{Crew Review} Motherboard Books: Let’s Make a Webpage

Since you are reading this blog, you must be at least a little bit familiar with the internet and the idea of web pages. Maybe you are a web designer and you know more than just a little bit or maybe you’re like me and you can toddle around using blogger or wordpress, but that’s about all. What about your children? Or your teens?  I am certain that my oldest daughter, a fellow blogger, knows more about creating and editing blog pages than I do or ever will! And my 14 and 15 year old daughters are certainly eager to learn programing and want to design web pages.

Phyllis Wheeler of Motherboard Books has several resources to help you teach your children computer science skills. The Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to review their choice of Logo Adventures or Let’s Make a Webpage.

We reviewed Let's Make a Webpage. This program uses Visual Site Designer (available in a free trial version)which writes the HTML code in the background, so you do not need to know HTML to create a website. Ms. Wheeler, the Computer Lady, walks students step by step through the process.  The student will design a website that includes a background, images, animations, text, links, and even sound! She even includes how to use your webpage as your home page in your browser. You’ll find a table of contents by clicking here and scrolling to the end.

For young students, this program might take a few days to work through.  I’d keep the sessions shorter only working as long as the student does not become frustrated.  Older students could work through the program in an afternoon or two. Ms. Wheeler does encourage the students to experiment, explore, and create more than one page.

I had two of my daughters read through the e-book following the instructions including doing an interview. Turtlegirl interviewed me and created an “about me” page for my blog. We need to do some playing with the html code to get it compatible with my blog.  She’s also working on another page to be the home page of the browser.  That one asks her “did you complete your schoolwork?” She’s on the hunt for animated turtles to include.

Tailorbear was uncomfortable with the idea of interviewing someone. I suggested she “interview” a favorite character. This idea got her creative juices flowing and she created a website for her favorite “fire bender”.  She even found animated dragons.

Thoughts from Turtlegirl (age 15):

The instructions were clear and easy to follow, although it was a little too babyish for me. For example, when we were supposed to look on the internet for backgrounds and such, she took a tone that might be more suitable for 6-7 year old when explaining what not to do. Other than that, it was well-written. I enjoyed working with it.

Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 14):

I think the instructions were clear. I just had trouble doing them.  I felt like the book talked down to me. I think it would probably work very well with 7 or 8 year olds. I liked designing my website. It was fun, and I learned something too! I think my favorite bit was “interviewing” my person! I had a little difficulty transferring my sound stuff. I think I would have liked the book more, if the tone was not so young. Even though I had some trouble doing the instructions, I was able to figure it out without asking my mom for help.


The Nitty Gritty Product Details:

  • Product Name: Let’s Make a Web Page
  • Vendor Name: Motherboard Books
  • Author Name: Phyllis Wheeler, The Computer Lady
  • Format: E-book
  • Price: $19.95
  • Recommended Age Range: The cover says ages 8 and up, the crew age listed: ages 8-14. 
  • My suggested Age Range: Because of the style of writing, I think children over 12 would feel “talked down to” and so I think ages 7-10 would be good with a 7 or 8 year old needing more parental help and the 9-10 year old fairly independent. I would still use this with an 11 or 12 year old if she had no prior computer or designing experience.
  • Requirements: In order to follow the instructions in the eBook and create a web page you will need Visual Site Designer from CoffeeCup.  There is a free 30 day trial which is sufficient for using this eBook.  The software is $49.  You do NOT need to purchase the software in order to view or edit your page.

I would love to see Ms. Wheeler write an e-book to teach the html coding, perhaps using another one of CoffeeCup’s product.  Though the girls enjoyed creating a website, both were disappointed that they didn’t real get to learn html coding.

This e-book is a great way to introduce children to the fun of designing webpages, especially if they are too young for, or too inexperienced with html coding. Neither students nor parents need to be an html expert to utilize the instructions in the e-book.

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others have to say about Motherboard Books.

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