Friday, March 2, 2012

Kodu and Scratch in Primary schools

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.

12 comments:

  1. I would go for Scratch first as I have used their scratch cards to go through the basics and they work really well. I haven't found anything similar for Kodu. I also find Kodu a bit less intuitive to use and get results that work well from.

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  2. There are loads of Kodu resources on the Partners in Learning Network www.pil-network.com - Here is an example written by Ollie Bray - http://www.pil-network.com/Resources/LearningActivities/Details/cc1b00d6-bf6d-4759-9d49-82a3d090e793

    Keep a look out on our blog - blogs.msdn.com/teachers for free kodu events coming up shortly.

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  3. There's always room for both, IMO.
    Personally, I'd opt for Kodu first because I found the graphical interface easier for younger students than dealing with the blocks in Scratch. That said, I think working with either will help students to quickly get to grips with the other!

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  4. Have used and still using kodu and scratch. The children prefer kodu as they can instantly see what they have created; they like controlling the landscape. I (and they) feel that scratch is a little more complicated. Still use both though. I currently teach Y6 but would consider rolling it out to Y5.

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  5. Both are great and when you look at Kodu you can't help but be impressed by the 3D world that the children can get involved in. The satisfaction and rewards are far quicker in Kodu which does help the development of the learning -however I do find it unstable (which is probably down to graphics cards at our end)

    Scratch has got great potential for developing logic and systematic thinking when programming however it does lack the 'bright lights' of Kodu

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  6. kodu is so fun because you can programe the rodot to do anything

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  7. kodu is amsaing so many things to do so many things to see its very fun

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