Have you heard about Kodu. I haven't tried it myself but I've been hearing a lot about it recently. Kodu is a free program you can download which lets students create games using a simple visual programming language.
Here is what Kodu say about it
Kodu Teaches more than Programming
- Kodu is a rich tool for narrative creation and storytelling
- Kodu demonstrates that programming is a creative medium
- Kodu helps children with critical thinking, breaking a complex goal into manageable steps, and iterate on the design process – an approach applicable to all academic subjects, business and personal relationships
- Kodu introduces the logic and problem solving of programming
- Kodu introduces conditions and sequences, which teaches cause and effect
- Students learn about cooperation, logic and creativity in addition to programming
Kodu is currently being tried in Australian public schools.
Kodu has an emphasis on the creative side and is not just for teachers who are technically able. If you are interested, there is a classroom kit to get you started. If you try it out, or if you are already using it, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.