Showing posts from September, 2013

Hey, Computer Teachers, stop wasting students' time! (Part 1)

Despite increased globalization; despite the need to prepare students to access, evaluate, synthesize, and build upon information and media; and despite the drive to promote Creativity, Innovation, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Communication, and Collaboration, the curriculum of many schools' secondary Computer Information Technology programs tends to hinge on keyboarding and Microsoft Office. Let me explain, for those who are not already with me, why this is a waste of our students' time and our parents' taxpayer dollars. There are a growing number of voices clamoring to get rid of the "Computer Teacher", arguing that in today's atmosphere of integrated technology we are irrelevant and redundant. If we're teaching 7th to 12th graders Keyboarding and MS Office classes, that is 100% true. Don't get me wrong, a curriculum steeped in keyboarding and productivity applications is quite appropriate and often essential at the 2nd through 5th or even 6…

Why learn game design?

See also:
Designing Fun: There’s more to game design than programming - on The Gamestar Mechanic Teacher Blog.

The context Why are we learning game design? I asked my seventh grade students this question last week. On page 61 of "The Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument", it is noted that in a classroom that reflects distinguished instruction, students should be able to identify what is going on and why. "If asked, students are able to explain what they are learning and where it fits into the larger curriculum context" (Danielson, 2013). I provide some context for this on a regular basis by reviewing objectives and broader essential questions and standards.

My students, though, are thinkers. I'm trying to foster that. They really want to know, "why are we learning game design". Many of them did exactly what I would want them to do when given a discussion question like this. They Googled it. The results of their search were less than stellar. Th…