New Kodu Version!

By fuse-blog1 year ago - permalink

Tags: kodu fuse labs fuselabs games gaming education

For those of you that don’t know, FUSE Labs is also the home of Kodu Game Lab.  Kodu is a complete 3D game development environment designed to let kids create their own 3D games.  Kodu is built around a custom visual programming language that makes it easy for everyone to learn how to program.

The new version of Kodu includes lots of new features, here’s the highlights:

  • Touch is now supported as an input method.  You can also build games that use touch to control your characters.
  • We have a bunch of new characters all focused on making water games.  Heading the list is Octo.  Like a real octopus he can squirt ink and camouflage himself.
  • Programmable control for some of the world settings:  you can now change the sky color and lighting effects via programming.  The transitions can either be instant or you can have them happen over time.  Whatever works best for your game.
  • Programmable control of some character settings:  you can change a character’s size or max speed on the fly now.  Like the world settings you can control how quickly this change happens.

The focus on water characters isn’t by accident.  We’re also announcing the Imagine Cup Kodu Challenge where the theme is exploring the relationships between water and people.  This is a chance for game developers ages 9 to 18 to compete in a world wide competition.  Oh, and the winners get some cash, too.

You can get the latest version of Kodu here:

Find out all the details about the contest here:

Win Microsoft Goodies for Participating in Youth Questionnaire on Technology & Civic Engagement

Linked 2 years ago - permalink

Tags: fuselabs education

The City of Seattle, Metrocenter YMCA and FUSE Labs Microsoft Research, are working together to get a better understanding of how people between the ages of 14 and 25 use technology for community or political activities with the goal of improving local community web sites such as Puget SoundOff.

This questionnaire is completely voluntary. Responses are confidential and used only for the purposes of the research project. The questionnaire takes about 20 minutes to complete and all survey respondents are entered into the Microsoft sweepstakes and eligible to win software and games. The survey can be accessed here:

Students at Oak Park Elementary are bringing their imaginations to life with Kodu!

Linked 2 years ago - permalink

Tags: fuselabs kodu education

Students at Oak Park Elementary are bringing their imaginations to life.

Whether they are magical forests or underwater worlds, students’ dreams are becoming a reality on their computer screens. Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) students are part of a pilot program that has fourth- and fifth-graders creating video games.

Read more…

Announcing our Student Social Media Advisors Program

By shellyfarnham2 years ago - permalink

Tags: fuselabs students social networking education

At FUSE Labs we believe we have a lot to learn from students — they tend to be early adopters of social media and have great intuitions into what works and what doesn’t.

Therefore we are pleased to announce our Student Social Media Advisors Program.   Through this program, we will engage in an ongoing dialogue with students, where they will have a direct impact on the future of social experiences online and through mobile devices.

If you are you a social-media savvy student who loves to play with new technologies, we  invites you to participate in our program.  You will have early access to our prototypes and be invited to participate in user studies.  You will learn about opportunities to incorporate our projects into your school work, and receive announcements for internships or other student job opportunities as they appear.   Learn more and sign up here!

College Students and Existing Practices for Learning Online

By shellyfarnham2 years ago - permalink

Tags: Shelly Farnham fuselabs education social networking research fuselabs

With the impending release of as a search and social networking tool for learning, a few months ago we decided we really needed a much richer picture of existing learning practices of college students. 

To that end, we recruited University of Washington students to try out a pre-release version of, and give us feedback in the form of questionnaires, focus groups, and interviews.  By the end of this user study, we knew these students very, very well.

Consistent with related work, we found that yes, Facebook is a primary tool for communicating with fellow students, though students still use email for more professional communications at work or with their professors, and students are accessing the Internet all day long through laptops and cell phones.

One important question we asked was “If you need to learn about a topic that is new to you, either for work, class or for your own personal interests, to what extent do you rely on any of the following resources?”   We found that students report learning the most through online web sites, people they know face to face, and then social networks.  See Figure below.   Amazingly, they are using their social networks more than brick and mortar libraries or book stores.

Students Use the Web and Online Social Networks to Learn

Read More

Nice mention about in Education Week

Linked 2 years ago - permalink

Tags: education fuselabs

This is a nice summary and pointer to the original article Lili Cheng did for the MIT Technology Review.


Your Kid Could Create the next Halo Game

Well, maybe not the next “Halo,” but he or she could be well on their way to creating a fun PC or Xbox 360 game with Kodu, a free set of fun tools from Microsoft. And for the competitive kids out there, there’s real money up for grabs!

From readwriteweb:

Microsoft is releasing a new version of its Kodu Game Lab today, and it’s also kicking off its Kodu Cup Competition for students ages 9 to 17. The competition asks kids to design their own video game using Kodu, and the winners will compete for a $5000 prize for themselves, along with $5000 for their school and a trip to the worldwide finals of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition.

Check out this short video with a brief introduction. Then download the tools, and get playing!

Excellent overview of Kodu in this demo - thanks, imthedadthatswhy!

By kodu-blog 2 years ago - permalink

Tags: kodu imagine cup microsoft gaming education

Read how Kodu is offering all students an opportunity to be successful

Linked 2 years ago - permalink

Tags: kodu students education curriculum

"Kodu offers all students an opportunity to be successful and to think and problem solve creatively no matter what their educational skill level."

"Kodu is something that I can see integrating into my curriculum"

- Selena Gordon, teacher at the Kent Tech Academy 

Read the full post here!

Using Kodu to Promote Literacy

Linked 3 years ago - permalink

Tags: kodu literacy education edutainment gaming games development

Game building tools like Kodu can extend well outside of traditional math and computer science disciplines. Our latest Kodu blog entry highlights some great work being done to promote literacy with young boys.