Kodu who? I thought the same thing when I heard this name however, I have since learned that Kodu is a visual game programming language developed by Microsoft and is intended to be used by children to make their own games.

Kodu provides an end-to-end creative environment for designing, building, and playing your own new games. The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple and entirely icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Conditions are evaluated simultaneously.

The Kodu language is designed specifically for game development and provides specialized primitives derived from gaming scenarios. Programs are expressed in physical terms, using concepts like vision, hearing, and time to control character behavior. While not as general-purpose as classical programming languages, Kodu can express advanced game design concepts in a simple, direct, and intuitive manner.

Well recently Microsoft has made an update of the Kodu Game Lab available along with a classroom kit.  The classroom kit can be a great format to help kids learn programming and technology:

A range of lesson plans and activities are available for Kodu. The lessons are designed to be flexible so the instructor should take what she or he feels best suits the class and his or her teaching style. Our goal is to help address the many ways that students respond to technology—some like to be directed in their advancement and others tend to forge ahead, experimenting through trial and error.

Sounds like a great way to get kids enthusiastic about technology and not just by mashing buttons or sending text messages.

Kodu Game Lab – Technical Preview Download

Kodu Game Lab – Classroom Kit Download

Kodu Project Page at Fuse Labs