Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New lesson plans

Over the long weekend, in between visiting my grandparents and hitting the shore, I wrote a few new lesson plans. One of the classes I'm teaching this semester is the Scripting Languages class that I re-worked. Previously the class was a VBA class, but I determined that VBA was out of place with the rest of the curriculum. I re-wrote it to cover PHP and .Net. But lately I'd been feeling unsatisfied by the class. It seemed that there really wasn't enough time in one semester to really get as far into each topic as I would like; including both only really allowed a brief primer of each, but I wanted more. So last year I changed it up and concentrated on PHP and it's interaction with MySQL. The results of that were good - except it became almost indistinguishable from my Database Management and Scripting class - which is in PHP and MySQL.

So this year I was determined to give the class an identity of its own while continuing to focus on PHP. This past weekend I got around to it. I wrote up one lesson plan purely as a primer to web services, what they are, how they are used, with examples to several real world ones - specifically and amazon's. I then concentrate one week going over SOAP and PHP and then finally another week on REST and PHP. I need to create some labs around those topics, and then a multi-week assignment and that will take up the last quarter of the semester.

I'm pretty happy with the results. The next thing I want to do is add some more JavaScript lessons to my HTML/JavaScript class. The class was originally written assuming no prior experience with either technology, but the past few years I've seen the students are all at least comfortable with HTML, so I feel that I can de-emphasize that part and maybe write some more advance topics in JavaScript. I'd love to cover some JSON or Dojo. Hopefully I can work that in this semester as well.

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