Screenshot of Mozilla Thimble web app
Screenshot of Mozilla Thimble web app

Thimble is a Mozilla Webmaker program that allows anyone to easily design their own webpage, while learning about HTML5 and CSS3 coding.

Created by Mozilla under the umbrella of the organization’s Webmaker program, Thimble is a tool that enables just about anyone to publish their own webpages. Thimble states that in just minutes, a user with no prior coding knowledge can use their browser to create a finished page and share it with the world. In line with Mozilla’s mission to give everyone the tools to become a webmaker, this program is a great entry point for someone who wants to learn the foundations of coding by actually making web pages.

Using a simple website interface, coding in HTML5 and CSS3 is a breeze while a built-in “spell-check” for code that removes errors automatically. Thimble offers an array of projects and templates to allow creating fully functional web pages accessible in just about any environment. Like many of Mozilla’s products, Thimble integrates teaching with creating.

Thimble creations are hosted by Mozilla, but more experienced users can copy their code and use it on their preferred platform.  A perk is if you aren’t happy with the page you make, simply don’t share the link. Pages are private and not searchable by Google or other search engines, which makes it safe and suitable for a student audience.

Keywords / Definitions

  • Hackable: The ability to alter computer code or to change the function or look of a website

  • HTML5: Markup language for structuring and presenting content on the internet

  • CSS3: Cascading Style Sheet, used to control the style and layout of a Web page

  • Webmaking: More than just coding, webmaking is the act of creating, understanding, and promoting content on the Web

  • Free-Range Learning: Self-directed by student in out-of-school and informal environments

Thimble makes it ridiculously simple to create your own web pages. Write and edit HTML and CSS right in your browser. Instantly preview your work. Then host and share your finished pages with a single click. Easy, huh?
—Thimble website

Thimble is a tool that works well in free-range learning environments, where users can “make” based on their desire to learn code and create web pages. However, non-computer science educators may want to utilize this program in other subjects areas like History, English, or Science. Since Thimble requires no expertise on the part of the user or educator, it can be a vehicle for publishing a student’s original content to a fully functional web page that it able to be shared, saved, and edited. Rooted in applied learning, Thimble users must go through the steps of coding a website as they accomplish the in-editor lessons. As the user edits the code on the left side of the interface, the right side displays what the site will look like. This makes the immediate connection between typing the code and seeing it alter the visual layout of the page. Users can earn badges when they gain new skills or participate in other Mozilla projects.

Thimble was last modified: April 1st, 2014 by Matt Hannigan