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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Entry level knowledge

Entry level knowledge

To move on from having a design and a plan to actually building a site you need to have a minimum level of computer skill and Web awareness. The information and guides in the 'Build it' section assume a basic level of understanding/competence in areas such as key terminology, using a computer and managing files/folders, the Web, email, image editing, text editing and accessibility.

Supplement your understanding of the topics covered in this section by attending the following Staff Development course: Introduction to Dreamweaver MX2004
Getting around on the PC

It sounds almost too basic to mention but you need to be sure that you have the necessary minimum level of knowledge about getting around on a PC and doing things before you attempt a project like a Web Site, otherwise you'll be facing an uphill battle. This basic level of skill is not difficult to gain with just a few practice sessions but is absolutely vital. So ask yourself the following simple questions and don't take the next step (creating a Web Site) until you can answer 'yes' to them all.

1. Do I know how to start a computer and get into the Windows environment?
2. Do I know how to use the mouse to move the cursor arrow around the Windows environment?
3. Do I know how to select/open files and programs using the mouse buttons and then close them down after i've used them?
4. Do I know the difference between a file and folder and how to use them to store/organise information?
5. Do I know how to save files to the computer's hard disk or floppy disk?
6. Do I know how to print documents?
7. Do I know how to send an email?
8. Do I know how to use the CD-ROM drive?
9. Do I know how to install a program?
10. Do I know how to restart/shutdown my PC?

If you are uncertain how to do any of the above things then the best thing to do is get some training/help either from Staff Development, external training agencies or a friend or colleague who does know.
Copying, cutting and pasting

Its one of the most useful things you can learn to do on a PC if you are writing a document or making a Web Site. Copy, Cut and Paste are explained below with their shortcut keys displayed in brackets ().

Copy (CTRL-C): Makes a copy of whatever text, image, file or folder you've selected and stores it inside the computers memory in an area called the 'clipboard' for use later.

Cut (CTRL-X): Removes whatever text, image, file or folder you've selected and stores it internally in the 'clipboard'.

Paste (CTRL-V): Puts back the copied or cut files in a new location determined by where ever you have placed the cursor or mouse pointer.

Clearly this can be useful for making backup copies of your files in other locations on your PC or on an network. One thing to be careful of is if you paste a copied file back in same location you coped it from - in this situation the computer is forced to rename the file to avoid overwriting the original file and will generally call the file 'copy of ...' .
Using the Web

A general familiarity with the Internet is always useful when creating a Web Site. It would be beneficial to be aware of how to use browsers like Internet Explorer to visit Web pages - and this would include understanding how to type in Web addresses, use bookmarks to save favourite Web pages and how to download files you need from other Web Sites. It would also be useful to know how to use Search Engines like Google to locate/research information you need for your site.


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