Using Joomla for students' websites

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leblanc
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Using Joomla for students' websites

Post by leblanc » Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:22 pm

Please let me know if this post belongs on another thread of this forum. I am a high school teacher in Canada who will be teaching Information Communication Technology (ICT) to year 9 and 10 students. I currently lease a secured VPS which I use to support my face-to-face courses on a learning management system (MOODLE). I am considering using Joomla to offer my ICT students a secured space on the server to develop their web programming skills (HTML, CSS, Javascript). Each student would be given control over their allocated section of the Joomla installation which I would monitor and support. I have never used Joomla and wonder if the platform would support this scenario.
Last edited by toivo on Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: mod note: moved from 4.x General Questions

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AMurray
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Re: Using Joomla for students' websites

Post by AMurray » Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:26 pm

Joomla is a CMS for content creation and management. I don't know how useful it would be in learning coding such as with scripting or markup languages like HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP etc (PHP is what Joomla is written in).

For learning coding (or for reference), as I'm not a coder by trade, just a hobbyist, and an amateur at that, I personally use https://www.w3schools.com/. The general coding concepts can be adapted to Joomla, indeed it will benefit students to have the fundamentals HTML, CSS and Javascript and PHP when using this CMS.

You can certainly develop extensions and templates for Joomla, but that would be done external to Joomla itself, in a specific scripting/programming tool or a text editor like Notepad++.

For Joomla development, the resources I could point you to include (not limited to):

https://docs.joomla.org/Category:Extension_development

https://docs.joomla.org/Portal:Template_Development

https://docs.joomla.org/Tutorials:Template_Development

I would think it likely, you'd need to create a joomla instance for each student such as on a sub-domain, or folder like https://student1.yourtrainingwebsite.com or https://yourttrainingwebsite.com/student1/

Or, you can create user permissions, user groups, to allow students to access certain things in a Joomla environment but not others - you wouldn't make them super users, for instance but if you only want them creating content, they would need to be authors/editors or publishers.
Regards - A Murray

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sozzled
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Re: Using Joomla for students' websites

Post by sozzled » Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:38 pm

The short answer to the OP's question is, it's feasible.

leblanc wrote:
Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:22 pm
I have never used Joomla and wonder if the platform would support this scenario.
If you've never used J! before then I'd advise against diving in without understanding how to administer the environment only to find oneself embarrassingly in deep water. It may be worthwhile spending an hour discussing the idea with an expert or, at least, someone with some field experience.

I agree with @AMurray's ideas (about allocating a separate J! instance to each student), which may involve setting up 40 instances or more. A VPS should be able to accommodate that and would not require any additional tools that the students would need to bring into the classroom; in other words, a tablet PC, a web browser and an internet connection should be all that they need.

Short answer: it's feasible. Recommendation: don't try it if you don't know how it works (and how to fix problems that may arise); use what you know that works. ;)
“If you think I’m wrong then say, ‘I think you’re wrong.’ If you say ‘You’re wrong!’, how do you know?”
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Webdongle
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Re: Using Joomla for students' websites

Post by Webdongle » Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:40 am

For someone who teaches IT Joomla should be easy to learn.
The Template uses Joomla variables (between the divs) to display modules and content. The value of the variables is controlled by settings defined in the Administrator settings.

The files put/get data to/from the database.

The look 'n' feel of the Template can be controlled by css and Template overrides. This gives ample scope for learning php, html, css etc.

Plugins, Modules and Components (sub routines) can be created to be installed into Joomla. There are also Plugins, Modules and Components already written to be installed into Joomla

J3 & J4 both have sample data. With J3 sample data is (by choice) added during install and has learning sample data. With J4 the sample data can (by choice) be added after install but does not have learning data.

Create a database and user (If using Wamp or similar on a PC the database is auto created during Joomla install).
Download Joomla
Upload to the server (or move to a localhost folder)
Unpack
Point your browser at the site (or localhost folder)
Fill in the fields in the installation and (when appropriate)add the sample data

Access the Admin with siteurl/administrator
Have a look around and click the Help button in the admin screens
Use your favourite search engine to search for how to do anything specific you wish to do with Joomla.

Being an IT teacher you should find it easy once you get started.
http://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/
https://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/updating-joomla.html
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ceford
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Re: Using Joomla for students' websites

Post by ceford » Sat Sep 24, 2022 6:04 am

I would put students on to simple html/php coding with css and javascript coming later. Using any type of CMS or framework risks you being buried with pleas for help. Take this forum as an example! I used to teach an IT option for 6-10 undergraduates in the days when IT meant sex appeal and thought about how I might tackle it now - definitely not by building something on top of Joomla, for which I have written some coding tutorials.

Student age and aptitude need to be taken into account. My groups were self-selected and keen to learn. Having personal achievable goals is a great help. So building a personal web site would work quite well.

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sozzled
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Re: Using Joomla for students' websites

Post by sozzled » Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:09 am

+1 @ceford. I agree but I'd leave OOL programming out of the picture for the present. It's one thing to suggest that J! is "easy [to learn if you haven't used it before]" when when that's an opinion with thousands of forum posts under their belt, or if you have fifty years of IT experience, speak 20 different programming languages and have been developing websites since 1995, and it's another thing trying to educate a classroom filled with 14-15 year-olds.

14-15 year-olds would certainly know what a website is (and they may even be able to spell HTML) but I don't know whether they'd even understand the term markup language (let alone DHTML). A text editor and a web-browser (and some storage space on the device to create a .htm file) and you can write your first web page. That's how I learnt my craft: my first web page probably consisted of:

Code: Select all

<p>Hello world</p>
So, before we get ahead of ourselves with CMSes, PHP, CSS, XML, collaborative authoring, website security and a million-and-one other headaches, I would start with the basics: HTML and how web pages link together. But don't take my word for it—even after more than a decade of using J!, I'm still learning! Talk to an educator whose specialty is teaching ICT to 14-15 year-olds.
“If you think I’m wrong then say, ‘I think you’re wrong.’ If you say ‘You’re wrong!’, how do you know?”
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toivo
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Re: Using Joomla for students' websites

Post by toivo » Sat Sep 24, 2022 7:52 am

leblanc wrote:
Fri Sep 23, 2022 1:22 pm
I currently lease a secured VPS which I use to support my face-to-face courses on a learning management system (MOODLE).
You might be interested to know that there is Joomdle, a Joomla extension that integrates Joomla and Moodle.
Toivo Talikka, Global Moderator

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Webdongle
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Re: Using Joomla for students' websites

Post by Webdongle » Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:51 pm

@sozzled @ceford

Methinks you might be underestimating 14-15 year olds. Many of them will be 'script kiddies', others may well have experimented with CMS's. The OP will know the ability of his students better than us. (three year olds can use mobiles now).

@leblanc
Give Joomla a test run and familiarise yourself with it is probably the best way to asses it's suitability. An hour or so and you will know one way or the other.
http://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/
https://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/updating-joomla.html
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19leunam93
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Re: Using Joomla for students' websites

Post by 19leunam93 » Wed Sep 28, 2022 5:50 am

I would use jupyther notebook to teach coding. You can install even different coding languages, no need of python.


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