Customizing Your Web App


This lesson is the fourth of four challenges and the culminating lesson in a "Build a Web App in the Cloud" project which provides a high interest framework and sufficiently complex challenges for students to learn file management and security. In this lesson students learn file naming, transfer and management techniques while customizing their dynamic website. Neither students nor teacher need any previous experience to complete this challenge.


File management and security is at the heart of creating secure and functional computer applications and systems. For students to conceptualize these concepts as well as practice the skills necessary to predictably operate and develop computer systems, students need access to a remote computer system on which they have administrator or root access. With this access they are able to comprehensively practice and develop the file management skills which are fundamental to all computer systems.

Understanding file management and security is at the core of creating functional computer systems and applications. To better learn these fundamental constructs, the command line is a great tool. Using the command line on a remote web server helps students understand the underlying operations involved in all file management on all operating systems including Windows and Apple iOS.

Modern file systems encountered in professional environments are increasingly virtualized and remote. A remote virtual Ubuntu Linux Operating System hosted on Amazon Web Services is used in this lesson to allow the student to have access to a computer to which they have root access. This allows the student to have a better platform on which to  learn about the administrative aspects of file management and security. This would be impossible on a computer which they have restricted access to, such as the computers available to students at  most schools.

This lesson is part of a series of lessons which make up a project. As part of the project, students will set up, launch and customize a publicly available web application. This project provides the high interest  framework and sufficiently complex challenges for students to learn file management and security.

In this lesson, students dive into understanding file naming conventions, transfer and management while they customize their open source web application. Open source web applications like Joomla allow small teams and individuals to make amazing websites by standing on the shoulders of giants. However, the art of customizing these generic applications is where the magic happens.

Lesson Times

Lesson TIme : 50 Minute Class Periods
3 Class Periods
Project Time : 100 Minute Block Period
1 Class Period

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Information and Communication Technologies Information and Communication Technologies
    • Software and Systems Development
K-12 Subjects
  • Technology Education
Grade Levels
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Adult

Standards and Objectives


California's 2013 CTE Standards (3)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will edit their website using ssh and sftp to upload image files to their web server as well as the web based gui to configure and edit content.
  • Students will be able to use appropriate file nameing and management techniques.

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