Faculty Candidate Seminar

Using JavaScript and Canvas to Create an Interactive Website (And the Accessibility Issues that May Arise)

Colleen van LentLecturer IVUniversity of Michigan School of Information

CSE Lecturer Candidate

One of the first battles in teaching web design is convincing students that knowing how to code a site from scratch is a worthwhile skill. Thanks to drag-and-drop web development platforms, anyone can make a website, so why would you bother to do it by hand? The reality is that most templates are very limited in scope and hard to modify. By learning simple HTML and CSS basics, you have the power to make significant changes to common layouts. After mastering HTML and CSS, the next step often includes using JavaScript and the canvas element to add animations, games, or interactive video and audio. In this lecture I will cover the basic HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript concepts needed to create an interactive website. Topics will include creating graphical components and interacting with them via the mouse and keyboard. The lecture will close with a discussion of the accessibility issues that canvas can introduce to your site.

Colleen van Lent is a Lecturer IV at the University of Michigan School of Information, where she teaches technology-oriented courses including introductory programming and web development. Her previous jobs include Associate Professor at California State University, and, the positions at NASA JPL, the Naval Research Lab and the NSA. She received a BS in Computer Science from Kent State University and an MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Her thesis was on Artificial Intelligence applications on the Nursebot Project, a robotic assistant for the elderly. Colleen's honors include being chosen as a National Physical Sciences Consortium Fellow, NASA Faculty Fellow and the recipient of the 2014-2015 UMSI Award for Excellence in Instruction. Colleen has always emphasized the idea of technology for everybody. To that end she has worked to create courses for education majors to learn robotics, as well other CS curriculum for non-majors. In 2015 she launched the Coursera Specialization Web Design For Everybody – her initiative to create an onramp for people with limited tech experience who want to learn web development skills. Her current focus is outreach with K-12 students to learn problem-solving, coding, and design. She has published two books for children, "web Design with HTML" and more "web Design with HTML" .

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