BETT 2014: Fire up learning with XBOX & DreamSpark

There has never been a better time to learn how to program. Modern programming languages, coupled with powerful and widely available development environments, provide an excellent place to work.
A wide range of operating environments, including mobile devices, cloud computing, robotics, embedded devices, and games, means that you can apply your programming-acquired skills in a huge range of different areas.

Programming lets you bring your ideas to life, and with the launch of Xbox for Education Microsoft is trying to make programming more exciting and interesting for students of all ages. With Xbox in Education and Microsoft DreamSpark we’re getting students coding in C# and XNA and we hope to aspire tomorrows games developer and help students learn a lot about how games work and even create totally new ones of their own.
As part of its effort to further increase computational thinking and games development in young people, Microsoft is also introducing an discounted Xbox 360 to schools which includes a DreamSpark subscription.

X360Edu Green

DreamSpark provides the tools to help students designs and create applications and games for Microsoft Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8. DreamSpark equips students with professional developer software and resources to explore the world of computing and to develop their passions and skills – at home as well as at school. It also equips and supports teachers through the provision of software and lessons plans.

The Xbox for Education offer includes a three-year DreamSpark Standard subscription for the institution. To take advantage of this offer from Monday 27th January, schools and colleges should visit:
Xbox for education and the associated resources available at DreamSpark and Microsoft Faculty Connection Resources provides teachers with resources from first principles to advanced techniques.

These resources will shows you how to use the C# language to solve problems and how C# is used within the Microsoft XNA Framework to create games. The games that you write using the resources available can run on a Microsoft Windows, an Xbox 360, or a Windows Phone.

C# is a popular programming language used by many software developers all over the world. The C# skills that you pick up from the Xbox for Education can also be used as the basis of a career in programming should you find that you really enjoy writing programs. Additionally the design of the C# language is very similar to C, C++, and Java you will find that your skills can be used with them too.

XNA is a framework which allows games to be written in C#. It provides all the “heavy lifting” concerned with creating a game framework. It drives the display, manages content, and provides an easy to use way of interacting with gamepads and other controllers. It also provides a common platform so that XNA games can run on a variety of different devices, games can also be distributed to Xbox users around the world using the Xbox Live service.

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