Using MDN in education

This article gives advice for teachers and students wishing to use MDN in an educational context, e.g. specifically to teach or learn web development.

Learning web development

Most of the core MDN content is targeted at professional web developers — many people use it every day to look up syntax and techniques while doing their jobs.

If you are not using web technologies at a professional/expert level, the best place for you to start on MDN is Learn Web Development — this section of MDN provides a structured learning course to take you from complete beginner (no knowledge) to a level where you will be comfortable using the rest of MDN.

Of course, you're welcome to refer to any part of MDN at any time, regardless of your skill level, but you'll certainly find that some parts of MDN are more advanced than others.

Using MDN in a course

Some people use MDN to learn by themselves, and some use it as part of a course, e.g. at a university or college. If you want to use MDN material as part of your course, you are free to do so — in fact, we'd like to welcome and encourage it!

If you want to reproduce MDN content somewhere else, you are free to do so as long as you follow the license conditions.

If you want to actually contribute to MDN as part of a course — for example students might be expected to do some degree of contribution to an open source project to earn credits towards their final mark — then please talk to us about it first, stating what you would like to do. We can then work out what work would be productive for your students to contribute.

We say this because in the past, students that are expected to contribute to an open source project have not been given much direction and have gone on to MDN and made a number of not very productive changes — for example they've made needless stylistic changes, changing hexadecimal colors to named colors, erroneously changed articles to UK English, or removed all the contractions in an article. Such changes may not initially sound that severe, but they do not improve the site (or even make it worse), they often deviate from our style guidelines, and they waste hours of our time having to review (and sometimes revert) the changes.

You can contact us at MDN

Good examples of productive work