Tips and tricks for cutting edge educators

Meet Kodu.   He’s one of the latest exciting creations to come out of Microsoft Research, and is going to be huge in Australian schools this year.

Kodu is a powerful visual programming language that allows anyone to build an exciting, 3D game in minutes. Click here to download your complimentary copy now.  Students as young as 7 years are already building games for the PC or X-Box and learning valuable skills in the process.

Mark Prensky, James G, Seymour Pappert and many other educational thought leaders have been promoting the potential of Games in Learning for years.  Creating games requires and develops all the basic higher order skills like analysing, designing, creating, evaluating and problem solving.  In the past, building electronic games was just too time consuming or technically difficult for everyone.

With Kodu, anyone can build really cool 3D games, using an X-Box Controller, or simply a keyboard and be playing them in minutes.  Games can be shared online in the new ‘Planet Kodu’ community developed by Ideas Lab,  which is a unique public/private partnership providing advanced technology solutions for schools.

Building a world, creating characters, designing exciting or educational games can all be done with either an X-Box controller or a keyboard – fast.  The command interface is simple, visual and very easy to figure out, which means the students learn by playing, rather than requiring direct instruction.

   

Have you downloaded it yet?  Go on – it doesn’t cost anything.

The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has deployed Kodu in an extensive pilot program across 26 of its schools.  For the last few months it has been measuring students’ levels of engagement in the program and you can see some of the results here at Planet Kodu (http://www.planetkodu.com/).

Here’s what some of the teachers had to say:

“The creativity and critical thinking the students have shown has been wonderful”

“Kodu allows students to make games and worlds but the students need to find out how to do it by themselves”

“The things that are worthwhile are usually challenging and Kodu is certainly challenging but our kids have taken on the challenge”

“Some students discovered talents that they didn’t know they had”

“I’ve learnt that game based learning can be really powerful”

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