I recently presented Minecraft: Education Edition to about 42 children of various ages. Third graders to grade eight. This was a STEAM event at the HP facilities in Albuquerque, NM. My objective was to ease these groups into learning how to program using Minecraft. I introduced each child to Make Code (by Microsoft), Tynker and Scratch via a new module for Minecraft: Education Edition called Code Connection.
So what did I learn? I found out that coding (with the aid of those 3 code platforms) was easy, intuitive and when they saw that they could create 1,000 chickens that dropped from the sky, with three blocks of code, the nature of their relationship to the game completely changed. Some kids thought about 1,000 blocks of TNT and others focused on examples where complex construction of buildings and earth moving projects could now execute instantly with the help of coding agents in the various platforms.
I have hesitated up until now in making the statement that all kids can code or will be comfortable with code. Tynker, Scratch and Make Code, plus 1,000 chickens have changed my mind.
Given the right tools this generation of children will easily change their own world as easily as our generation has tried to document it’s history and status. If they choose to build a positive existence in a game like Minecraft today, perhaps they can save what we have knowingly destroyed and to do so without the conflict and blatant stupidity that we have allowed to control and endanger the future that is theirs.