TA-TE WU Not a Designer

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LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT (LAUSD)

 

To teach is to encourage learning and deliver experience beyond textbook. When students walk out the door and prepare to applying your knowledge, that is teaching.

 

In early 2002, I received my first teaching assignment in varies LAUSD adult schools. During the same summer, I was introduced by Mrs. Sakemoto and began to teach full-time at LAUSD Gardena High School in Gardena.

 

 

GRAPHIC DESIGN

GARDENA HIGH SCHOOL, 2002 to 2004

 

In most classes I taught in LAUSD, I wrote my own lesson plans, especially for the graphic design class. I believed in order to teach creative art, one must teach creatively.

 

I didn't start the graphic design class with introduction of Freehand. After all, Freehand is just a tool. In the beginning of the semester, I spent 10 minutes talking about various logo designs In the beginning of the class then explained and compared their design concepts and market focus. Followed that, I played a piece of music and gave a logo sketch design assignment based on the music and their name initials. On the third week, I began to teach Freehand, just enough for students to transform their sketches into digital drawings.

TASKS

  • Taught varies computer applications
  • Designed class lesson plans and curriculum
  • Sponsored school clubs
  • Ran fundraising events
  • Maintained school network and PC and Mac servers, desktops and laptops.

CERTIFICATIONS

  • California Teaching Credential
  • Certified Oracle Academy Instructor
  • Microsoft Certified Professional
  • Microsoft Word Expert
  • Microsoft Excel Expert
  • A+ Certified Professional

TOOLS

  • Macrmedia Fireworks, Freehand, Dreamweaver, Flash
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point
  • Oracle
  • Microsoft Windows XP and Server
  • Mac OS and OS Server
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This initial process was designed for students to develop or jump start their creativity using music and personal interest and emotion. It also encouraged personal expression and built self-confidence plus an interest in abstract thinking. It also kept students entertained so they didn't destroyed my classroom and computers. LOL. Neah actually, all my students were awesome and they were quite friendly to my computers.

 

The design class was project based. Students would bring sketches to me and I would help them decide and choose which one to draw on Freehand. If sketches were too simple, unless they could convince me with reasons, I would encourage them to spend more time then bring them back to me again. After a series of logo design, I introduced new assignments and more tools in Freehand.

 

The infrastructure enhanced interaction and opportunities for me to deliver personal experience and knowledge to meet each individual's need and creativity. By end of the semester, amazing name initial logos, school logos, cafe logos, posters and etc. were created. Years later, one of the students that I know of became a graphic designer professionally because of this class. Overall, I would say this is my favorite teaching subject and I am proud of all my students.

 

 

OTHER ASSIGNMENTS AND CLASSES IN LAUSD

GARDENA HIGH SCHOOL, 2002 to 2004

 

SCIBA (Southern California Business Academy) - Lead Teacher

ORACLE INTERNET ACADEMY - Certified Oracle Academy Instructor

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BOARD GAME DESIGN

 

While pursuing board game design and publishing professionally in Taiwan and mainland China, I had opportunities to share my experience with others who had similar interest.

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL

TAIPEI MUNICIPAL CHENGYUAN HIGH SCHOOL, 2007-2008

 

My first board game design teaching assignment was in Taipei Municipal Chengyuan High School. I partnered with Lead Teacher Mr. Shi, Mei-Huan who was a serious gamer with a great interest in board game design.

TASKS

  • Taught board game design concepts, game mechanics, prototyping and playtesting

TOOLS

  • Varies board games
  • Board game components for prototyping

As teachers who never taught board game designed previously, we found very limited teaching resource around the globe at the time. Therefore, we tried varies teaching methods with limited materials in a period of two semesters. In the end, I believed we developed a creative lesson plan which I used as the core concept to run six board game design workshops in 2011.

 

 

WORKSHOPS

BEIJIN, SHANGHAI, GUANGZHOU, CHENGDU AND HONG KONG, 2011

 

Before returning to US in 2012, I taught two-day board game design workshop in varies locations in mainland China and Hong Kong to students from middle school age to adults in 30's.

 

I believed a successful workshop must give a daily objective, small or large, so students or attendees could bring something home with sense of accomplishment. With the objective in mind and previous class design experiences, I sat a daily goal which was for each group to develop a working prototype and present to class by the end of each day.

Following is the daily lesson plan.

 

  • Lecture on history of board game, structural view of board game, types of winning conditions and some of mechanics
  • Play a board game then apply previously lectured to the game
  • Group students in 2 to 4 then present assignment (game design) topic
  • Lunch. Students in group can use lunch time to discuss and prepare a 5 minute short play based on the assigned topic
  • Watch short plays presented by students
  • Explain how each group can use characters, tools, time, etc in their play as elements and use varies mechanics to create relationships between these elements.
  • Begin design. Continue to discuss with students in each group.
  • Group presentation
  • Project evaluation

 

Surprisingly, beyond my expectation, every group in every workshop completed their assignments. The result and experience are rewarding, probably more for me personally. Thank you my students and my friends.

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