When I first started teaching HTML and web design as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic over 10 years ago, I was using Microsoft FrontPage and good old Notepad. Times have definitely changed, and the tools available to web designers and developers have improved exponentially. Over the past couple of years, The Mozilla Foundation has created a lot of wonderful, free tools to help people learn and teach others about the web. One of these tools is Thimble, a visual HTML editor that lets you edit HTML in the browser, preview the page, and make changes in real time. Originally launched back in 2012, it also included a series of templates and starter projects to help beginners get started.
This week, Mozilla relaunched Thimble with a host of new features including:
- The ability to build and link multiple pages
- Toggling between desktop and mobile view in preview mode
- Easy-to-use tutorials
- Auto-closing tags and autocomplete
- Auto-save extensions
- A selfie taker
As a teacher, one cool feature I really appreciate is the inclusion of teaching kits. There are currently three detailed lesson plans available to help individuals teach lessons or workshops on web design. Also, Mozilla has created The Mozilla Learning Network to help teach web literacy.
Thimble is one of many sites available on the web to learn HTML and CSS, but, with a host of new features, this new version is definitely worth checking out.