Project GAME brings teachers to Statesboro Campus, prepares for classroom integration
Since September 2020, Georgia Southern University’s Mete Akcaoglu, Ph.D., associate professor of instructional technology, and a team of faculty members have been working virtually with regional teachers to develop their knowledge and skills in computer sciences and game design.
Their efforts are a part of a $300,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) funded grant called Project GAME, which aims to create and implement middle school computer science curriculum through teacher professional development, co-development of curriculum, and evaluation of outcomes.
With the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, the Project GAME team and participants were able to meet in person for the first time in May for a four day professional development on the Statesboro Campus of Georgia Southern.
“Although we covered computer science and game-design related content during the past few months, it was during our in-person time together we were able delve into the flow of the curriculum, as well as issues related to pedagogy or how these topics will be taught to the students in the classroom,” said Akcaoglu.
Akcaoglu said that the teachers, ranging in experience with computer science and game design, are doing great work and are ready to start phase two of the grant project.
“In our two-year project, our purpose was to provide professional development and design the curriculum during the first year, and implement the curriculum at the schools during the second year,” he explained. ” We successfully finished the year one activities, meaning the big part of the teacher professional development is now complete. We are planning for another professional development in January to review the curriculum and regroup.”
With the fall starting year two of Project GAME, teachers will begin implementing the game design curriculum into their middle school classrooms at DeRenne, Metter, and Screven Middle Schools as well as the STEAM Academy in Bulloch County. Through the efforts of Project GAME, Akcaoglu and the team are hoping to offer the curriculum to more than 300 students in its first year.
The Project GAME team includes College of Education’s Selçuk Doğan, Ph.D., assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, Charles Hodges, Ph.D., professor of instructional technology, and College of Engineering and Computing’s Andrew Allen, assistant professor of computer science. You can learn more about Project Game and it’s activities and updates at https://projectgame.org
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