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Andy Li: Coding for Kids Made Easy with Kodu

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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

Language: English

Let’s go into the world of Kodu!

This screen will be shown after you have successfully installed Kodu.

kodu-1

Going into LOAD WORLD, you will see more options. Let me introduce each of the functions one by one.

kodu-2

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.kodu-3

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.

kodu-4

Click “Program Editing” icon and click on Kodu to start editing.

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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.

孩子有需要學習程式編寫嗎?

Kids Coding兒童編程是近年一個非常熱門的話題!無論在資訊科技界、教育界,甚或「家長界」,也熱烈地談論著這個課題。程式編寫在以往被視為一門冷門學科,被人覺得像學一門「外星語言」;程式編寫員則被人塑造成一個怪人,帶著厚厚的眼鏡,牛仔褲加上一件T-shirt,背著一個背包,常被稱為「怪茄」。為甚麼這樣的一門學科,會突然興起,甚至不同的國家都想辦法大力推行呢?

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。

我校就在兩年前已開始讓孩子接觸程式編寫,當中運用的軟件就是Microsoft的Kodu。今天我會為大家介紹Kodu,一個有趣、配合華麗的3D立體畫面、備有自學素材的程式編寫學習軟件。

Kodu是Microsoft由推出的,目的是讓孩子可以用一個非常簡單的方法,去創建一個互動的立體數碼遊戲。使用者利用軟件去創建自己遊戲的地形、世界及不同的角色,再為每個角色或物件加上不同的程式組合,一隻「專業」的數碼遊戲就這樣就能建立了。

Kodu小簡介:

軟件名稱:Microsoft Kodu

下載點及官方網站點:http://fuse.microsoft.com/page/kodu (182.2MB)

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

required

語言:英語

那我們現在一起開始進入Kodu的世界吧!

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