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Zulama new buzz word at St. John’s High School PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, December 22, 2013 9:00 PM

BY NANCY SPENCER

Herald Editor

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DELPHOS — Zulama will be the new buzz word at St. John’s High School for the second semester of this school year.

 

The school will add the online program which engages students with a topic they love — video games. Zulama’s online program for middle- and high-schoolers was created by faculty who teach these subjects to master’s students at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. The semester-long courses are delivered through a browser right into the classrooms. Zulama provides in-depth teacher training to ensure their success teaching the relatively new and largely-unfamiliar areas of game design, programming, 3-D art and digital storytelling.

 

Lois MacLennan will teach the introductory course “Gaming Through the Ages.”

“I am excited about teaching this new course,” MacLennan said. “This will give our students another opportunity to learn and add new curriculum to the high school. I already have a student who is looking at a college for this.”

Zulama will be the second stepping stone for students who take the current eighth-grade computer programming class.

“The course will be offered to freshmen and sophomores and next year we’ll add another course,” MacLennan said.

Dr. Dean Goon of Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Diocese of Toledo Technology Coordinator of Catholic Schools Joni Cori provided training for MacLennan on Friday. Cori said the superintendent of the dioceses has been pushing for a program like Zulama.

“Computer science is a passion for the superintendent,” she said. “This program will fall right in line with that.”

In “Games Through the Ages,” students will identify common games design from ancient Babylon to the present and analyze why games are played and determine how they’ve changed over time.

“The whole time they are studying games, they are learning history and social studies and 21st-century skills,” Goon said.”This course also fulfills common core standards.”

MacLennan hopes that by offering the course early in the high school years, more females will become interested.

“We need to get more females involved,” she said. “This is not just a male-dominant field.”

Goon said the courses can lead to interest in numerous fields.

“Gaming encompasses a wide variety of skills,” he said. “It includes graphic design, marketing, computer science, social studies, as well as game design. The curriculum is challenging and rigorous. Students will learn a lot of the information at a college level and it will equip them with skills for engineering, computer programming, software design and problem-solving.”

Goon also said Zulama peaks interest in students which is key in the learning process.

“Engaged students, retain more and learning becomes fun,” he said. “Then it extends further and leaves the classroom.”

Last Updated on Sunday, December 22, 2013 9:09 PM
 

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