I found a nice set of YouTube videos by Dawn Dupriest (search YouTube for “Unity and VR in the classroom”) on how to make a very basic maze game using Unity. She has four videos that do a simple job of walking through the basic process. There are a few glitches were Unity was not cooperating (the collision box handles were missing when I tried to resize the box but a little Google work found the issue) but the videos themselves were spot on. I am going to throw this at four of my sharper students and see how kids handle it. There is such a big difference from me working through these things with my years of working through things, and their limited number of years of working through things. If I am going to give this a try next semester I want non-experienced kids doing a pre-run.
A couple of years ago I tried using the tutorial on the Unity site. Too many leaps of assumed understanding. I see they have been redone so after completing this series I will try them again. Too many tutorials are just a list of tasks without any explanations. This is fine if you do not want to do more than the tutorial. A little bit of “why” goes a long way in really understanding what you are doing.
I already found one issue. I have the kids working on some school tower computers because I can setup dual monitors on them. The towers were on the school domain and only admins can save on domain computers. Opps. I pulled the computers off the domain and just made a workgroup as the easiest solution. This is not an issue with BYOD or the school laptops (school laptops are not in the domain) but dual monitors is a must when doing video learning. My older laptops have a VGA output so I could have dual monitors on them but the newer i5 laptops have HDMI only. I do not have HDMI monitors, adapters or cables. So towers it is. Something to consider if I want to do a Unity class.
Unity is just such a tempting environment to teach. 3d objects, game feel, C#, make cool things; what more could you want to get kids into coding and problem solving? Admittedly it looks and is pretty intimidating, lots of things going on and lots of stuff on the screen but for the sharp kids I think it is doable. I just want the kids to learn how to learn. Follow directions, read, and when the tutorial and book do not seem to jive with what is happening on the screen, to be able to scratch their head and figure it out.