My colleague (@lj101) and I are in the process of putting together a control day for our teachers specifically looking at the use of Kodu and Scratch to teach aspects of control. In case you don't know these pieces of software they are both free (the magic word in today's climate!!) and can be used to create/program computer games (amongst other things).
Kodu is a Microsoft product that creates games of a very high graphic quality through an icon based programming system. The biggest 'novelty' factor with Kodu is that it can programmed not only with keyboard and mouse, but with XBox 360 controllers (I did get it working with cheaper pc gamepads but that's a long story!!). These games can be uploaded to an online community so they can be played both on PC and XBox 360.
Scratch is a piece of software developed by MIT which again allows pupils to program using a drag and drop interface that elliviates the syntax errors that so often make programming so frustrating. The games can again be easily shared allowing activities to be shared at home or for work to continue.
We have greater experience of using Scratch in the classroom as we recently ran a project in a school with 3 year 5/6 classes and have a couple of schools showing an interest in a similar Kodu project. A conversation with a secondary colleague raised a question that I'm throwing out there to gather other people's thoughts.
If you were to teach (or have taught) Kodu and/or Scratch in school, which would you teach first to give a logical progression? Is there enough difference between them to teach both in a Primary school?
Without giving away our thoughts on this matter, we were surprised as to the thoughts/opinions of our colleague as they were different to our perception. If you have any experience in this matter, I'd be very interested to hear your experiences either in the comments section below or by voting in the poll on the right.