Teaching Kids To Code Using Minecraft Building Blocks

Lessons Learned From Teaching Minecraft Coding Workshops

How to teach coding with Minecraft: Education Edition

In the past few months, I have had the opportunity to lead Minecraft coding workshops using ScriptCraft in our makerspace and a local museum. Walter Higgins had done an amazing job of creating documentation and tools to help students learn JavaScript while playing with Minecraft. I wanted to share some reflections on teaching this workshop to support others who might do similar coding dojos for young makers.

What went well?

  • I really wanted the students to make a concept jump from block programming to JavaScript programming. To that end, Ive created a small tool that sketches out ScriptCraftJS mods based on a blockly program. This seemed to work well.
  • You can play with this tool here:
  • Make sure to check out the Young Persons Guide to Minecraft by Walter Higgins. This will help you understand the context of this tool.
  • Many student just enjoyed building a Minecraft server. It was cool to see their excitement in learning that they could build and host a server for their own Minecraft building parties. In building a Minecraft server, the students had to follow steps a network engineer might do like installing java, putting file in a particular location on the computer, and using the command line.
  • What can be improved?

    I do want to give a shout out to my friends who help co-teach this workshop with me. I really appreciate their time in helping to inspire the next generation of game developers!

    How Does Minecraft Help With Coding

    Minecraft uses a simplistic 1×1 block structure to makes up the worlds and objects. Its very easy to translate these into a programming language made up of 1s and 0s that dictate what the program does and how it runs.

    This binary language can then be communicated to the computer through lines of coding. Understanding the basics of coding is an incredibly useful skill to have .

    Handy Hint: If your child is interested in exploring a career working with computers, video games or other programming-relating fields, a summmer coding course can offer a great introduction.

    Theres no doubt that coding and tech knowledge can help with childrens future career prospects. Aside from that though, coding can also help with the now of education its a highly applicable skill that helps creativity, logic, problem solving and mathematics.

    Is Minecraft A Childs Game

    If youre wondering if Minecraft is good for kids, Minecraft is certainly a childs game. It allows kids to be creative rather than just sit in front of a screen and play a game. They are working to create things and even work together with other kids. Problem-solving and teamwork skills are utilized in this game which is great for kids to learn at any age. These are also skills they can use their entire lives. As kids play, they have to figure out how to get past levels to make their game the best it can be.

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    What Is Minecraft Hour Of Code

    Through a partnership between Microsoft and Code.org, a Minecraft Hour of Code was first introduced in 2015. Designed for kids aged six and older, the tutorial offers the basics of programming within the Minecraft platform. After that, gamers complete 14 challenges based on what they’ve have learned.

    As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained:

    “A core part of our mission to empower every person on the planet is equipping youth with computational thinking and problem-solving skills to succeed in an increasingly digital world. With ‘Minecraft’ and Code.org, we aim to spark creativity in the next generation of innovators in a way that is natural, collaborative and fun.”

    Coding Apps And Programming Websites For Kids

    Download the Code Builder Update to Learn Coding in ...

    Code.org

    Code.org is a non-profit organization offering free coding resources online. Boasting 40% of US students with accounts, Code.org has helped some 49 million students get their start programming. Classes range from Kindergarten through High School and cover block coding, JavaScript, Python, C++, CSS, HTML and more.

    Dont have much time to invest? Try their Hour of Code, designed to provide a tutorial and project that can be completed in an hour.

    CodeMonkey

    Code Monkey Code Monkey is a platform designed to teach kids to code by playing a game and progressing through levels. There are a number of games to choose from to offer some variety. Code Monkey is recommended for ages 8 and up, and has a free trial with a paid subscription tier.

    Kodable

    Kodable is another noteworthy site offering an online platform and app designed for teaching kids to code. Starting with block coding for younger kids and transitioning to programming languages like Java and Swift, Kodable is a platform of choice for many schools.

    Kodable has a free trial and monthly subscription

    CodeCombat

    Code Combat lets your kid take on the role of a wizard who uses spells to solve puzzles, defeat monsters and save the day. Playing the game teaches kids coding languages like Java and Python. Over 5 million players are learning coding skills in 190 countries through CodeCombat.

    Code Avengers and Codemoji are a few others to check out in a crowded playing field of coding apps.

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    Can Minecraft Teach My Kid To Code

    Minecraft has proven to be a flexible platform for education. It has been used as a tool for teaching a myriad of concepts, so it makes sense to assume it would be useful for teaching coding to kids. And it is!

    Minecraft does a great job of providing an environment to learn coding in by giving students both a place to virtually meet with their educators and by visually showing them the effects that coding can have. But it isnt as simple as launching the game and letting the kids learn. Instead, it works best as one of many tools used in a more complete coding curriculum.

    As part of our interactive coding curriculum we teach our students how to create their very own games based off of Minecraft. Theyre able to learn programming in an exciting hands-on environment that does more than teach them the basic principles. It teaches them how to apply them. And unlike so many video based programs, our coding classes, for elementary, middle, and high school, are taught by live teachers so our students can get feedback on their projects in real time.

    The main thing is this: Minecraft on its own will not be able to teach a kid how to code. Rather, it is a great way to build their interest in coding and can be useful as an educational tool in a well-crafted curriculum.

    Go Deeper With A Programming Course

    Once your student has begun coding, the next natural step is to take a programming course. Programming courses build foundational skills, and ensure that your child doesnt have any gaps in their knowledge that can result from independent study of code.

    Which course to take depends on your childs age and interests. Create & Learn offers a variety of courses geared towards children of all ages, from Scratch Ninja for elementary school students to Python For AI for middle to high school age students. If your child is especially interested in video games or game design, Roblox, Minecraft coding for kids, or Robotics are also great options for beginner coders. More advanced students can also learn web Development, app development, or even cloud computing. Create & Learn teaches a variety of programming languages, and our coding classes have kids creating their own projects from the first day.

    Create & Learn also hosts online summer camps for many of its highly-ranked programs. These summer camps allow kids to get coding experience every day of the week, building fluency quickly. Theyre also great bonding experiences, allowing kids to meet other like-minded students from around the world.

    There are lots of great coding classes beyond what we offer at Create & Learn, and weve compiled some of some of the best coding classes here. Check out our list of pros and cons, and select a class that is right for your student.

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    Is Minecraft A Good Coding Introduction For Kids

    The real key to teaching a child coding is finding the right motivation. Minecraft offers that as it combines a fun game they love, with a gentle introduction to coding functionality.

    The way Minecraft engrosses kids can be used to help engage them to learn about something useful in a fun way that doesnt feel like work.

    Minecraft can be enhanced by modifications that are outside strings of code that changes the game from the inside, such as generating monsters, giving players increased health or items and even telling the non-playable characters to do specific things.

    These mods are usually downloaded through a third-party website, with players sharing their own mods among the online community for everyone to use, but you can easily create your own mods to enhance your own gaming experience exactly how you want it.

    Because of the relative simplicity of Minecraft as a game, learning how to modify it is a good steppingstone to learning to manipulate and create code for other games and programs.

    What Age Is Appropriate For Minecraft

    Minecraft Education Edition – How to Code a House

    There are several different answers to this question depending on who you ask. Some recommend players be at least 8 years old, while others recommend age 10. The Entertainment Software Rating Board gives Minecraft a rating of Everyone 10+. This is the American rating system.

    The PEGI rating is for ages 7+. That rating is a European video game content rating system. Parents should make a judgment for themselves based on what they want their children to play.

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    The Why And How Of Building A Full Coding Curriculum Using Minecraft: Education Edition

    15 Jul 2021

    We hear a lot lately about the importance of building future ready skills with young learners through game-based learning. These are skills like collaboration, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. Clearly powerful tools for any student to bring into their learning experience, and later in their career.

    But where do we begin to nurture this as educators, summer camp leaders, or parents? One area that is getting a lot of focus, specifically, is teaching learners of all ages how to code. It truly is the language of our future, and the focus of the story well share with you here from a highly-rated summer camp thats using Minecraft: Education Edition in their programs.

    You can get started with Minecraft at your camp, club, or afterschool program for as little as $12 per learner for an annual license. Its a great option for educators and families who want to start building those future ready skills with fun, game-based learning this summer. Unleash the power of learning through play!

    Well turn it over now to our friends at Create & Learn to share their story of using Minecraft: Education Edition to teach coding to campers grades 2-5! A huge thanks to Jessie and the team there for putting this all together. Enjoy!

    Example Project 1 – How We Teach Kids Loops

    Example Project 2 – An Open Ended Project

    Powerful Control for Educators

    Multi-player

    How To Teach Your Kids Using Minecraft

    Corinne SchmittDisclosure:

    This post contains affiliate links so if you make a purchase after clicking one of the links, I will receive a commission.

    Am I the only one confused by the Minecraft phenomenon? For such a basic, unstructured game, it has captured the attention and devotion of millions of fans spanning a wide range of ages and demographics. Within my own family, it is one of the few games that all four of my kids genuinely enjoy playing together.

    With the push towards complex video games with amazing graphics, I was surprised at how quickly Minecraft attracted such a large following. This video game version of playing with Legos has done just that though, having sold over 20 million copies to date.

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    Minecraft Coding Lesson Structure

    Everybody Should Learn How to Program a Computer because it teaches you how to think. Steve Jobs

    Everybody Should Learn How to Program a Computer because it teaches you how to think. Steve Jobs

    WHAT HAPPENS NEXTAfter Your Child Completes Our Minecraft Coding Course?

    Embassy.Education is a result-oriented platform and like the rest of our courses, Minecraft Coding Junior is structured in a gamified progressive manner with lessons gradually covering higher levels of knowledge. By the time your child completes our Minecraft Coding Course s/he will be ready to move on the other platforms like Roblox or Python. This way, gradually and consistently by the age of 10-14 years old, your kid will be able to create complex programs, web pages, apps, and games. We wish you good luck in this exciting journey of discovery of the world of programming!

    Construction Lessons Learned With Minecraft

    Using Tynker blocks to create games added to my Coding for ...

    While BeIMCraft and the Education Edition both have exciting features to help kids learn construction, building tools in the game can teach construction skills regardless of the specific version in use. Learning how to build a building in Minecraft underscores nearly every lesson and is at the forefront of all Minecraft education.

    Recommended Reading: Code Org Minecraft Answers

    Is Minecraft Safe For Kids

    Minecraft is safe for kids when good digital citizenship is followed. Make sure you and your child only play on a server they own or trust. Monitor who is joining the server or game, and ensure you actually know all participants. Remind your child not to give out any personal information and not to converse with someone they dont know. Obtain your own account and join them in Minecraft to understand the game and spend time with your child.

    How To Introduce Kids To Coding

    There are lots of ways to introduce kids to programming. Youll want to choose an age-appropriate avenue to ensure your student is getting the proper level of difficulty. You should also consider your students interests in exposing them to coding, as certain languages lend themselves better to certain applications.

    • For younger kids, consider a block coding language like Scratch. In block coding languages, students assemble code like building blocks. Scratch coding is great to learn at an early age as it is user-friendly, removes a lot of the difficulty of written languages, and can be used to make games and animations. Students can try following simple Scratch projects, or take our free Intro to Scratch Ninja class.
    • Older kids may like trying projects from Hour of Code, which offer self-guided tutorials in a variety of languages. Students can explore their interests, and get some exposure to basic coding practices.

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    Claim Four Puzzle Packs

    Minecraft revolves around breaking and placing blocks to create structures. There are two modes: creative, where you have unlimited resources that can be used to build elaborate structures, and survival, where you need to craft and create structures to protect yourself from the monsters that come out at night.

    The game may seem like a huge timewaster for your primary school child, but according to Graham Bridge, who runs Minecraft-based computer clubs across Hertfordshire and holds workshops for parents, it has many educational benefits in and out of school. It can show children everything from how to code to how electronics work, but parents dont know enough about it and quite often hold back their childrens learning because they dont appreciate its value, he says.

    How could playing Minecraft give your childs learning a boost?

    Can Minecraft Teach Team Building

    Quick Easy House Code – MINECRAFT EDUCATION

    It was October. My Introduction to Computer Science class had been meeting for two months, and we were deep into a discussion about game design. One of my students gestured casually at the student across the room. Thats right! I agree with what whats-his-name said over there.

    I was shocked. After the first week of classes, I knew all my students names. But our high school is so big that many students had few opportunities to interact. In my classroom, I ask kids to help each other find solutions to the problems they come across. Thats difficult when they dont know each other very well.

    I wanted to come up with a way for students to build community, so I decided to set up a classroom server and assign students to play Minecraft together. I wanted to see if playing the game would provide some scaffolding for team building.

    Minecraft is an online 3D fantasy world where students build structures using digital blocks of glass, sand, brick and other materials. I used this popular game as a virtual ropes course that would allow kids to work together to solve challenges. If two kids go into the mountains and bring me back an iron ax, I know they have spent several hours watching each others back, going into dangerous areas and developing the technology to smelt raw iron ore into bars to make that ax. It is a tangible artifact representing hours of teamwork.

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    Is Minecraft Safe For 7

    Although some recommend the game for older children, Minecraft is widely popular among kids ages 6 and up. So, many parents of 7-year-olds are allowing their children to play it. If you allow your child to play Minecraft on a public server that lets them play with people from all over, there could be safety issues. Youll want to keep them safe from cyberbullies and predators. Some parents choose to keep their child on local gameplay to avoid these issues. This is a personal decision that each parent needs to make for themselves.

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