Diane Presler has always been interested in how music aids memory. One of her earliest recollections is of learning the ABCs, and she still relies on that old tune as a mnemonic device to memorize other alphabetized lists. As another example, she points to the School House Rock videos that many adults still use to this day to remember the basics of math and grammar. She says, “The students worry about understanding things. I worry about them remembering those things tomorrow.” To Diane, learning a song seems like the most fun way to get those rules stuck in a student’s head.
She earned her BS in graphic design from the University of Cincinnati and she worked for several design firms in New York, Boston and San Francisco. She also has several years of fine arts study in her toolkit, from the Art Institute of San Francisco. Diane began as a student of graphic design in the years of glue and paper, before computers were the primary tool of conveying information. She was drawn to the simplicity of HTML as a coding language. In 1996 she first began coding with HTML, before CSS was even on the scene.
It was in 1999 that she started teaching HTML classes. Before long, she’d expanded to teaching Photoshop, web tools, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat and of course CSS. Diane’s classes are as warm and friendly as they are informative. Students dip into an endless bag of candy and drink coffee from the student lounge. Final projects are seldom dummy sites; instead students are encouraged to build something that will help them complete their personal goals. Focusing on building a real website fosters discussion among the students and helps them to create lasting relationships while learning their new HTML skills. She acknowledges that web design is a field that is constantly in flux, and looks forward to learning from students, and watching them learn from one another.
She says, “It's very fulfilling to watch people learn stuff that helps them achieve their goals. I could design one site myself, or I could teach a hundred people to make web sites...it seems powerful to teach others.”
In addition to visual arts and web coding, Diane is a lover of politics, gardening and dancing.