Microsoft rolls out Minecraft tutorial to entice students to take up IT

Software titan Microsoft has announced the “Hero’s Journey”, a new Minecraft Hour of Code Tutorial, as part of its ongoing support for Hour of Code.

Micecraft

Hour of Code is a program launched by Code.org, a non-profit organization aiming to encourage school students to learn computer science.

With Minecraft game designers, computer science educators, and Code.org’s learning designers on board, the new Minecraft tutorial introduces coding concepts using the popular video game. A new character named “Minecraft Agent” will be introduced in the tutorial along with 10 new challenges that teach core coding concepts like loops, debugging, and functions.

Students can import their code into “Minecraft: Education Edition” to bring their work to life or share it via email, text message or social media.

“Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world as it provides endless possibilities for players to create their own realms without barriers. By bringing Minecraft to classrooms, educators can leverage on serious play to teach new concepts in a fun and engaging manner,” said Don Carlson, director for education at Microsoft Asia Pacific.

“The new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial will assist educators to bring the concept of coding to life as students help Minecraft Agent overcome the various challenges, and is easy to execute in classrooms.”

The World Economic Forum has highlighted the importance of complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity as skills, and developing computational thinking is a key priority for education institutions today.

“Coding empowers young people, giving them the tools they need to not only express themselves, but also transform the way they think critically and solve complex problems. When students use technology to create something of their own design by coding, it builds both technical skill and confidence – both of which are critical for success in the future,” added Carlson.

Educators and public-sector leaders experienced an hour of code with Minecraft tutorial at Bett Asia held in Kuala Lumpur between November 15-16 this year, where they explored loops, if statements, conditionals and other coding functions.

The tutorial will be available for free and is playable across iOS, Android and Windows platform.

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