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To be successful in computer science, it is important that students are creative, innovative and are able to think critically. This can surely be achieved through educative programs such as Kodu which allow students to be able to think and create games of their own. It is a programming language in itself, however, it is very visible as students will be playing and hence easy and fun for one to use.
Another advantage is that this platform runs on Xbox, using the game controller to input the actions. This language is entirely icon-based and the main program consists of pages; these are commanded by rules each of which being composed from a set of actions and conditions. Nevertheless, when designing a game, students, despite the need to be creative in designing the game environment, will also understand different programming concepts such as sequence, iteration, game design concepts and also other problem solving skills they might face throughout the whole development process. Such skills will surely help one out in understanding better computer science principles later on.
It is very user friendly as everything is represented in physical terms such as vision and hearing, thus making it appropriate and easy for everyone. As a matter of fact, I believe that before introducing students to any formal language, similar programs such as Kodu should be used in class. This is because besides creativity, problem solving and storytelling, students are also being introduced without not even realizing, to the basics of programming.
This video below shows different students’ opinions about such program, which as one can see is not solely being used in computer studies lessons.
There is also a YouTube channel containing different tutorials about Kodu; starting from the very basic to more complex games.
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