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Microsoft adds new tool to Minecraft: Education Edition to help kids learn coding

The new Code Builder tool will allow kids to use plugins such as MakeCode, Tynker, etc. to make buildings in the edutainment game.

Microsoft Minecraft coding

Looks like technology giants are on a mission to make children adept with coding and programming at a very young age. At its EDU event, Microsoft announced a new Code Builder tool to Minecraft: Education Edition – the education version of the popular block-builder game to help teach kids coding. The tool is in beta and will be available for students and teachers at qualifying schools. It essentially allows one to use learn-to-code tools like MakeCode, ScratchX, and Tynker with the game forming as the base of the programming.

If you want to try out the game-based coding tool, there is a one-year free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition available while the Code Builder upgrade will be available through the Microsoft Store for Education. Additionally, all new Windows 10 S education PCs will get a free subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition, which usually costs $5 per person per year. ALSO READ: Windows 10 S vs Windows 10: Here is what’s different and all you need to know about the newest OS on the block

The MakeCode open-source platform integrated into the Code Builder tool allows kids to learn JavaScript. By using the plugins, kids will be able to place blocks of code to make buildings. While using the tool, the coding is represented by an actual ‘Agent’ which is a helper robot that players will be able to code commands into. With simple commands using the plugins, the robot can be programmed to carry out tasks in the game. While the robot acts as a helper to kids who are still getting familiar with coding, at advanced levels, they can code commands directly in Javascript without the robot’s help.

Microsoft is not the only company putting its platform to teach kids how to code. Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app for the iPad also allows the younger ones to learn the basics of programming language. By honing their skills kids can also build apps like experts in the field. As it doesn’t require coding knowledge from before, almost anyone can quickly start to develop on their ideas.

In addition to the Code Builder tool for Minecraft: Education Edition, Microsoft announced a new Surface Laptop running the Windows 10 S, and a new View Mixed Reality app among upgrades to other products. ALSO READ: Microsoft Teams gets specialized for classrooms with new collaboration features

 

  • Published Date: May 3, 2017 3:56 PM IST