Nowadays, most kids are constantly surrounded by a variety of games, such as smartphones and tablet apps... so why not use computer games as a mechanism to bring computing to children. Contrary to common perceptions, there are many tools that could be introduced to very young kids and not only to secondary school students.
Game design tools can be used to encourage students to think creatively and to develop storytelling and problem-solving thinking. These would equally help students define goals and bring out steps to achieve these skills through a set of engaging game development tools that would be equally useful for teachers to develop cross-curricular projects.
Kodu-3D: One of the most popular tools to create games is Kodu-3D, a 3D game programming environment for Windows and Xbox addressed to kids aged 9-14. The tool includes a very attractive interface with tons of icons and a library of 3D models and environments to choose from. In it, you will be able to find a Kodu classroom kit, a set of lesson plans and activities for educators, after-school instructors, parents, peer mentors and administrators. If you want to see an example of how to integrate Kodu in your class, check out this lesson plan Animal Planet with Kodu.
Scratch Jr.: Available in over 40 languages, Scratch Jr offers young children (ages 5-7) the opportunity to program their own interactive stories and games. If your students are ages 8+, have a look at Scratch and you will find out how to program simple interactive stories, games, and animations. We suggest you start with this easy step-by-step Flappy Code tutorial using Scratch.
Still not sure how to integrate Scratch in your class? Have a look at this lesson plan: Let's code. You can also use this link to share with your colleagues more coding tools and resources on Games development that you might know or you might have used with students in the classroom.
Task 4: Select, at least, one of the tools of the two blocks -Unplugged activities or games development-, try it out -either alone or with your students- and leave your comments and impressions on the padlet