The folks at Minecraft announced today the newest feature being introduced to Minecraft: Education Edition – “Code Builder”.
Code Builder is an in-game tool for Minecraft: Education Edition designed to help kids learn to code. The tool shows up in the game as a little robot, to whom the player speaks in code; using beginner code-learning tools like Tynker or MakeCode, players interact with the robot by giving it code commands, effectively programming it to perform tasks. Thus, the feedback is instantaneous – tell the robot to build a wall by making a “for” loop, and watch the wall get built before your eyes.
Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org, commends Code Builder’s accessibility and efficacy:
The idea of creating something is one of the most basic human desires. Learning can be done best when you don’t think that you’re learning, you just think that you’re enjoying yourself, you’re making something. And for students, Minecraft is super fun.
Minecraft: Education Edition is an educational version of Minecraft specifically designed for classroom use, released in November 2016 after a 5-month beta. The educational version of Minecraft contains features that make Minecraft more accessible and effective in a classroom setting, letting instructors structure lessons in-game for students and control the play experience. Through objects like in-world chalkboards that communicate instructions and goals, a camera that lets students take pictures of their work to document progress, and “allow” and “deny” blocks that let teachers control where students can and can’t build, Education Edition turns the classic Minecraft gameplay experience into an effective learning tool.
Minecraft: Education Edition is available for download to those who qualify at education.minecraft.net.