It's official! The final nail in the coffin for Scientific Visualization has just been hammered in. I have advocated for changes to Sci Vis for a very long time now and I am pleased to say those screams have not fallen on deaf ears over the past school year. As part of the curriculum development team doing revisions to Sci Vis, I had plenty of say with regard to what was good about it and what needed to be changed. It was clear from the start of the process that all of the teachers on the team were in agreement: Sci Vis needs to go! While I couldn't get every change I thought was important in the new curriculum, I am still very pleased with the product the team created.
You might wonder why I am against Scientific Visualization, so let me clarify my thoughts on the curriculum. And, please don't misunderstand me, Sci Vis has some really good components and I am eternally grateful to the team that originally developed it. Without Sci Vis, there would never have been any game design curriculum or concentration. But, as time has passed, Sci Vis has served its purpose and now it's time to move on. So, as I said before, here are some reasons I pushed for changes over the past several years:
Well, we've reached the end of another school year and what a year it's been! Where do I begin? I've taught six classes a day (instead of the normal five), my students explored the possibilities of virtual reality, my advanced students attended the East Coast Game Conference, both students and myself formed relationships with people in the game industry, I helped create a new curriculum to replace Scientific Visualization for use across the state, I assisted in the selection of finalists for a Department of Education contest, and I presented to other CTE teachers at the annual tech ed conference. And none of this even begins to touch on making sure my students succeeded in my classes...phew!
So, where do I go from here? For starters, I've already started planning for next year. I know it's hard to believe as we have haven't even been out of school for a week, but what can I say? It's what I do! I've already started thinking about how I can improve how I teach my students and update what they need to know to succeed in the game industry, if that is what they pursue after high school. While this is true of all my classes, it is especially important that I start prepping early for my introductory class because it seems the course I worked on this year will indeed be ready for pilot testing next school year and allow us to FINALLY replace Scientific Visualization!
So, I guess I have a pretty busy summer ahead of me. But, for now...it is time for break! I hope all of you have a relaxing and yet, still productive, summer! Watch for an occasional update on here but in general, just have a great summer break and I look forward to seeing everyone in the Fall!
I am a high school Career & Technical Education (CTE) teacher located in Durham, NC with a focus on game art and design. This blog provides a place for reflection on relevant classroom practices.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent those of my employer or anyone else associated with Durham Public Schools.