Summer STEAM Institute: Why Games?

At Zulama, we’re constantly coming across teachers and administrators who are looking for a way to reengage their students with their education and, at the same time, keep up with advancing technologies.


We encountered many of these inquisitive educators during our teacher training workshop at South Fayette Township School District’s Summer STEAM Institute on Monday.

These educators come to us overflowing with questions about how to bring their classroom into the 21st century and increase student interest. The answer we impart to these educators is simple: games.

To explain, we begin by asking what sorts of skills are required to play a game.

Logic, reason, problem solving, timing, organization, resource management, morality, organization, critical thinking…

9350856062_b0ddc55495_bTaking a look at this list out of context, and you come to realize that these are skills that apply to more than just gaming. Games not only give students skills to use in other areas of life, but develop skills that can ensure a student success in the classroom and the world outside.

That, and games are fun! An overwhelming majority of students want to learning about games, creating a prefect disguise for interest driven learning. In this way, games become modern a tool for cultivating the skills a student needs in order to succeed.

Overall, it was a great day filled with many quality conversations and connections. Our training event helped educators and administrators see how Zulama’s courses could positively impact their students and schools. We can’t wait for the next opportunity to show off our Entertainment Technology Programs!

Until next time,

Caroline Lippl

Executive Assistant

Still wondering if Minecraft can be educational?

One of the best write-ups we’ve seen about how teachers and students are using Minecraft in intriguing and real-world ways, can be found here on Quartz.

The following video was a quick project created by one kid, here’s what his mom said:

Last week, I had reached out for help in finding a tool to create a simulated water filtration plant. One coach recommended using Minecraft. My son is a Minecraft aficionado; he had not thought to use it. All I had to do was mention using it, and he was off and running. On Saturday morning, I walked into the room and found that he had already created half of the simulation. On Sunday, we discussed how we were going to capture the video, since he did it on the xBox, not on the computer. Rather than invest in a capture card ($20-$2,500), we experimented with simply setting up a camera on a tripod. It worked. On Monday night, he finished creating it. This morning, we recorded it.

This was an extra credit project. He is using all of the vocabulary learned in the unit. He is talking about the content. He has internalized the process. Sounds like content area literacy to me. 😉



DML 2012—Amazing!

This crowd “says it like it is”. It’s refreshing to be among highly-educated people who don’t speak in rhetoric (or, at least they speak in understandable rhetoric). The discourse, both onstage and off, was lively, direct, and sparked controversy. If even a small percentage of the “action items” raised at the conference are started and/or completed in the near future, we will have made progress towards true and deep education reform.

John Seely Brown’s keynote truly set the stage for the rest of the conference:

DML 2012 Keynote delivered by John Seely Brown (aka JSB)