How I Use It
I have used it with our gifted classes and our Technology Club.
In our gifted classes, students did a research project where they explored a topic of their own interest . One student did a project on Disc Golf and Ultimate Frisbee. As part of his presentation, he created an interactive game using Kodu Game Lab. The student recreated a Disc Golf course in the app and students were able to play through the course, throwing a virtual disc, avoiding objects like trees, and trying to get the disc in the net. The game does not live up to professional game studio qualities, BUT having the ability for a student to create a simple game that reinforces his presentation was incredible.
In our Technology Club, we had a group of students that created a world that mimicked an animal cell. As the game character, students were able to fly through a cell that the group built and interact with the parts of the cell. As the character encounters the different parts, a text box appears describing what the part of the cell is and what it does. This "game" was able to be introduced to our Life Science classes to reinforce their knowledge on animal cells.
Kodu Game Lab is an app that can be downloaded on the Microsoft Xbox 360 through Xbox Live. An Xbox Live membership is required to download and use this app. The app costs $5. I have been using it with my gifted classes and Technology Club at my school. The students have primarily used YouTube videos to learn how to use the app, we did not find the tutorials as easy to follow as some of the YouTube videos we found. This app is a dream for critical thinking and problem solving, along with creativity and innovation!
The students have LOVED being able to create "games" and explore cause and effect as they "program" the actions in the app. The game is built using the Xbox 360 game controller and aren't too difficult to pick up, but it did take some time for the students to really get a good grasp on how to build with it.
We are planning to find new ways to create "games" that can be introduced to content areas.
The "worlds" can be shared between Xbox devices by sharing through Xbox Live. Game makers are limited to the items that come installed with the game, so some of our game ideas would not work out the way we would want them to.