Tools for creating learning

by Phil on March 21, 2011

Inspired by the Game to Learn conference (Take 2!)

Here are some of the tools mentioned at Game to Learn:
Blender – Free cross-platform 3D authoring tool, with game scripting and animation built in – this Colin’s tutorial.
RPG Maker VX – RPG game development tool.
Kodu – free game development tool for XBox 360 (also works on Windows).
Scratch – free high level programming tool.
BYOB (Build Your Own Blocks) – free high level programming tool, based on Scratch, that lets you take things further – there’s a neat tutorial here.
Adventure Maker – a simple, free, point and click game maker.
2 Simple – as it’s name suggests, a suite of simple tools for creating.
Flash – only limited by your imagination (& iPhones, iPads or iPods).
Thinking Worlds – more of a pro-tool – costs money and usually involves professional developers.
Little Big Planet – don’t know what to say about this, it’s like nothing else on this list!
GarageBand – Lisa Sorbie’s pupils used this to produce radio dramas (costs money and only runs on Macs – though if you have a Mac it usually comes with it) – also see Aviary below.
MuseScore – this free tool was mentioned in Mathew Reid’s session on RPG Maker VX, where pupils used it to provide background music for the game they made.
Alice – this was also mentioned on the conference twitterverse – if I understand it correctly, it is similar to Scratch and BYOB, but based on Java (if that is important to your learning objectives).

These are some tools that were not mentioned at the conference that seem to be worth mentioning:
Aviary – a free suite of web based tools similar to many of those provided by Adobe, but the audio editor is very similar to GarageBand.
UDK – a popular pro game development tool that is free for educational use.
Unity 3D – a popular pro game development tool that has a free version suitable for educational use.
SketchUp – a free and very intuitive 3D modelling tool useful for Blender, UDK, Unity 3D and GoogleEarth (as well as technical and design courses).

Finally, it’s not an authoring tool, but has to be mentioned if literacy is important to you:
Inanimate Alice – see here why Bill Boyd has fallen in love with Alice.


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