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Minecraft teaches future programmers

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This is not a secret that the IT industry is expanding very quickly. It causes a constant growth of demand for programmers. According to the speculations of the European Committee, EU labour market will not meet this demand until 2030. Because of the money earned by beginner programmists, more and more people older than 30 decide to change their occupancy to “junior programmist”. But it still isn’t enough. The solution is to put kids in the world of programming very early, so when they grow up, part of them will fill the shortage on the labour market.

Microsoft came up with an idea to make young people interested in coding. They developed a learning platform which is Minecraft: Education Edition. Of course, computer science is not the only subject, which can be taught via Minecraft EDU. The platform also contains contents for mathematics, art, science etc. The software is not only dedicated to schools, but also for private educators. Many private institutions have made the use of Minecraft education, creating courses for groups of children.

According to Linkedin data, such skills as mobile development or design of user interface will be in high demand in the coming years. Also, there is no doubt that thanks to programming young children can learn a set of other skills such as problem-solving. What is more teaching computer science in schools is recommended, because it allows students to gain information about the continuously developing technology. However not every child finds programming interesting, probably instead of learning it, they would rather… play some computer game. Here comes MINECRAFT: EE, which combines both, fun and learning. Creators of the content of the lessons of PYTHON developed a set of various tasks, which both make children engaged in it and doesn’t make them bored.

Microsoft and Code.org team up to bring ‘Minecraft’ to Hour of Code (PRNewsFoto/Microsoft Corp.)

The problems, which children need to solve are based on in-game issues. For example, they have to create a script, which will display the number of steps every 10 seconds or they have to build a program, which will build a house in Minecraft on its own. Of course, there are also more complex tasks related to some story: one of them shows a real-world use of AI on an example of predicting a chance of fire.

To conclude, thanks to Minecraft, young learners have an opportunity to gain various practical skills, such as analytical thinking, problem-solving, basics of coding, intermediate programming (AI and python) and understanding the technology. However, such an idea has its dark side. Programming is going to be the next subject in students’ schedule, while they already have plenty of them. Is it appropriate to make young students have more obligations?  Maybe we should abandon some other subjects to avoid making youngsters overworked?









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