Hi, I'm Mike.
I'm lucky enough to teach, develop and manage things I'm passionate about.
Teaching is my true professional passion. It's something I love to do and natually gravitated towards in my jobs prior to being a full-time teacher. My passions for programming, art and entrepreneurship combined with teaching led me towards developing high school curriculum to teach video game design and devleopment.
In my classroom I taught 60 high school students a year programming, 2D art, 3D art, marketing and entrepreneurship using collabrative, differentiated and rigerous curriculum that I developed personally.
I'm incredibly proud of the students and their successes that came through my classroom over the years.
Some of the video games made in class landed on web, Android and IOS markets with different levels of success - but success none-the-less. The games that we made are full-featured games that had to meet or exceed an ever increasing bar of success set by the students themselves.
We consistently placed in the top 5 in multiple national competitions and had mutiple students get full or otherwise substantial scholarships to top-teir schools beacause of their portfolios.
I have a personal passion for learning and understanding how things work. I've been developing software, marketing campaigns, computers and networks since 1998. I started as a web developer because right click > view source is very easy and satisfied my natural inclination to learn. From that point forward I started digging deeper into what made the things I was developing work on a very low level.
That rabbit hole brought me into application development in C++ and learning networks, subnetting and how to make Cisco hardware talk more efficiently to one another. Learning those building blocks of technology allowed me to have a fledgling but successful consulting business. By that time I was well versed in creating digital art through Adobe software, application development, database structure and administration, network development and administration and web development. However, I always found myself teaching as part of the work I did. From 2001 - 2010 I was always doing some sort of application/network/database development and administration while teaching at the same time.
Eventually I became a high school teacher at a Career in Technical Education (CTE) school where I developed a video game development curriculum from the ground up. In my classroom I had 3D artists, 2D artists and programmers. It just made sense to bring all those talents together through the vessel of video games. It was 2011 at the time and I couldn't find any curriculum to "borrow" for my classroom - so I made it. I was lucky enough to have the freedom to try many different types of modalities to help students learn and feel that I have developed a very solid curriculum for both classrooms and after school clubs that can be stood up anywhere that there are computers, a teacher and students willing to learn. I'm lucky enough to be able to bring my curriculum on a new stage in the post-secondary world at USM in 2017.
The Maine Game started because I consistently had students in my classroom that were as motivated as me about education and technology (if not more). Those students would tell me about work they did after school and the weekends related to classwork that went above and beyond anything I asked of them or they would ask me to stay late in my classroom so they could work because they didn't have the means to work at home. Through a lot of long days, hard work and countless successes we have made 7 different video games for multiple non-profits in Maine. We continue to expand our presence in the state and now have 2 different branches of the club that give many students the ability to pursue their passion in a collaborative school setting.
The UNE Academy of Digital Sciences provides online-offline learning programs that give you accelerated instruction in the skills that are most in-demand by local employers.
- Designed in collaboration with Maine business leaders to address immediate local employment needs.
- Professional mentors advise and guide you through the completion of a final project and the assembly of a professional portfolio.
- You will meet area employers who are looking for people with the skills you will be learning—at regular live events with virtual access.
- Our eight-week courses allow you to work at your own pace, on evenings or weekends. Career Coaches will counsel you throughout your time at the Academy.