OregonCSEdWeek – Updates
- December 9, 2017
- Posted by: Randy Macdonald
- Category: SuperQuest
Those of you who are subscribed to OCSTA blog updates (link at the bottom of this page) or the OCSTA mailing list (link: OCSTA Mail List Subscription) know that Governor Kate Brown has proclaimed this week in Oregon to be Computer Science Education Week and has been visiting schools to promote the importance of providing high-quality computer science education to all students. Just in case you missed that email from Andrew Scholer, OCSTA President, here’s a link to it: Welcome to CS Ed Week! Now for some updates.
Arian Klup, Director or Oregon Game Project Challenge (OGPC) recently sent out a coaches newsletter:
The OGPC season is in full swing! Hopefully your teams are brainstorming, designing, and planning. Lots of diagrams, flow charts, hand-drawn levels, and more! Point out how much work goes into a game before a single line of code is written. As an example, the developer of the game Space Chem has released a number of their planning documents online (bottom of page): http://www.zachtronics.com/spacechem/
Have your students take a look at the sketches, the diagrams, the level concepts, and how it’s all put together. As students put these documents together, they can upload them to TMS right away. No other teams will see them as long as the entry is set to private, and they will count toward achievements (points) at the competition.
If you or your team members are interested in the special Arduino offer, please let me know soon! I’ll be submitting the order on December 22nd. Hopefully you’ll get them by mid-January.
And here’s Arian’s participant newsletter:
I hope your projects are going well so far! It’s never too early to create your team and entry page in TMS (your coach will need to help). Keep track of your sketches and diagrams, and make sure that all team members register so it’s a complete entry.
This week is the global Hour of Code! That means that many schools and organizations are hosting activities to try out coding. If there’s nothing near you, just do it at home. Go to http://www.hourofcode.com to see if there’s something near you (I bet there is!). If you’ve never tried coding before, you’ll find fun activities with clear steps to walk you through it. If you’ve already started coding, you might learn some new things here! Give it a look.
Finally, you’re going to hear me talk a lot about planning your game before getting started. Once you get started, start with LOW QUALITY! That means, don’t feel like everything has to be perfect. Don’t wait on your artist to finish things, and don’t think you need every detail finalized. Below is a link to a video of a game developer talking about her game she’s working on. She just uses colored squares for characters and rough sketches of rooms because she’s still working out some of the details. This lets her try out different ideas easier. It’s a great way to get started (and can earn you an achievement!) Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLSGh6PBB9U
Arian also want me to remind everyone that even if you missed the OGPC GameJam/Kickoff event last month, it’s still not too late to create a team and game for the OGPC Main Event. He says, many teams don’t really get started until January anyways.
I’m in the process of creating some video tutorials as resources for AP Computer Science A and Alice 3. I wanted to share what I have created so far, and am hoping to get feedback from other computer science teachers to make corrections and fill in any gaps. If you have anyone you think might be interested in your Oregon CSTA chapter, would you consider passing them on?
Here’s a link to Bill’s YouTube channel with a bunch of tutorials for teaching AP CS-A, Alice, Scratch, etc. If you find them useful, please give Bill Barnum and OregonCSTA a shout out on Twitter and/or your favorite social media platform. 🙂
Finally, I plan to post a recap of #OregonCSEdweek. If you have any CS educational activities to share (blog posts, social media posts, pictures, summaries of in or out of school activities) that you did last week, please send them my way (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll include them in that post.