Report from WDN 09: Educating the Next Generation of Web Professionals, V

Live blogging the final afternoon session . . .

This session was a conversation with the audience and a group of people in the trenches who had helpful ideas on how to talk to peers and create change in academia.


The panel included Glenda the goodwitch Sims, Jeff Brown, Leslie Jensen-Inman,  Nick Fogler and Bill Cullifer. Steph Troeth facilitated. They began by focusing on success stories.

Glenda mentioned having competitions around accessibility. Jeff mentioned having final exams. Leslie talked about teaching best practices every day. Bill told about web design contests for community college and high school students. WOW is now giving nine $20,000 scholarships each year to students who succeed in creating the best accessible web sites.

Steph asked how we determine which technologies are long lasting and which are trends. Nick said he thinks the battle to accept web standards has been won, and now the question is how do we professionalize the profession. Bill said that introducing this into middle and junior high school would be good. Make it digestible skill development. Jeff said we should teach non-vendor specific technology: the concepts transcend. Leslie talked about teaching students how to teach themselves. Glenda talked about getting advisory boards of customers who want students after they graduate. Bill pointed out that most web professionals work for small business and advisors can add a lot when they describe what kind of training they need.

There was discussion about whether or not there should be certification. Interesting but nothing close to universal agreement on the issue.

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