The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

November 6, 2013

OHHS involved in Globaloria educational game design class

OAK HILL — It’s not all fun and games in Roberta McGuire’s Globaloria class at Oak Hill High School.

McGuire — the OHHS librarian/media specialist — is instructing students in a class centered around Globaloria, which is labeled as “the first-of-its-kind K-12 learning platform and courses for teaching computer science, game design and coding.”

Promotional material points out that Globaloria has served over 8,000 students and educators in eight states to date, and earlier this fall was serving 3,500 participants in five states — California, New York, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

According to the company, research has shown that Globaloria is “scalable and effective, educates students in technical and computational skills and content knowledge that results in improved academic performance and increased content and digital learning abilities.” Globaloria “helps rethink learning and education systems to engage youth in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and prepare them for college studies, digital citizenship and careers in the global knowledge economy.”

“There are many students interested in learning how to program video games and this class gives them the opportunity to start looking at that process. During this class they actually program an educational video game,” said Oak Hill High principal Tim Payton, whose school is the only one in Fayette County to offer the class. “One of the goals of Globaloria is to give the students a high interest class that will basically give them a reason to come to school.

“This class isn’t necessarily for the traditional student that will do well in school no matter what, but is geared more toward that student that needs a class like this to keep them coming back every day; in the same way that band, show choir, athletics or other extracurricular activities motivate some students to do well in school and show up every day. We have had students recognized for their accomplishments in this class, and that can’t help but raise their self-esteem.

“I hope to be able to continue to offer this class for our students here at Oak Hill High School.”

Payton says he’s appreciative of the participating students and McGuire.

“I’m proud of the effort many of our students have made and I am really glad to have Roberta McGuire as their teacher,” he said. “She is an integral part of the success of the program.”

“It’s a very difficult class,” said McGuire, who spent the majority of her teaching career in elementary education before moving to high school. “It’s not just kids playing games.”

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