduction of other useful resources. Finally, a confession: the code is messy and not really all good HTML5; one develops best practices along the way and earlier work is inferior to the later stuff. So it goes. Some things got fixed, some things got commented out, and some things are there to stay as a permanent reminder of what not to do in the future.

The Dreaded First Post

Image of books arranged to form a tunnel, from a library in Prague
Book Tunnel by Petr Kratochvil | CC0

Best to get it over with, of course, so here it is: the dreaded first post. An introduction is in order.

What is it?

This blog is a response to two distinct, if related needs. The first need is for an outlet to talk about technology, particularly educational technology, and digital culture, particularly that of online learning (to include the wild world of MOOCs). The second need is for a personal learning environment, or PLE — a place to gather the courses, credentials, and activities that relate to my informal, ongoing digital education.

My hope is that by responding to the first need, I will reach an audience interested generally in news and discussion of online learning; by responding to the second need, I will reach an audience interested specifically in how to manage one’s learning to best effect.

Outside of these needs, of course, I will probably deal with all sorts of topics as they occur to me or otherwise suit me. I will ask questions in search of an answer, provide answers in search of a question, and by entertaining myself, maybe — just maybe — entertain others. Any enlightenment will most likely be incidental.

Why ‘OER Educated’

Well, the title is a pun, of course, which might need no explaining (cue explanation): ‘OER’ stands for ‘open educational resources‘, which are free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech learning resources available on the web. So the title intends both ‘educated by OER’ as well as ‘over-educated’, which I certainly am not, overall, though I may have too much of some sorts of education and too little of other sorts.

My Expertise

Why should you listen to me? Maybe you shouldn’t. I will try to be entertaining, informative, and compelling, however. Also, I know a good deal about OER and MOOCs and Creative Commons and all kinds of fun stuff — I’ve worked in the open online education world for nearly three years, and I’ve been in education for about eight or nine. Take from that what you will, but I carry at least some small bit of authority, and make up for what I lack with a charming mix of bravado and diffidence.
Finally, the aesthetics of the blog are very much in flux…I didn’t want perfection to be the enemy of posted. So, here we go!