Pat Yongpradit, a talented young HS CS teacher I have written about before, has created  a 5 week mini-course on game programming with XNA Game Studio. This course is particularly useful for educators who want to offer game programming to their students as an enrichment unit, as part of a summer school or after school program or other places in their curriculum. It is especially useful for educators who don’t already have the game development knowledge and who don’t have a lot of free time to learn it on their own. This curriculum gives you access to a free textbook (in PDF format) as well as video tutorials that lead students through the lessons. It is explicitly designed for students who already know how to program, the difference here is that this curriculum teaches them how program in a game context. Here are some other reasons I think this is such a good course:

  1. Students who know Java or C++ will find C# close enough to jump in quickly and easily
  2. This is serious programming and not drag and drop programming
  3. Everything is free for students including free tools, free developer license, and free app submission!
  4. Visual Studio. An integrated development environment similar to many Java IDE's.
  5. Simple one button deployment to Windows phones, and a great emulator fully integrated with the IDE for those without phones.
  6. Plug in an Xbox controller to a USB port in a PC  and program input into a game!
  7. Set the kids on it and step back! With video tutorials, you can learn with the students and start from day one.

Where do you get all of this?

And don’t forget to sign you high school up for DreamSpark to get students even more free development software!