Nmd Tutorials Screenshot 2Want to learn new media skills but don’t have the cash for pay-to-use services like Lynda.com or Codecademy? The U-Me New Media Department is planning to launch a repository of how-to screencasts and other educational resources in the coming year–for free.

So far the list of tutorials runs the gamut from beginner subjects like “How to create a basic Web page” and “How to design with figure/ground relationships” to advanced topics like “How to write object-oriented JavaScript” and “How to make a Facebook app.”

Nmd Tutorials Screenshot 1Enthusiasm for online learning, particularly learning how to code, has been surging recently. The Khan Academy has decided to teach JavaScript alongside its more academic subjects, while even New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed up to learn programming at Codecademy. The New York Times portrayed users of these services in a recent article, suggesting that online programming classes are attracting an ever-expanding demographic:

“Inasmuch as you need to know how to read English, you need to have some understanding of the code that builds the Web,” said Sarah Henry, 39, an investment manager who lives in Wayne, Pa. “It is fundamental to the way the world is organized and the way people think about things these days.”

Henry took several classes, including some in HTML, the basic language of the Web, and WordPress, a blogging service, through Girl Develop It, an organization based in New York that she had heard about online that offers lessons aimed at women in a number of cities. She paid around $200 and saw it as an investment in her future.

“I’m not going to sit here and say that I can crank out a site today, but I can look at basic code and understand it,” Henry said. “I understand how these languages function within the Internet.”

In a twist on the We-know-it/You-learn-it paradigm offered by most of these companies, U-Me New Media has been exploring a peer-to-peer approach, where design mavens create tutorials for code jocks and vice versa. Many of the tutorials in the batch to be featured on launch were created by students in first- and second-year New Media classes that have already begun experimenting with this dynamic.

More news on this resource to come.

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