Using Mozilla's Thimble for Teaching Web Design

I’ve been teaching Intro to Web Design classes through Saturday Academy lately. One of the things I struggled with in preparing to teach the class was finding an online tool we could use. I was told the students would have Chromebooks and that any software we used would have to be online.

Originally I’d planned on using CodePen but one of the issues I had with it was the HTML editor didn’t show the full document! The content you enter there is automatically inserted between the body tags in the output document.

For quickly sketching out ideas that makes all kinds of sense, but in the interest in educating kids about how and why a webpage is structured the way it is, I wanted to have all of that invisible structure.

After some searching I’d settled on because it met this requirement. We used it for the first class, and it got the job done, but I wasn’t precisely thrilled with it. I still found it difficult to explain what was going on for kids that were completely new to webpages and coding in general.

For the second class however I discovered an infinitely better tool! Mozilla’s Thimble is a fantastic tool for introducing kids to web design and development. These are some of the things I like about it:

So that’s my brief review. Right now Mozilla’s Thimble has a very strong lead at the top of my list for web-based teaching tools for web design.

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