For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Waddell
I Support Learning, Inc.
CALIFORNIA STUDENTS START THEIR VIDEO GAME CAREERS IN HIGH SCHOOL USING INNOVATIVE CAREER-THEMED COURSE
Olathe, KS – March 30th, 2010 – I Support Learning, Inc.│edmagineer (ISL) announced another success story with their career simulation curricula ( career themed course), coming from Marilyn Cunnen, a Business Education teacher at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California.
When she hosts 8th Grade night at Marina High School, Marilyn Cunnen makes sure that she has her Video Game Design posters up for all the kids and parents to see. “All of our classes are full,” she says, “Any student that signs up to take Video Game Design ends up wanting to take every class we offer.”
Marilyn teaches Video Game Design, a career themed curriculum designed and created by I Support Learning, as part of an entire Video Game Career Pathway at her California area high school. The students more from Video Game Design, and continue on with two other courses from I Support Learning: Cartoon Animation and Web Game Design. These additional courses are part of the school’s approach to innovative career and technical education, and serve not only to highlight designing games, but to put focus on the design process, marketing, ethics in the workplace, and even building an entire project to meet the needs of a specific customer.
“I use the posters in the hallways too,” Cunnen explains. “It really drives a lot of interest in the program, which is great, since the elective courses are extremely competitive.” Even the video game club, meeting after school a few days a week, is full to the brim. Analyzing games and going on field trips to gaming meccas, such as Blizzard’s headquarters, the students get to see what the industry looks like from an insider’s point of view, and they even get a few freebies along the way. Plus, they get to have one-on-one conversations with real developers, feeling confident from their experience with their “virtual internships” in their class.
“My kids love the online version of the curriculum (from I Support Learning)” she attests, “They don’t have to print out anything or turn in any papers, it’s all right there.” Marilyn recently switched to the online version from her older, desktop version. She had first heard about ISL from a brochure she received in the mail. “It said I could teach video game designing without having to know anything about it, so that really grabbed my attention,” Cunnen says, “Now the programs so popular that we’ve added more classes, and there’s no danger of running out of students.”
Besides having the interest of her students, and the growing video game industry to make her class that much more important to them, Cunnen has come across some unexpected benefits as well.
When the local community college heard about her program, and had recently introduced a Video Game Design degree of their own, they extended an entrance exam waiver for any student of Cunnen’s that had taken her Video Game Design course and decided to pursue a degree at their college.
Perhaps more significantly, are the types of students that take her course. Most of her students are your typical high school students, but she also has a surprising demographic thriving in her courses. In her high school, the autistic and special education students have a campus all to themselves where they can work and study in an environment suited to them and for them.
However, when they select their elective courses, a very large percent of them choose Marilyn’s courses. “They do very well in the (video game design) course. They have fun and connect with the other students over their similar interests. They can’t get enough of it.” It’s there, just as with the rest of her students, they find positive and engaging interaction, and they thrive because of it.
“I couldn’t be happier with the program,” Cunnen adds, “I can’t wait to see what (ISL) has next.”
I Support Learning, Inc.│edmagineer is an educational curriculum designer specializing in career-themed career simulations that fulfill national Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) standards, with products in over 700 schools, colleges and vocational schools across the United States.
# # #
Steve Waddell – Creative Development
I Support Learning, Inc.© │ edmagineer©