Launching a Kodu club!
I've been sitting on this for a while now, trying to find a few spare minutes to add it to my website. Over the past few weeks I've been lucky enough to be asked to host some Kodu events in some of the local schools. I love going out to other schools, and I always find it a fun challenge.
My first ever (!) event in a near by school was to launch their own after school Kodu club. The pupils had had a little dabble on the software in class, but nothing to in detail, and the staff were working at a similar level, so it was a hour of the basics.
In the hour session the pupils managed to create a simple collecting game that they could play in pairs. The one we worked on was the Apple collecting game I've demonstrated here. This included an interesting map and 2 playable characters. The pupils extended this game though by adding some enemies that chased them down while they collected the apples. I chose this game as the coding needed in it is very simple and basic, but the principles of it can be applied in SO many other games! Enemies chasing you, collecting different items, moving around a map. The possibilities when using these are great, and with more time I would have like them to create their own game, using these key concepts. We also had a little dabble in the variables you can add when doing scoring, to work out who would win, and by how many points . Adding some scoring to the game was a great hook for the pupils, and made them SO competitive! The kids came up with some great ideas as to why some of the apples might take away some points, and why some would be big bonus points! All this lead to some great story telling ideas, and would be great to continue with and develop.
We had a few problems in the session, but that's to be expected. A tip for future sessions is to make sure the Xbox remote driver has been installed on the computers as well as the Kodu software!! They kids were great with it though, and we more than happy to take part using the mouse and keyboard.
I'm hoping to go back to the club in a few weeks to see how they're getting, and how they've improved at using the software. That should open us up to do some more advanced or technical concepts in the gaming I've been desperate to try out on some pupils! Plus the Xbox controllers should all be working fine by the time I get back!
Kodu in the Klassroom