Would You Like to Pilot a New Game Development Course?

Computer Science Teacher
Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson

Would You Like to Pilot a New Game Development Course?

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Would you like to pilot a new game development course (or two)  in your school? With free curriculum and software? Microsoft is starting a new  XNA online community group and curriculum pilot program that features:

  • Free software
  • Free teacher-created curriculum
  • Two one semester courses

Here are the descriptions of the two courses.

Programming with C# and XNA 1: Advanced Applications in Game Development (1 semester)

Programming with C# and XNA 1: Game Development is an exciting and engaging computer science course that allows students to apply a basic foundation in programming to the context of game development and simulation using C# and the XNA framework.  C# is a modern and professional object-oriented programming language which when combined with the XNA framework creates the XNA Game Studio – a professional game development environment for Xbox 360 and Windows Phone development.  Students will learn how variables, conditionals, and loops get applied to game creation.  They will also learn and apply Object-Oriented design, inheritance and polymorphism, recursion, sorting, searching, and data structures.  The curriculum package contains a curriculum framework, lesson plans, demonstration projects, video tutorials, lab assignments, student activities, and assessment tools with keys and exemplars.  Student-directed learning resources support independent learning, freeing teachers to focusing on instruction of computer science concepts and student assessment. 

Programming with C# and XNA 2: Windows Phone 7 and the Imagine Cup (1 semester)

Imagine designing and programming a simulation or game to address a real-world problem.  Now imagine that the application can be operated on a mobile device and can be sold in a global marketplace.  The excitement and engagement of programming within a game context continues as students learn to design and implement complex games within the Windows Phone 7 environment and explore games for social causes. Programming with C# and XNA 2: Windows Phone 7 and the Imagine Cup provides a capstone experience in designing a simulation or game solution and deploying it the Windows Phone 7.  Students will learn about using a touch interface and analyzing accelerometer data, as well as communicating and collaborating within a team.  Students will create complex algorithms for game situations using advanced data structures such as Stacks, Queues, and Lists.  This curriculum package contains a curriculum framework, lesson plans, demonstration projects, video tutorials, lab assignments, student activities, and assessment tools with keys and exemplars.  Student-directed learning resources support independent learning, freeing teachers to focusing on instruction of computer science concepts and student assessment.

More information InnovativeTeachers@microsoft.com or on the web at http://us.partnersinlearningnetwork.com/communities/xna_game_development



  • This course looks interesting but it needs at least a couple of lead-in semesters to get here.  Does Microsoft plan on developing something to fit in that slot?  There is Kodu material available and some Small Basic material but then there is this large gap to C#/XNA.  It would be nice if there was some sort of continuous curriculum.  Maybe there is and I just have not found the correct Microsoft site.  Of course if there was such a curriculum I am sure someone is going to claim Microsoft is trying to brainwash our students with this free curriculum.  For the price I am willing to risk it.

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