Author: Jennifer Folsom

Jennifer Folsom is a Web Designer-Developer, Content Creator, and Marketer focused on helping businesses create meaningful connections and long-term growth. Never one to pass up the opportunity to help, she knows that collaborative problem-solving requires patience, kindness, resilience, grit, and good communication. Since joining Bear Web Design in 2016, she’s helped clients raise donations, open storefronts, and build brand awareness online using WordPress, WooCommerce, and dedicated customer service at all levels, from the first meeting to website maintenance after launch. Alongside designing for Bear Web Design, she volunteers as a Girls Who Code facilitator, and serves on the steering committee for Wilson Books from Birth, an affiliate of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. She also contributes to a number of non-profit & Open Source projects, like WordCamp and All Things Open.
Image shows Zoom windows of participants of the Girls Who Code Summer Intensive Program.

Bear Web Teams Up with Girls Who Code

Believe it or not, I can’t wait to spend the rest of the summer coding with high school students I haven’t yet met!

Over the last two weeks, I helped high school juniors and seniors code websites advocating topics they care about passionately. I facilitated a sisterhood of young women lifting each other in praise and graduating from the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program (GWC SIP) with new skills, newfound friendships, and innovative perspectives on their futures. And over the next 6 weeks, I will see another 60 students, from all over the world, take risks, be brave, and discover how great Computer Science can be.

Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program

An amazing free, 100% remote, and completely voluntary program, GWC SIP introduces students (no prior coding experience necessary) to the basics of HTML, CSS, and Javascript over four days. After completing projects that draw on these languages, the students are introduced to female leaders in the industry, who review the students’ project presentations and offer feedback. The conversations these leaders have with SIP students are not limited to technical skills; they range from networking and the importance of soft skills to managing self-doubt, navigating new experiences, and coping in male-dominated industries. During the final presentations, students spoke about how much they learned, AND about their new network of peers.

After a year of doing everything online, shopping, recreating, book clubs, work, etc., you might expect to be tired of remote classrooms, but I found this to be highly rewarding, fully accessible, and one of the most accepting learning environments I’ve had the fortune to facilitate! I cannot wait to see the positive impact these students have on their community and ours!

Volunteering to Teach Computer Science


I began volunteering with Girls Who Code just after I joined Team Bear in 2016. Having pivoted from Communications to Design and Development myself, I was excited to join forces with an organization empowering students to look beyond traditional classrooms, beyond traditional professions. During the last 5 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with students across the globe who’ve built interactive books, translation apps, websites, personality quizzes, and even Bluetooth-enabled friendship bracelets.


Bear Web will again facilitate a club during the ’21-’22 academic year. To join, or for more information, feel free to reach out to us via email. Be sure to add our club name, BEAR WEB DESIGN TN34941, as your subject.

Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization that aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science by equipping young women with the necessary computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. The organization works toward closing the gender employment difference in technology and changing the image of what a programmer looks like. By December 2014, three thousand students had completed a Girls Who Code program, 95% of whom went on to major in computer science at university. The organization is sponsored by a number of software and technology companies including AT&T, Google, Twitter, Walmart, and Microsoft. For more information visit https://girlswhocode.com/

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WordPress Gutenberg & The Classic Editor

The new block editor, also known as Gutenberg, stands to change the way you create and update content on your WordPress site.

It’s likely you have experienced the classic WordPress editor. You might use it to post a blog, for instance. It’s also likely that you had to look up how to complete complex tasks like style changes, adding buttons or changing the background color. (You may have also asked your friendly agency for assistance.)

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Web Accessibility

We all visit websites for similar reasons regardless of the technology we use to interact with it. A person who is visually impaired will use a bank’s website to pay a bill with the same intent as someone who doesn’t use assistive technology. A person using their mobile device requires the same functionality of someone using their desktop. Just as a good site design will have considered the requirements of different screens, good site design needs to consider a variety of users’ needs and accessibility issues. This is called Web Accessibility.

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Welcome To Code Club for Girls!

Over the last few months I have been working with the Watertown Wilson County Public Library to launch an after school coding club called “Watertown Impact”. Every Wednesday, 7 young women, 6th through 12th grade, spend their afternoons learning to code.

The students come from different backgrounds, and utilize their different learning styles and problem solving skills to create something entirely new. They are quickly realizing that enthusiasm, hard work, curiosity and risk taking are essential to learning standard web languages as well as structural and presentational aspects of web design. And they’re usually laughing the whole time. They are becoming digital creatives, and it is wonderful to witness their originality and curiosity.

Already, they are putting their burgeoning coding skills to work for Wilson County by creating a website to promote the use and maintenance of the county’s new Little Free Libraries, a project organized by United Way of Wilson County to promote reading, strengthen community and inspire creativity. The site will feature pictures of the new Little Free Libraries, a map of library locations, and information on use, donations and the sponsors of the libraries.

This project requires peer-to-peer in addition to student-to-mentor relationships that extend beyond the local and into the world-wide coding community. Students will have the opportunity to publish their code in online repositories and receive input from others in the industry from around the world. They will visit local agencies, too, for some hands-on experiences of the local programming scene. Connections between industry and students opens possibilities and opportunities for kids and their futures and that’s something we’re very proud to facilitate.

Be sure to read the bios of these fledgling coders, once their new site is live. Their enthusiasm for learning, experimenting and having fun is contagious. They know that anything is possible.

Contact

Bear Web Design
2622 Bluefield Avenue
Nashville, TN 37214
(615) 504-6845

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