How I Use It
In a summer camp, students from grades 4-8 used Kodu to design games. The Kodu Game Lab tutorials were essential in getting students to the point where they could use Kodu to solve a challenge. Kodu can be used to bring a story to life, interpret a problem/solution and much more! In my camp, I had the students rotate seats every 5 minutes to continue one another's games as you would invite students to continue another's story. It was interesting to see how the environment (sounds, colors, type of land, theme of the game) built by one student was perceived by another.
Kodu Game Lab grabs the attention of students because it mimics modern video games. Unlike true coding, Kodu is set up to be a graphical game design builder making it less intimidating to young programmers. Students drag and drop the elements (characters, land, sea, score keepers, timers, etc.) into their world and then use menus to set the characteristics of the elements. Because students need to know how to read and to identify color coding/patterns to know what logically makes sense when assigning characteristics to the elements of their game, I would recommend this for students in grade 4+. The number of options and the on-screen changing interface can be overwhleming to a students at first, but with patience all students can be successful using Kodu.