Welcome to jQuery!
These slides and all examples are available at http://adrane.com/phpjquery/. Feel free to share or use these examples for your own teaching and learning!
About. What is jQuery
jQuery is free to use, any way you like. It has a dual GPL2 and MIT style license that allows you to use it however you like.
jQuery works across many different browsers. (IE 6.0+, FF 2+, Safari 3.0+, Opera 9.0+, Chrome) so you don't have to worry about things breaking on different browsers.
You can download jQuery and put it on your server, or link to one of the
content providors like this:
( Note: hotlinking is generally bad, but it's ok in this case! see http://docs.jquery.com/Downloading_jQuery#CDN_Hosted_jQuery)
jQuery has Plugins http://plugins.jquery.com/ that can add new functions to jQuery. Anyone can write a plugin and there are thousands of them, doing things from form validation to animation.
I recommend the jQuery site or Google for finding plugins. I find tons of stuff when I Google "jQuery Graph Plugin" for example, including sites that review the different options, like http://www.reynoldsftw.com/2009/02/6-jquery-chart-plugins-reviewed/.
Note: anyone can develop plugins, so the quality and documentation varries. As a general rule, I try to stick with plugins that have good documentation.
I find this cheatsheet from Impulse Studios really helpful. http://labs.impulsestudios.ca/jquery-cheat-sheet OR Google: "jquery 1.4 cheatsheet", it's the first option
jQuery is Awesome!!!
Get your hands dirty! It takes a little while to get completely comfortable with jquery, but it's worth the investment of time. After this meetup, you will be able to do a lot of powerful things in jQuery. However, there is really no limit to what you can do especially when using plugins.