Contact Dr. O'Toole

Dr. O'TooleDr. Greg O'Toole, Ph.D.
Openwebby & Penn State
Lecturer, Sr. Web Software Engineer, Author

Photo: Testing out some new biomedical equipment in the B.R.A.I.N Lab (Biomedical Response Analysis to Informational Networks). Pictured here with EEG cap and eye tracker aparatus.


There are several ways to get in touch with me.

Unit 4 Build A Basic Web Page

Welcome to Unit 4. This week you will start building web pages. Remember, the labs are assigned as the hands-on part to each week from here on out, but everyone needs to be completing the readings and lectures each week as well. Ideally, you will complete the readings and lectures and then move on to the labs.

Unit 4

Introduction to Unit 4. Professor O'Toole.


Unit Topics: 
What's Next?: 

Please continue on to the Learning Materials for this unit.

How Do I Lab Up?

When you are ready to begin working on the labs for class, take a look at this quick video overview of Codecademy. This will give you a clarification on each of the steps in the lab completion process from registering a user account on to turning in your codecademy profile URL in the discussion forums on Please be encouraged to post any questions or comments you have in the comments module below the video. 

How do I lab up? Professor O'Toole.


What's Next?: 

Please let me know if you have questions.


Unit 3 Lecture 3 Web Technology Fundamentals

You use it every day, for banking, researching, shopping, and social media, but do you really know how the web works? In this course, author James Williamson introduces the technology that makes the web run, the terminology involved, and how it all comes together to power the websites we know and love. He covers the alphabet soup of technologies involved (HTML, CSS, URL, DNS, HTTP, and IPv6), and explains what separates the front end (what we see) from the back end (what we don't) on the web. This course is your "plain English" guide to the world of domains, databases, servers, and the technology that makes the web work. (Lynda)

Please complete the following sections of this lecture: 1. Introduction to the Web; and, 2. Front End Technology.

Feel free to watch more, but this class deals with what we call "front end" web technology, so to watch further in this lecture is beyond the scope of this class. (If you are interested in back end technology, check out the newly rewritten IST256 next semester.)

Option: Pop the video out to view in a full browser window.

Web Technology Fundamentals.


What's Next?: 

Be sure to complete all three (3) lectures this week as well as complete the two (2) required readings. If you have questions, please let me know. 

Unit 3 Lecture 2 The Anatomy of the Sustainable Web Ecosystem

This is a lecture on the anatomy of the sustainable web ecosystem. This offers a view to put each of the important considerations in place that must be in your plan when building a web site or web application that is "future-friendly" and will stand up to the fast changes in the landscape of web technology.

"The Anatomy of the Sustainable Web Ecosystem". Professor O'Toole.


What's Next?: 

Be sure to complete all three (3) required lectures this week as well as do the two (2) required readings. As always, let me know if you have questions.

Unit 3 Lecture 1 Layers of the Code Onion

This is relatively quick talk on the "layers" of a web site to give students a bit of contextual orientation around how the technologies we work with in this class fit into the deeper landscape of complex web applications.

"Layers of the Code Onion". Professor O'Toole.


What's Next?: 

Be sure to view all three (3) required lectures and the do the two (2) required readings this week. As always, ask if you have questions.

Unit 3 The Big Picture

Welcome to Unit 3. This week is mainly focused on readings and lectures that cover some "big picture" material that will give you a good technological and contextual foundation on which to start building. Be sure to view the introduction video here before you move on. After the intro video, you can do the readings and lectures in any order. If you have questions or comments on any of the lectures this week, please feel encouraged to use the discussion forums that are available under each lecture video. It would be great to get some conversation going there.

Introduction to Unit 3 of IST250. Professor O'Toole.


Unit Topics: 
What's Next?: 

Once you've viewed the introduction video above, there are essentially two main parts of the unit that students need to complete this week. As in all units, the Learning Materials in Unit 3 are made up of the readings and lectures for this unit. Everything that students need to successfully complete this unit is available to you on this screen. Again, you can do the readings and lectures in any order this week. (Depending on your screen size the learning materials for this unit are available to your right or below on this screen.) Continue on to Learning Materials now. 


Unit 2 Lecture: Future of the Web

There is a brief introduction to this lecture in the first video available here. Please watch this quick intro before continuing on to the full lecture.

IST250 Unit 2 Lecture 2 introduction. Professor O'Toole.

Unit 2, Lecture 2: Future of the Web: Concepts

IST250 Unit 2 Lecture 2. Professor O'Toole.

What's Next?: 

Once you have completed the intro video, the first lecture, and the second lecture in this unit, be sure you complete the readings this week.

Unit 2 Lecture: History of Web & Open Source

Welcome to the first lecture in Unit 2: History of Web & Open Source. This lecture will give you some historic context on the advent of the web and the birth of open source.

IST250 Unit 2 Lecture: History of Web & Open Source. Professor O'Toole.


What's Next?: 

Go on to watch the second lecture for Unit 2: Future of the Web.

Welcome to IST250

View all archived IST250 messages

Penn State University -- IST250 Introduction to Web Design and Development* is designed to present an introduction to the basic processes and technologies on which the World Wide Web (WWW) is built. We will cover both the component technologies that drive what we can do on the Web, as well as the application of these skills to real world problems and situations.

Welcome to IST250. An introduction to class by Professor O'Toole.

This is both a concept and design course and a development course, so you will pick up some basic building skills through the labs and your Personal Web Site project. What you will come away with is not just a basic understanding of the technologies associated with the WWW, but a fundamental appreciation for the broader issues associated with analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating web-based media. Some excellent topics and technologies we will tackle in this class: HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, jQuery, SFTP, Firebug, Textmate (or your favorite text editor), Open source. Note: You may see the title of this course displayed as "New Media and the Web". This is ok. There is a process to updating the title of the course to "Introduction to Web Design and Development."

Unit Topics: 
What's Next?: 

Be sure to go to the top right of this screen to review the course messages and the course materials. Feel free to download and save any of the materials that will be helpful to you during the semester.