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Pros: Materials can be self-paced or teacher-led, and they address a wide range of skill levels from beginner to career-level.
Cons: The vast array of lessons and options can be overwhelming for beginners, and installation requires a lot of storage.
Bottom Line: It's a slick, fun, and effective way to get students building games right away, with plenty of room for depth.
Teachers can use Unity Learn as a way to easily incorporate scripting, coding, virtual reality, extended reality, animation, graphic and visual effects, and other high-interest, hands-on digital projects and skills. You don't need tons of background knowledge or expertise around programming, game design, or sophisticated digital skills to successfully introduce students to Unity Learn. Teachers should start with Unity for Educators – A Beginners Guide, which describes how the program can be used, includes tutorials and projects on how to teach using Unity, and shares tips for facilitating learning opportunities in the classroom. Teachers can also download the Unity for Educators course book and participate in live learning sessions. The series also encourages teachers to design lessons and projects for their students in the Planning Lab. There's a plethora of dedicated resources to support educators in implementing Unity Learn in the classroom; teachers also get help adding digital tools to their own professional repertoire.
Teachers can design lessons and projects for students, collectively participate in one of the live learning sessions, or encourage students to choose their own self-paced pathway. The array of guided learning experiences and topics encourages students to lean into their personal interests and learn at their own pace. The pathway courses present a step-by-step curriculum that takes learners from theory into practice. For example, the Junior Programmer Pathway, which is a 12-week program, combines explicit instruction, live series, assignments that reinforce skills, and a capstone project that could be included in a professional portfolio. Students who complete a pathway also earn sharable digital credentials. Courses are paced out across weeks and include Missions, or learning units, that often take several hours to complete. The Mission checkpoint allows students to see their progress or can be used to demonstrate prior knowledge and skip ahead to the next skill or project.
Unity Learn is a collection of courses, tutorials, and projects for learners, educators, and aspiring professionals interested in programming, game design, and a wide array of digital topics. These lessons help students go from being completely new to Unity to becoming game developers, step by step. To get started and take full advantage of the platform, users will need to install the Unity Hub and Editor, which are required for game design and programing.
Students can filter material by choosing topics of interest; this also personalizes the content that appears on their feed. Options include scripting, 2D, XR, animation, and graphic and visual effects, mobile & touch, UI, physics, production, cloud build, best practices, and more. Tutorials are shorter lessons that address specific topics quickly, such as "Variables and Functions," "3D Game Kit Walkthrough," and "Getting Started with VR." Pathways are comprehensive guided learning experiences that offer in-depth learning opportunities and include an array of learning modalities: written directions, step-by-step video tutorials, hands-on projects, follow-along builds, topic specific lessons, and progress checkpoints. Learners can also join one of the Unity groups, where members come together to connect through a discussion board to share their learning experience, ask questions, and provide support. Unity Learn members also have the option of attending live sessions led by experts, viewing prerecorded live sessions, or requesting 1-to-1 live help from an expert. The Unity Learn dashboard displays XP points, badges, and recent activity and suggests featured lessons and projects. It encompasses each student's learning journey, allowing them to create a portfolio. Accompanying these extensive materials is a full Unity for Educators course, which is designed to help even the most novice feel confident in integrating Unity in their classroom. In addition to training, teachers can also tap in to the collection of resources and the Unity for Educators community, which includes a Facebook community.
Unlike some computer science courses, with Unity Learn, students start building games right away, for an almost immediate sense of accomplishment. With a free account, students can track their progress and save learning materials for later, and can work toward completing different courses, projects, or tutorials at the same time. The program empowers learners to explore an array of topics under the interactive design and development umbrella. Although game design may pique students' interest, the platform's vast and in-depth offerings will keep students engaged and interested. The courses also give students insight about what the job of a programmer or game developer is like through the different projects and tasks. Pathways courses can lead to sharable credentials, and the platform helps students develop their portfolio. Whether students learn how to make Unity games in a formal classroom setting, follow the courses systematically, or explore the tutorials and documentation on their own, they'll learn the useful skills of game design, development, and deployment for 2D and 3D games, physics-based games, animation, audio, graphics, mobile, and anything else that appeals to them. And features like XP points add gaming features to the experience itself. The only drawback might be that there's so much that it could be overwhelming. But, overall, this platform enables learners to increase their expertise in 21st century skills, perhaps even preparing them for a future career.