Released in 2009 by Microsoft, Kodu is a visual programming environment that runs on Windows or XBox 360 (it doesn’t currently run on Mac OS).
It operates in a very nice looking 3D environment and has the added advantage of being able to use a controller to program and play games. It certainly is one of the more visually appealing programs and will certainly get students attention.
The downside is that it does not teach the basics of programming as well as Alice or Scratch. Whilst the concepts are all there, students are less likely to be able to apply the concepts learnt to other languages when they progress.
That does not mean it should be discounted entirely. It is still a great piece of learning software in it’s own right and would be perfect for an after school club or for lower ability students. Students with XBox 360s are also able to take home their games on a USB stick and play them at home.
Kodu Game Lab
This is the more adult oriented website – good for educators
This is aimed at younger Kodu users
The Impact of Web 2.0 Technologies in the Classroom: Kodu excerpt
A report detailing the impact of using Kodu in the classroom