Permit me to kvell. In Yiddish that means to gush over great things, things you are proud of. So, here I am kvelling.
My students really succeeded this year in making some incredible board games that teach about the carbon cycle. They worked with professional board game designers, energy experts in the industry, and Environmental Studies students as they developed, tested and implemented their games over a four-month period. They were aided, in part, by the Innovation in the Classroom grant awarded to us from the California Education Research Association. The grant helped to purchase a new Makerbot 3D printer, filament for the printer, and professional printing services.
What you see here are the results of a well-honed project, deeply steeped in real world applications of game design, 3D modeling and printing, 2D design, and project management. Most students were surprised at how long it took to develop a game and really do it right, complete with many iterations and rounds of play testing. They also were appreciative that whatever skills they learn in board game creation, can be transferred to video game creation.
Most video game industry experts I consulted with say that necessary skills for video game creation include a strong understanding of game mechanics, game play, and knowledge of how to write a game design document, all skills that students learned as they developed their board games. They used Autodesk Maya, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, google drive and www.thegamecrafter.com to execute their games and I'm blown away by the finished products! They've now got a strong project that they can use in their portfolios as they move forward into the professional fields of their choice.
Check out the photo gallery below to see our entire process from beginning to end.
Students spent a huge amount of time this year game testing, critiquing, and adjusting their prototypes to make sure that the game play was engaging and easy to understand. They also learned about color pallets, branding, and writing rulesets that are easy to follow.
Next year, we will have the honor of marketing and selling these board games across the country to science teachers everywhere. Know someone who might be interested? Let me know and we'll contact them when we are ready to bring these to market!
Or maybe you are teacher who wants a game developed to teach particular content? Comment below and we'll see if we can collaborate!
I am so grateful to be able to do these sorts of high level projects with my students at New Tech High. They are amazing designers and learners and I enjoyed every minute of this project with them!
We finished off the first semester in Intro. to Digital Media with a culminating project using Augmented Reality, Photoshop and After Effects. Students were asked to choose paintings from a list of art periods and then create parallax animations of their chosen paintings. They were then asked to create postcards with their paintings on them, so that any art student could point their smart phones at the postcards and see their animations. This was a 4-5 week project that included separating out foreground, middle ground and background in Photoshop, as well as using the "puppet" tool in After Effects.
You can have some fun pointing your own smartphone at the images in this post to see some of the student work. The directions for downloading the Aurasma app are seen at the bottom of this post.
More images will be posted on the blog soon!
Directions for using the Aurasma app
1) Download the app for your phone: Aurasma
2) Open the app and press the small white aurasma icon at the bottom until you see the “Explore” page
3) Hit the small search icon in the bottom bar and type #nthsgottfried in the search bar.
4) You will see a list of auras and pictures with student names-ar next to them. Click on any one of the auras.
5) "Follow" one of the auras and you will now be following all the auras with #nthsgottfried. You are ready to see all the auras for Digital Media 1!
6) Point your phone at any of the aura photos or images. You will see bouncing dots in a circle. Hold the phone in front of the image until the bouncing dots turn into a target. Watch your aura!
If you don’t see the aura after a few seconds, try holding the phone closer or farther away from the image.
By Daisy Farella
In this blog, I will be showing you how to save a selection you’ve made in Photoshop. This is extremely helpful if you need to go back to your work later and need that selection again. I know how painful it is to get that perfect selection, only to have to start all over if you had to work more than one session on it. Before I knew about this, often wasted over half of my Digital Media class just trying to get back what I had perfected class, resulting in stress and frustration. I’m so glad I learned about this and I’m now able to teach others. I hope you get some good information from it!
Lisa Gottfried is a CTE teacher with 20 years experience as CEO of her own Video and Motion Graphics Production house. She currently teaches Intro to Digital Media, Video Production and Game/3D Design. She loves her job and her students!