Hour of Code 2015: Minecraft

Hour of Code has started this week.

If you need a refresher on what Hour of Code is:

The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.

– Hour of Code

It is a great opportunity for anyone to gain a taste of coding. On the Hour of Code website alone, there are three (3) tutorials on the front page, followed by a bunch of opportunities to take your coding beyond the ‘hour’.

This is our first time participating in the Hour of Code. So why are we doing it? Because I’m curious.

I’m curious as to what programs and opportunities are out there to encourage spawnlings to try a bit of coding. I’m curious as to what support is out there for parents to work with their spawnlings. And most of all, I’m interested in how to keep up with the spawnlings myself – to ‘learn’ along with them.

There is no way I am allowing them to gain the upper hand without a fight. I’m EG Mum, dammit!

Hour of Code is pretty good for that. So, we decided as a team to try out each of the tutorials this week plus any others we can find.

Today, Sinister and Nefarious checked out the Minecraft tutorial.

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Photo by Evil Genius Mum

Both spawnlings are already familiar with Minecraft. This tutorial takes the game and changes it to a more detailed programming activity – in the same style as Scratch.

When you play the game in its natural setting, you are point-and-clicking your directions. In the tutorial, you are calculating how many steps to take, directing how many times to turn left, and seriously thinking through the logical steps in your problem solving.

Feedback from the spawnlings: Loads of fun. You can’t create anything (which they missed) but they really enjoyed the deeper thought to planning out their actions. It was a change not to race through the usual steps in building a house. They both have a better appreciation of what is involved in each action.

 

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Photo by Evil Genius Mum

Just from their comments alone, I can already see a greater appreciation for what is involved in coding. To be honest, I had already seen this in other programming activities (Sinister loves Scratch), but to apply it to a familiar game like Minecraft adds a new level of interpretation. It applies it in a far more tangible manner; seeing more directly how much effort and forethought is required in what they usually see as a simple click.

You can even check out their ‘Minecraft game’ yourself through this link: EG Inc Minecraft – And share your spawnlings creations in the comments. I would love to check out the competition all the creations. 🙂

Tomorrow, Sinister has invited a friend over and we’re going to check out the Star Wars tutorial. I’m looking forward to this; I had already introduced it over at GeekMom, and will be providing a follow-up post there. Don’t fret – it will turn up here too. 🙂

 

Are you participating in Hour of Code this week? Share the details of your coding adventures; both structured and self-led!

 

Minion Musings:

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