Microsoft Wants To Turn Kids' Love Of Minecraft To Learn Programming

On Tuesday, Microsoft announces a new online tutorial for Code.org's Hour of Code, a nonprofit effort sponsored by many tech companies to get children programming.

It'll look familiar to those who have used introductory programming projects like Google's Pencil Code or MIT's Scratch: Commands like of Lego-like pieces you snap together into a sequence that controls an on-screen character.

Encourage Kids To Program The Game Not Just Only To Play

Puzzles can be alternative with video tutorials explaining new programming concepts. Kids will be able to go to Code.org's website and look for a tutorial with 14 levels of Minecraft inclusive of a free-play board, said Deirdre Quarnstrom, director of Minecraft education at Microsoft, which is Code.org's biggest financial backer. The agreement is the second this month for the computer-science educational group, also added Star Wars to its choices last week.

Programming is not for everybody, but many schools and businesses are trying to let students learn to it as a way to build skills for the 21st century when the tech is improving beyond PCs and phones into cars and many other aspects of our lives.

President Barack Obama Has Endorsed The Code.org effort

"If we want America to stay on the cutting edge, we need young Americans like you to master the tools and technology that will change the way we do just about everything," Obama mentioned in a 2013 video. "Don't just buy a new video game. Make one. Don't just play on your phone. Program it." says, Obama.
The flexible and unlimited nature of Minecraft's gameplay will let students learn programming skills that have been hard to show and tell with previous lessons that been part of guiding a character through a fixed landscape. In this case, students can learn on how to be able to use conditional "if, then" statements, such as if there's hot lava, then don't step in, which are important in programming, says, Hadi Partovi, A former Microsoft Executive.

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