The UK Kodu Kup

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After my work with Kodu Game Lab won an award at the last Global Forum in Prague I continued to build on this, alongside the UK PiL Manager, to introduce the Kodu Kup to the UK. This is a national game creation competition aimed at all children in the UK aged between 7 and 14. Last year’s competition impacted on 70,000 children across the country, it was a HUGE success and even won a BETT award back in January, just as we launched this year’s competition. The Kodu Kup runs for 5 months in which students plan and create their games and are encouraged to assess and give one another feedback.

Here's a video showing some of the participants from last year's competition:

This year we are also including entries made using Project Spark which is new software from Microsoft for creating 3D worlds and games, made by the same development team as Kodu Game Lab. I have put together a revamped Teachers' Pack for this year’s competition as we also decided to remove the themes and now require students to work in teams to form their own mini-game studio.

I have also put together a set of simple Kodu video tutorials called “Kodelets” which were designed to be a short and simple way to get started with some of the programming techniques.

Title SlideLearners build their knowledge in various ways through taking part in the Kodu Kup. Initially they will begin with learning the basic programming skills required to make things happen in Kodu Game Lab. I’ve recently developed a NEW scheme of work and teaching materials which builds on the Systems Lifecycle and teachers are encouraged to follow this model when running the competition with their students.

The learning outcomes are for the students to build their own games, while encouraging the following skills:

  • Problem solving
  • Understanding programming instructions
  • Storytelling (the best games had a great story)
  • Team work (this year learners are required to work in teams of three)

My most recent activity includes introducing Kodu Game Lab, with some of my students, at the UK Hour of Code launch. The Hour of Code is an intitiative that began in America to encourage everyone to try out some simple programming exercises. It was recently introduced in the UK with a big launch event on 3rd March, which was well represented by the national Press, including the BBC. My role for the Hour of Code was to provide a Kodu activity as well as demonstrate how to use the software at the launch. WP_20140303_005

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