Web Development As A Standard Tool for Music Educators
by John Kuzmich, Jr.
Companion Web Site for May and July, 2006 Articles Published in the School Band & Orchestra Magazine
Preface for the Series
Part 1 in this series is an update of the July, 2003 web feature article at http://www.sbomagazine.com/sbomag/jul03/technology.entitled: “Guide to Graphic Editor Software Applications.” Part 1 deals with the web GUI (Graphical User Interface) software applications with major updates plus text and HTML editors, free web hosting sites, FTP software and educator pricing companies that offer substantial discounts over-the-counter and mail order pricings. Part 2 gets into going beyond the basics with alternative approaches, such as Adobe Acrobat which makes it easier to post complicated web pages from other software applications such as spreadsheets, word processing, etc. Part 3 focuses in on on-line date bases and audio and video streaming. Part 4 gets into on line web assessment testing as well as Flash card builders/animators call chart makers and interactive crossword puzzle makers.
A future installment in the late fall will cover a myriad of tricks and short-cut software applications that can take your web pages to more dynamic levels of presentation with multimedia presentations, OCR and music scanning materials, audio file converters, HTML validators, photo enhancements, photo editing, photo gallery applications, calendar creators, templates, libraries for artwork, libraries for sound clips, libraries for video clips, libraries for animated gifs, banners, background screens, video editing, audio editing, photo editing, libraries of fonts, test making software and a select bibliography of web oriented books for study beyond this article.aspx in that column
Creative Music Educator Web Sites To Peruse For Ideas and Inspiration!
Let's Find Suitable School Web Pages and School Music Web Pages:
1. Spot Light on Bands in all 50 states: http://www.schoolbands.com/
2. Elementary and Middel School General Music Web:
Interactive web sites:
HTML and WYSIWYG Considerations
Are HTML editing prerequisites important for making web pages? The answers are both yes and no. Yes, if you were making web pages several years ago. But in today’s world of powerful web making software applications, this is no longer required because both word processors and full feature web development tools have alternatives between HTML codes and WYSIWYG.. The reason that HTML coding is used for Internet web pages is because of the similar viewing compatibilities on both the Mac and PC platforms with web pages. Technically, you don’t need to be proficient in HTML coding, but it is rather convenient to be able to fix formatting problems with HTML coding than always having to do in it a GUI (Graphical User Interface) or WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). Knowledge of HTML can be learned simply by learning a few codes at a time for editing purposes. HTML editors are a shortcut software application that make it convenient to insert HTML codes into a document without knowing HTML concepts and yet, you have the ability to make specific HTML editing easily. They are inexpensive and relatively easy to use. And best of all, many are free as are many FTP applications..
Text editors require you to understand and input HTML codes into a file. Learning HTML can take some time, but it is easy to understand. Basically, most codes are in two parts with brackets outline them. The fastest way to understand HTML codes are to go to go to my favorite on-line HTML tutorial, The Barebones Guide to HTML at: http://werbach.com/barebones/barebones.html. There you can get a good overview about HTML coding, HTML tags and other fundamental concepts visually with short explanations provided. If you desire a simple introduction that doesn’t require extensive learning, I highly recommend HTML Visual Quick Reference by Dean Scharf, published by Que (http://www.mcp.com/que) in which one can quickly look it up the HTML code, see how it is done and immediately do it yourself all within a timely two-page format.
Webber32 is a particularly good HTML editor although not as power as some other HTML editors. But it is particularly strong in helping you learn HTML coding. It also validates or checks your HTML for errors. HomeSite has a built-in preview function that allows you to see what the web page looks like without opening it in your browser. It also has a publishing feature that can upload your files directly to a web server without using an external FTP program. To have choices of downloading over 400 HTML editors, go to: http://www.softlookup.com/category.asp?ID=387 Netscape’s Composer is an advanced HTML editor and can be freely downloaded. And it has the ability to let you see the web page graphically as it is created. A major disadvantage of Netscape Composer is that it adds extra, unneeded HTML to your document. But it is particularly easy to use though its layout, page formatting capabilities are somewhat limited. But you can always edit the underlying HTML code to get exactly the results you want. Suggest you use an editor to clean it up. Hence, understanding HTML coding is important when using this product. Note: the new Netscape 8.x does not include Composer. To download Composer 7.2, please go to the Netscape Archive page at: http://browser.netscape.com/ns8/download/archive.jsp. For a 24 page free on-line tutorial dealing with maximizing the use of Netscape Composer, go to: http://www.csulb.edu/~jvancamp/cojposer.html. Most advanced HTML editors, such as Netscape Composer, have a publishing feature that transfers the files to ones web site by FTP.
The foremost PDF application is Adobe Acrobat. It comes in a standard and a professional version. In addition, there's a free reader that can be downloaded as well. URL is: http://www.adobe.com
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Recommended Books for Article Software Applications