Episode 43: Aarron Walter and the Web Standards Project Interact Curriculum


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Welcome to Required Listening, the weekly show for web students and teachers. I’m your host, Prof. Zac Gordon and today I would like to welcome our guest, Aarron Walter, to the show. Aarron is Lead User Experience Designer at MailChimp, a regular speaker at Events like An Event Apart, and author of Designing for Emotion. However, today, Aarron and I will be talking specifically about his time working as a lead on the Web Standards Project InterACT curriculum project.

0:00 Intro

  • 0:09 Welcome to Required Listening, the weekly show for web students and teachers
  • 0:15 Host Prof. Zac Gordon
  • 0:18 Welcome our Guest, Aarron Walter
  • 0:38 Thanks to Sponsor Wistia

0:48 Around DaBrook

  • 0:58 Responsive design is live 
  • 1:04 Tweaking mobile and tablet
  • 1:14 Revisiting curriculum
  • 1:44 YouTube beats out Wistia for frame compression

2:18 Guest: Aarron Walter

  • 2:28 What did 2011 look like for you?
  • 2:38 Lot of speaking at conferences
  • 2:49 Designing for Emotion book came out
  • 3:39 What the writing process was like
  • 4:12 Best way to write a book is to sit down and write it
  • 4:23 Writing a book is hard, but publishing is fantastic
  • 4:38 Good feedback about the book
  • 4:56 What is 2012 looking like for you?
  • 5:24 Chapter on Redesigning for Smashing Book #3
  • 6:43 Background and experience in the education world
  • 7:18 My background is in painting...
  • 7:32 Masters in painting
  • 7:40 Web picks up speed
  • 7:51 Atari dial up modem
  • 8:20 First time I saw the web I didn't get it
  • 9:18 So I finished grad school knowing HTML by accident
  • 9:21 Photoshop, AfterEffects and Director and 2 degrees in painting10:00 I got a job at a web shop
  • 10:28 I learned a lot...
  • 10:58 "Oh don't you miss painting? No!"
  • 11:15 The Education Part
  • 12:07 Teaching at Hotlanta
  • 12:29 I found I really liked teaching
  • 12:45 I feel like teachers get a bad wrap cause of that phrase
  • 13:55 Writing and speaking fills the gap 
  • 14:06 I find I can reach more people
  • 15:11 How teaching a class led to writing a book
  • 15:45 I really felt New Riders would be a good fit
  • 16:25 One moment of courage changed my life

17:05 On Topic: WaSP EduTask Force and Interact Curriculum

  • 17:30 Joined the Task Force in 2007
  • 17:52 The Problem in the Industry
  • 18:13 Met a lot of like minded educators at SXSW
  • 19:00 Wish there was a curriculum that teachers people the right skills
  • 19:38 Now around 21 courses based on core compentencies
  • 20:25 Some of the topics
  • 20:44 I stepped down as lead in Dec 2010
  • 21:02 We didn't just publish curriculum, we wrote a book
  • 22:00 That was a hard project
  • 22:20 The book has so much foundation
  • 22:40 Chapter on Learning on the Web
  • 23:08 In my day ... and now ...
  • 23:37 Where is web education now versus 5,6,7 years ago?
  • 24:05 Interact is now part of W3C
  • 24:30 Lot of for profit upstarts
  • 24:40 Treehouse from Carsonified
  • 25:37 Colleges are great at carrying a legacy 
  • 27:35 What role will High Ed play in Web Education?
  • 27:52 Leaders in education bringing passion in the classroom is so important
  • 28:24 You gotta hussle to teach adjunct
  • 28:37 You gotta do it for the love of what your doing
  • 28:45 There is a big role for 4 year institutions
  • 28:55 Startups are going to steal some students, bringing competition
  • 29:22 It's a big market
  • 30:30 Can we have foundational courses with material that still applies
  • 31:45 If I were design a college today, I'd put a web school right at the center of it
  • 32:50 Farmers
  • 33:00 Beekeepers
  • 33:50 One thing that blew me away about what we did...
  • 34:33 Podcast to make the world a better pace
  • 34:55 The Arab Spring
  • 35:02 Graffiti about social networks
  • 35:14 If I were in charge, I'd be a Google
  • 35:32 The tools on the web are stronger than the CIA
  • 36:00 What we did with SOPA
  • 36:38 Web Education is part of something much bigger
  • 36:48 I don't paint anymore and I don't cry
  • 37:00 If I were in high school right now
  • 37:17 No one has to feel alone

37:30 Learning on the Web

  • 37:45 Team Treehouse - 4 new badges
  • 38:08 Profile respected by web agencies
  • 38:28 Reinvesting in Carsonified
  • 38:45 Coderacer.me comps on the show
  • 39:09 Application in the classroom
  • 39:15 Digging into WordPress 3.3
  • 39:48 Learn jQuery in 30 days via email
  • 40:15 I know I need to learn jQuery, I know I need to learn jQuery
  • 40:25 Lynda.com - Web Worker threading JS
  • 40:48 Lynda.com - Page layout for CSS Beginners
  • 41:15 Lynda.com - Interaction Design Fundamentals
  • 41:5 CodeAcademy.org intensive workshops in Chicago
  • 42:07 This week in Startups interview with CEO
  • 42:40 CodeAdemy.com for learning basics in the browser
  • 43:17 In the browser learning is such a great way to learn

43:35 Outro

  • 43:36 Thanks to our Sponsor Wistia
  • 44:28 Thanks to guest Aarron Walter for being amazing
  • 44:51 Pick up the book Designing for Emotion
  • 45:27 Go see Aarron speak
  • 45:35 Carsonified Event with new talk coming
  • 46:23 Thanks, and keep on learning