The Frisco ISD Board of Trustees on Monday approved two courses for the 2019-20 school year that are expected to attract students interested in technology and video games.
A cybersecurity course will be available for 10th- through 12th-graders and will be a one-credit course.
Katie Kordel, chief academic officer, said the program meets a growing need.
“We based this on our research that cybersecurity is an upcoming field where there will be a need for people in this area,” Kordel said. “A new report by Cybersecurity Ventures reports there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs in 2021. That is up from 1 million openings just last year. So we know this is a growing field.”
According to information provided by FISD, cybercrime is expected to cost the world $6 trillion by 2021, which is up from $3 trillion in 2015.
Kordel said the course would be part of FISD's information pathway.
“The decision to implement this course really goes back to 2016 when we started building our information technology pathway,” Kordel said. “This will be a FISD course and not a dual credit course. But it will be part of the pathway in which students can eventually in their 11th- and 12th-grade year take dual credit information technology courses that will prepare them for a career in cybersecurity.”
Video game programming
The board voted to change the name of its video game design course to video game programming, and it voted to add an advanced video game programming course.
“We have had video game design,” Kordel said. “What we're proposing is a course title change to be more accurate with what we are actually teaching in the course because video game design and video game programming actually have two different PEIMS numbers, which is the way students receive credit on their transcript.”
Kordel said in the programming class, which is for juniors and seniors, students will design video games, program and problem solve. She said students will add music and plot lines to the game, as well as learn the different principles and practices of the design and programming.
The new advanced video game programming course will be for seniors, and it will follow the initial programming course.
“We know students who are interested in video game programming want to continue with that work,” Kordel said. “When they dive into that kind of project it's something they often want to sustain and get better at through study of numerous years. So this will help us solve the challenge of our video game programming students wanting to repeat the course for no credit the second time.”
Gifted and talented American studies
In November the board approved the gifted talented American studies course. The class is an interdisciplinary study of the development of United States through the integration of history, literature, writing, art, architecture, philosophy, music and dance. The course is a natural progression from GT humanities I and II.