I downloaded the 60 page e-book and handed it off to my 11 year old daughter, and in about an hour, she had designed her first web page!
The first section walks the pupil through the process of an interview to help the child decide what the page will be about. Next, a software download is required for web page editor software, and Coffee Cup is recommended. (Coffee Cup offers a 30-day free trial period for new users.)
Wheeler walks the reader/web page creator through the process of creating a folder for the working document, and how to add background, text color, text, everything. The book is 60 pages long because it is full of illustrations that show the user *exactly* what the computer screen will look like, and which tab to open, which item to check, and how to change fonts. There is no guesswork -- the instructions are clear and simple! Wheeler explains how to add tables and photos and includes some troubleshooting in case a photo lands in the middle of your text. She guides the user through adding clip art, aligning the elements of the page, adding sound and hyperlinks. She walks the user through what NOT to do, also.
I asked my 11-year-old daughter to tell me what she liked and didn't like. She really enjoyed learning to make a web page! She told me that liked the fact that "everything was explained clearly" for her; the book contains pictures of the little pop-up boxes that she would see on the screen; and the book provided web sites that she could go to for clip art and animations. She said that she didn't like the fact that "at times, there were several outcomes of one click with different servers", and she "was confused trying to find the correct outcome a time or two". At one point, she accidentally closed an important window and lost some work that had to be redone. In the end, that mix-up taught her what NOT to do. I don't think she'll make that mistake again!
Her web page is beautiful, featuring some of her favorites in terms of hobbies and talents, and her friendships. "Let's Make A Web Page," guides a child to do exactly that!! ;)
I see a lot of value in using this product with a child on the autism spectrum when used in a developmentally appropriate way. Most individuals on the autism spectrum enjoy computer related activities. Children with autism, particularly those with Asperger's Syndrome, tend to have special interests. I am of the opinion that often, children on the autism spectrum do not NEED more time being reinforced for spending energy on a special interest for the sake of feeding a special interest--they NEED experience interacting with other people, and they NEED experience in perspective taking. I get a little bit excited when I think about the possibility of guiding a child through creating and comparing a web page composed of items HE/SHE likes to a web page he/she has created for someone else's interests! The "Let's Make a Web Page" could become a background activity that provides opportunity and experience in interviewing and perspective taking with others and self.
I have chosen to delay introducing my 9-year-old (w/ ASD) to "Let's Make A Web Page" at this time. I do believe she could make a web page with my assistance; however, I do not believe she is developmentally ready for the task. In the past, we gave her some "splinter skills" that need foundations behind them, and right now, we are working on those foundations. She needs time to make a few more discoveries about herself and about others before I introduce web page creations to her. I am so looking forward in the not-so-far-off future to bringing "Let's Make A Web Page" into our day. ;)
The price for Let's Make a Web Page is $29.99. Currently this is discounted as an introductory special to $19.99.