Step into most modern classrooms today and it won’t take long to realize that school has changed. It has changed so much, it may even illicit some jealousy; that wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. During my time as a Computer Science teacher in Ontario, Canada, a common refrain from parents of my students was “man, I wish we had stuff like what you have when I was in school!” or “I wish I could have taken a class like this!”Read More
I’ve recently left the classroom after about 6 years of teaching Computer Science. I have been thinking a lot about my tenure. Most of my reflections are positive. I certainly learned a lot about myself, and grew as an educator. Despite all that growth, I’ve been preoccupied lately with the things I either didn’t do, or the things I did that I shouldn’t have. Welcome to a series of posts I’m calling “The Path Not Taken” and today I’d like to talk about compliance.Read More
Recall, if you will, the worst day of your life. Recall the sadness and emptiness felt in the loss of someone close to you. Imagine the most intense sensation of pain you have ever felt: a broken bone, a separated shoulder, or a serious cut. Recall now the greatest sense of fear you have experienced: the moment before a car accident or the imminent injury of your child. Our pain is palpable, and when forced to recollect it, is communicated with deep emotion. We use words such as sadness, terror, and fear to describe these events in our lives. Yet within the confines of the barbed wire and gas chambers of the Nazi camps, words are wholly insufficient.Read More
Let’s face it, video games are not going anywhere. Instead of turning away from them, many educators have come to embrace games as another tool they can deploy to engage students and create learning opportunities. The games teachers have typically used in school though, are increasingly being shunned by students who see through the disguise - these “edu-games” are boring and tend to not have the same quality standards as more commercially available games. Students want the same experience at school with their games as they have at home. Thankfully, some educators are catching on and starting to work with real, commercially available games; the ones their students play at home.Read More
League of Legends, DOTA 2, Heroes of the Storm and—of course—Fortnite.
You may recognize these as titles of popular video games, even if you aren’t strictly a “gamer.” The reality is that video games and the communities, organizations and players surrounding them have become big business—some worth potentially millions of dollars.Read More
Last year, my eighth-grade student Nathan made a game that was banned from Scratch. If I stopped there that would sound bad of course, but hear me out. It wasn’t bad; in fact it was amazing. He wanted to make a jump scare game—and boy did he succeed.Read More