By: Rachel Hegarty, Zulama Support Guru
So you’ve just signed up for a computer science professional development course for this summer (or you’re about to)! As our students know, a new learning experience can be both exciting and a little nerve-wracking. Here are five ways you can make the most of your PD:
1. Don’t be afraid to jump in and mess around.
Playing with a new technology is often the best way to learn it and GameMaker has some great tutorials. Consider your five-year-old and how quickly she figured out your smartphone!
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
In the Zulama and CSTA Computer Science and Game Design PD course, the Support button is your friend, as is our customer service crew. If we don’t have the answer for you ourselves, we’ll work hard and quickly to find it out. But first, ASK. If your PD doesn’t provide customer service, ask another teacher or check for forums. Inquiry is part of learning, after all, and that’s what we’re all in the business of doing.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail.
Really. Please. A failed game build or line of code is just an iteration, and iterative development is the way to design anything. Failure is good. Failure teaches.
4. Don’t be afraid to play.
Building games can be an exciting avenue into CS. And if you build games, you should definitely play games. Ask your students what games they’re playing and try them out. You’ll better understand where you can go with CS and ways you can teach CS principles if you can speak your students’ language.
5. Don’t be afraid to dream.
As you work through your course, think about things you could do in your classroom to reinforce and explore CS principles. What can gaming and coding do for you? What can it do for your students?
Haven’t signed up for a CS PD program yet for this summer? Check out the Computer Science and Game Design course, co-designed by the CSTA and Zulama! You’ll learn game design and programming skills, earning a Computer Science and Game Design Certificate.