My First Virtual Lecture
Today I delivered my first virtual lecture. I spoke about fifty minutes on the topic of game design and development to a group of elementary school students. While I was in my office in Los Angeles, the students were at their school in Richardson, Texas, and it was all done through the magic developed by a company named Nepris.
Nepris is a web-based solution that connects teachers with industry experts, to expose students to different career and education paths, find real world applications to what students are learning, and inspire them to choose a STEM pathway. It is for educators (as well as other organizations and individuals interested in educational outreach) who want to make repeated connections throughout the school year in their classroom virtually on a variety of curriculum topics where it has the most impact. Educators leverage Nepris’ database of experts to connect curriculum topics to the real world, serve as mentors for long-term projects, and/or evaluate student presentations.
Here’s how it works. After registering and signing in, teachers fill out an online form to describe they class and parameters for the interaction with an industry expert. In my case, a teacher had requested an expert from the game industry to discuss game design with his students. Although Nepris already had a couple of game industry experts in their system, they apparently weren’t available to do the session, and so Nepris conducted a search for additional experts — and that’s how I came to be contacted by Nepris.
Here is the information that the teacher wanted the expert to cover:
This is an Enrichment Cluster designed to give students a glimpse into what goes into producing a video game. We are designing artwork and dialogue for a game.
What are the roles of a team and what is each team member’s responsibilities?
What type of education is required?
How much money can be made?
Where do designers get their ideas?
What is coding?
Would you evaluate our game design and offer advice?
I would like for the expert to explain simply what goes into creating a video game. I would also like for the expert to explain what type of education is needed to create these games and what salary they could earn.
Fortunately for me, I talk about these very topics ever month for The Los Angeles Film School’s Open House event, and I had a PowerPoint to accompany my talk ready-to-go, so there was very little preparation to do.
Also fortunately for me, the school was located in a time zone two hours ahead of mine, and the time that the teacher had scheduled the session coincided with my normal lunch hour, so I was available to do the talk.
The whole process was very easy. At noon I headed up to my office, logged onto the Nepris website, and a Nepris staff member set up the video chat between me and the class. The time flew by, and the kids seemed interested in the topic.
If you want to see my lecture for yourself, just click on the image below (however, you may be asked to register for an account):