Fort Myers, Florida
“It’s always faster and easier the second time.”
James S. Bell teaches a variety of game design and simulation courses at Dunbar High School in Fort Myers, Florida. He says he wishes such classes had been offered when he was in high school — he had to learn how to use technology through the school of “hard knocks,” which taught him not to be afraid of change and to embrace new challenges.
Before becoming a teacher, Bell was a principal partner in Visualization Technologies, Inc., an animation company he founded with his brother in early 1990. The company specializes in producing 3D computer visualizations and interactive sales tools for the real estate industry. Bell still works in a minor capacity for the organization.
Bell graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in electrical engineering and joined his brother in Southwest Florida to develop and support a growing CAD market in the area. It was there that he first focused on using computer technology for engineering and architectural design through training and programming. This path evolved into the interactive visualizations that he uses today in his animation firm.
A keystone of his teaching is his ability to bring real business experiences into all aspects of the curriculum. Bell provides his students opportunities for real-world learning, offering insight into both the good and bad lessons he has learned. The quote above is his well-known solace for students who have shut down their computers without remembering to save their work.
Bell loves the outdoors. He was an adult leader for a local Boy Scout troop while his two sons earned their Eagle Scout rank. He backpacked 90 miles in New Mexico and has trekked some of the most beautiful places in the United States.