by Andy Li
Expert Educator Columnist, Hong Kong
Is it necessary for kids to learn how to code？
Kids Coding has been a hot topic especially in ICT, education and even among parents. Programming or coding used to be regarded as alien languages and seldom chosen by students in school. People always make fun of programmers for being nerdy with thick glasses. So why is coding suddenly becoming popular and many countries becoming more eager to drive in schools?
From the birth of tablet devices and smartphones from 5 years ago, huge impacts have been made not only to IT industry but also the popularity and the use of electronic devices. Before they were invented, electronic devices were used by only a small and prestigious group of people and usually designed for IT experts. Nowadays, everyone including kids and even elderlies have their own portable electronic devices and developed habits of using apps to handle daily activities such as work, internet search, communication and entertainment. IT industry is not limited to a website or concept and now becoming a real boom. You may even say whoever is in control of IT industry owns the whole world. That is why IT industry is eager to recruit talents, from junior computer programmers to IT experts. Governments are gradually implementing coding or computer programming into curriculum, even in junior primary level.
My school started to teach kids coding 2 years ago by using Kodu, a Microsoft developed coding software. Kodu is equipped with a beautiful 3-D environment with self-learning elements, aiming to allow kids to create an interactive digital game with a very simple drag-and-drop interface. Students are free to construct the landscape, world and roles with basic commands according to their preferences. Ultimately, they can send the game for others to play.
Information of Kodu
Software name：Microsoft Kodu
Official site to download：http://fuse.microsoft.com/page/kodu (182.2MB)
Installation requirement：Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP. A graphics card that supports DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 2.0 or higher is required
Let’s go into the world of Kodu!
This screen will be shown after you have successfully installed Kodu.
Going into LOAD WORLD, you will see more options. Let me introduce each of the functions one by one.
Today, I have chosen KODU and the Goldon Applel. In this lesson, you will learn how to control Kodu to meet its friend the Motorcyclist.
After you click PLAY, you will go into this small farm. The roles in this world include Kodu and its friend the Motorcyclist. Kodu will ask you to input some commands so that it can meet its friend the Motorcyclist. Now you press Esc on your keyboard to start editing this program.
After you have pressed Esc, screen will change and provide more options.
Click “Program Editing” icon and click on Kodu to start editing.
It is simple like that. Students are able to learn basic programming logic very quickly and efficiently. Start now and download Kodu for your students to learn.
要解釋這個原因，就要從五年前說起。平板電腦及智能電話的面世不僅對資訊科技界帶來改變，更對整個世界帶來一個大改變 – 資訊科技產品使用的普及。在平板電腦及智能電話還未推出市場前，資訊科技產品只屬於一小群的玩意，大部分都是為資訊科技專才而設計的。但平板電腦及智能電話推出後，整個環境出現翻天覆地的改變。不論男女老少都擁有個人化的流動裝置，亦習慣使用應用程式(APP)去解決生活上不同的需要，包括工作、獲取資訊、溝通、娛樂等。在短時間內，資訊科技產品、應用程式已我們日常生活不能分開，造就了資訊科技業的興起。資訊科技業已不再是一個網站、一個概念，而是由實體產品產出的「新工業」。資訊科技有著主導人類生活習慣的能力，可以說誰主宰資訊科技界，誰就帶領著世界。整個世界對資訊科技人才求才若渴，由以程式設計師為主。上述種種原因，就是造成不同國家大力推行程師編寫教育，甚至在初小階段已將程式編寫納入為正規課程。
安裝規格：Windows8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
A graphics card that supports DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 2.0 or higher is