June 15, 2016
Below are five of our favourite platforms that you can use with your students to create a wide variety of learning games. No coding skills are required. Designing learning games is a great way to develop students analytic thinking and foster self-expression. It is also an effective way to introduce students to basic coding and programming concepts and help them cultivate 21st century learning skills.
GameSalad is a teacher-friendly platform that allows you to create learning games without the need of any programming or coding background. Students get to learn about computational thinking and computer science concepts while building their games.’ It’s also the best way to introduce programming concepts, game design, and digital media creation to your students.’2- Gamestar Mechanic
‘Gamestar Mechanic is a game-based digital learning platform geared at 4th to 9th grade students that is designed to teach the guiding principles of game design and systems thinking in a highly engaging and creative environment…Gamestar Mechanic allows students to learn about how systems work and how they can be modified or changed. Students learn to think analytically and holistically, to experiment and test theories, and to consider other people as part of the systems they create and inhabit.’3- Pixel Press
Pixel Press is an excellent application that enables you to draw your own video games. Teachers can create educational video games to use in class without the need for any coding skills. The process is very simple: use pen and paper to draw your game, take a picture of it via your iPad’s camera and Pixel Press does the rest and bring your game to life. You can either create on paper with ‘Draw-on-Paper’ and take a picture of it or use ‘Draw-in-App’ to directly draw on screen. When your game is created, you can then share it with the entire community in the ‘Arcade’.4- Scratch
Scratch is one of the best free web tools I would recommend for teachers keen on teaching their students about how to create video games and animations. Scratch is a project designed and provided for free by the MIT Media Lab. It is basically a “a programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. “. All of these activities require students to practice a host of essential 21st century learning skills such as creative thinking, systematic and logical reasoning and working collaboratively. Students’ final products can be shared in online communities for others to interact with, like and favour, and re-share.