Oracle Academy. This streaming online program takes students from database design principles to database creation
and SQL programming. Oracle Academy also includes
a design competition. I augment Oracle Academy with
Lynda materials on Microsoft Access because it’s difficult
for students to comprehend enterprise database concepts
when they have little direct experience with them. To that
end, I have found it helpful to talk about large back-office
databases that game companies, such as Blizzard (World of
Warcraft), have to maintain to keep track of users, rewards,
payments, and so forth.
Digital-Tutors. I also teach Autodesk Maya (as well as 3DS
Max and MotionBuilder), and although Autodesk offers
free curriculum (as does Adobe), I like using streaming
content from Digital-Tutors. The Introduction to Maya
2011 course is practical, colorful, project-centric, and very
well organized and taught. Students jump right into learn-
ing Maya’s complex user interface and how to use its tre-
mendous animation capabilities to build a pod racer. Dig-
ital-Tutors is like Lynda: strong SMEs, rich content, inex-
pensive, and educator friendly. It maintains comprehensive
training in a wide variety of topics. The company is very
good about using systems integration in training topics—a
must for students. For example, it hits on subjects such as
creating objects in Maya and then bringing those objects
into Adobe After Effects to make a movie.
3DBuzz. In my 3D game development unit, I use a product
called Unity ( unity3d.com), but it’s so new, there isn’t a
lot of course content yet. However, I found a tremendous
Packt Publications e-book on Unity by Will Goldstone.
I augment that with a free 3D Buzz course called “Space
Shooter.” The Goldstone book teaches students to create a
Shooter course shows students how to write C# code for
Unity in Microsoft Visual Studio. Together they offer students a rich, diverse educational experience that includes
project pipeline principles.
3D Buzz also sells videos that I use in two ways:
1. For students who are so advanced in a given
technology that I cannot keep up
2. To augment lessons I’m teaching using texts
For example, 3D Buzz has a C++ video series that takes
neophytes from basic through DirectX coding. I use the
videos to reinforce the C++ text I use.
In all cases, I act as a consultant. I’ve done my homework, and I know a lot about what I want to teach the kids
and how to get them there. But I rely on SMEs for their
deep, current knowledge of the subject matter.
Digital-Tutors: www.Digital Tutors.com
Oracle Academy: https://academy.oracle.com
Packt Publications: www.PacktPub.com