The other day the Kodu team announced Studio K. What is Studio K you ask? In my opinion it’s the biggest curriculum, teaching and overall educational news about Kodu since Kodu was announced. From the announcement on the Kodu blog:
Collaborating with Microsoft and the Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Foundation, the Educational Research group at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has created the curriculum and tools to make video game design programs such as Microsoft Kodu more accessible in K-12 classrooms.
More from the Studio K website:
Studio K is a game design curriculum, online community, and set of teacher-support tools intended to enable teachers to help learners how to make their own video games using Microsoft Kodu. Kodu is a powerful 3D game design and programming tool that enables users to focus on creating compelling games for their friends.
The Studio K curriculum is designed to support the development of computational thinking skills and problem solving skills. Policymakers have identified computational thinking as a critical set of skills that students must be equipped with in order to be successful in STEM careers, as well as to fully participate in today's and tomorrow's creative society.
If data and if something is actually helping students to learn are of interest to you as they are to most people serious about education and avoiding fads just because they are the latest cool technology there are aspects of this program you will be particularly interested in. Ben Shapiro, a UW-Madison researcher who leads the project says “But we’re also giving teachers learning analytics tools, including data visualizations, to monitor students’ progress, see when students are stuck or need help, and give specific feedback about learning.”
If you have thought at all about incorporating Kodu and gaming into your elementary or middle school curriculum you will want to check this out. Also if you are looking for STEM programs for after school programs, summer recreation programs or camps, or other after school activates this is something you want to look into as well. I think it’s pretty exciting.