XNA Game Studio Express – Windows and XBOX Gaming: Energizing Computing Science Curriculum

The Challenge of Declining Computer Science Enrollment

I participated in a special meeting with the largest computer societies globally where CIPS [Canada’s association and community of IT professionals] received an invitation. It is interesting how there are common challenges such as declining enrollment in computer science. One of my impressions from the summit: gaming provided solutions and represented a growing area. [Note: I will be sharing my other takeaways in future blogs from this summit.]

I did a podcast on this topic of declining enrollment too with HM College President Maria Klawe, an ACM and founding CIPS Fellow. Moreover, this was a hot topic for Bill in his faculty summit that he held in 2005 and took the stage with Maria.

There’s a Solution!

I saw this news item in ITBusiness.ca that provides a great solution. The XNA Game Studio Express from Microsoft will be available as a free download to allow universities to add full-fledged gaming to their curriculum. For a modest $99US annual fee, participants can share and test the games online. Student teams could work on the latest computing technologies and practices and see their work expressed in real time. As a result, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Ontario are planning to add XNA Express to their curriculum and soon.

What a great idea and fun too! I see this as a practical solution to energize students into computing.

Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.

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