Woodford Primary School students will soon be designing and programming their own Xbox and computer games as part of a new pilot project to drive creative and logical thinking in Victorian Government schools.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney today announced Woodford Primary School was among 25 primary and secondary Government schools to share in $50,000 to participate in the 10-week trial of Microsoft’s brand new games design software, Kodu, starting in term four.
Woodford Primary School will receive $2000 to cover covers the cost of replacement teachers while school Kodu coordinators attend professional development courses to learn how best to use the new technology
The pilot is part of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s two-year KnowledgeBank: Next Generation project, which encourages the use of emerging technology in the 21st century classroom.
“The Kodu pilot program is a fantastic opportunity for teachers at Woodford Primary School to investigate the potential of visual programming and gaming as a learning tool, and is also an exciting project for Woodford Primary School students,” Ms Tierney said.
Woodford Primary School students will be creating games on their PC using a specialized Xbox controller. The games, created using Kodu’s simple image-based commands as creation tools, will be compatible with Xbox.
Some schools plan to have their students create spelling and maths games for younger year levels, while others will build games which can be used as revision tools across a range of classes, including science.
“This pilot will investigate how computer games development can bolster students’ creative and technological skills, but also how it can impact on other lessons, including literacy, numeracy and science,” Ms Tierney said.
“It builds on the innovative work we have been doing within KnowledgeBank: Next Generation over the past 15 months, with teacher’s trialling things like blogging and podcasting, streaming media, using video games and web conferencing.”
Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike said this was another great example of the Brumby Government supporting the need for students to access the latest technology in schools.
“Learning in Victorian schools today is very different to the chalk and talk classrooms of the past, and the Brumby Government is ensuring our students are receiving every opportunity to not only keep pace with, but to excel in today’s digital world,” Ms Pike said.
“That’s why it is particularly exciting to see this Kodu trial involving the Woodford Primary School.”