Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

PHP MySQL Learning program plan

I think I will use the approach that the following tutorial takes for students to learn PHP and MySQL. The tutorial is in 8 parts and integrates the learning of both PHP and MySQL using a project to create an online contacts system. The example is rather droll but I would be encouraging students to read the tutorial and actually create a slightly different system as they worked their way through it. I like this because it immediately puts the students into a higher order thinking mode where they are interpreting the information from the tutorial and applying it to their scenario. For less able students working precisely through the tutorial would be the preferred option.

I think that it will need some adapting as I would prefer each of the 8 units to more clearly produce a little PHP script in its own right. There are a set of completed scripts for the example that can be downloaded from the site.

The creating of the tables will also need to be worded differently so that each student creates their own table OR a separate database will need to be created for each student. I think I will use the approach – create a table called ‘[username]contacts’ in the database called ‘xyz’.

Very good MySQL and PHP tutorials. The MySQL tutorial “focuses heavily on using MySQL in a PHP environment and is aimed at persons who have a web host with PHP and MySQL already installed”. It creates and uses a little contacts table, much simpler than http://www.freewebmasterhelp.com/tutorials/phpmysql/1 but the explanations are much clearer.

So perhaps a contacts database using these sorts of explanations.

The approach used in this book is more appealing, using a jokes database as the scenario but has students working directly with the MySQL interface initially. The advantage of using PHP scripts to set up the database is that the student can take their scripts to another server and use the scripts to recreate their system. They have something that they can take with them and use else where. Just tweak the setup scripts and execute them for the new server.

It seems that I will need to use these tutorials to create my own. Two blokes from Victoria, Graham and John, have produced tutorials. Both of them have given permission to use and adapt. Neither of theirs will perfectly work either. John’s is a very heavy programming theme with databases coming in near the end. Grahams takes on similar flavour to
http://dev.mysql.com/tech-resources/articles/ddws/ but uses a tool like phpmyadmin to set up the tables. Maybe I will adapt Graham’s so that the table is setup using PHP? I would prefer having the tutorial around a contacts database and the challenge is for students to use this to create a jokes database as they read the tutorial. That way the creative part is more fun.

What to do?


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