Deciding when to switch to HTML5 when teaching

Lately the instructors who teach various HTML type courses in the Continuing Education program where I teach have been debating whether to switch over to HTML5 as the default HTML class. Part of this is driven by the fact that the new Visual QuickStart Guides that we use for instruction are now about HTML5.

The consensus has been to go slow.

  • change the basic XHTML class to simply HTML, and include some HTML5
  • continue to teach a separate HTML5 class apart from the basic HTML classes where HTML5 support and cross-browser issues are addressed
  • to use these best practice recommendations for syntax

Are you still teaching XHTML as the default doctype, or have you moved to HTML5 with caveats and warnings?

4 thoughts on “Deciding when to switch to HTML5 when teaching”

  1. I started teaching HTML5 solely in September, 2011. Prior to that we did XHTML with a few classes on HTML5.

    I still follow the same best practices you linked to above.

    It’s worked really well. Helping the students to fully understand and think about semantics in their code.

    I just make sure to mention older browsers’ lack of support and we always include Modernizr in our sites.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Thomas. I assume you giving them related script and CSS info along with the HTML5 to make it all work smoothly. Are you having good luck with it or are students experiencing issues? I’m one of those early adopter types, so I’m hoping the answer is “no issues.”

  2. We aren’t experiencing any more issues than dealing with XHTML.

    There’s no real issues with HTML5 itself, it’s just the regular complexity of actually CSS-ifying a website.

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