Minecraft is a game where players move textured cubes around a world to build anything they want. Coding is a hobby or career (or both) where programmers connect commands to build anything they want. This shared interest in building something from scratch is what makes Minecraft an excellent choice for teaching young children basic code.
Microsoft announced last week that they will be teaming up with the non-profit Code.org for a Minecraft-inspired coding tutorial to be used by teachers and students during this year’s Hour of Code. Held every year during Computer Science Education Week, Hour of Code features a variety of one-hour coding courses designed to encourage more students to learn the basics of computer science.
Created by Minecraft game designers, the Hour of Code will allow students to interact with Minecraft characters Steve and Alex in 14 self-guided challenges. Students will have the option of free play as well. Hour of Code uses Google’s Blockly, a visual programming language, for its courses. Blockly uses a simple drag and drop/connect function to create the string of code needed to complete an action.
The Minecraft Hour of Code is live now and available here.