Digital Learning Day Expo 2014: Geek Squad Academy Shares Game Programming Curriculum

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎02-17-2014 10:48 PM (4,119 Views)

This curriculum is extremely popular with the kids, and is a good way of engaging kids and teaching the kind of decision-making and experimentation behind successful digital creation. Using Geek Squad-created content and the Stencyl game creation software,  the class helps students develop the programming and problem-solving skills needed to fix errors intentionally introduced in our “Gopher Roman” game. The students fully engage in in the computer programming process, manipulating characters, environments, backgrounds and behaviors as they learn to solve problems they find in the game.

 

Stencyl is a great vehicle for introducing programming to younger audiences. Because it is a drag-and-drop tool that reduces computer coding to actions, students intuitively grasp the concepts as they work with the software, and are able to edit parameters and rearrange activity blocks much the way computer programmers do without having to learn complex programming languages.

 

Geek Squad Agent Travis Sellers and Best Buy Blue Shirt Kelsi Facsina ran a demo of the Gopher Roman program in the Best Buy booth at the Expo, showing educators and other attendees how the tool can be used to draw students into the programming process.

 

The Geek Squad Academy project team would like to thank everyone involved in this event, particularly the Alliance for Excellent Education, our partner in this effort. If you are a teacher, the Digital Learning Day website features Lesson Plans you can use to help your students understand and use technology more effectively. (The site also has a link to Best Buy’s Teen Tech Toolkit, which includes the Game Programming lesson plan.)

 

For more on the importance of computer science education in elementary and secondary schools, check out this story National Public Radio did as part of their All Tech Considered series.

 

A Push to Boost Computer Science Learning, Even at an Early Age

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