Technology Update

How Minecraft is helping kids learn code one block at a time

More than 45 years on, the underlying principle of using a visual aid to help teach children programming lives on. But instead of opting for robotic reptiles, Ray Chambers, Head of IT at Uppingham Community College in Rutland, England, has taken the unconventional route of using the popular open-world sandbox game Minecraft to teach programming to 11-to-16-year-olds.

It all began when I was teaching an IT lesson using a Powerpoint slide to talk about the inputs and outputs of logic gates," he told TechRadar at BETT 2015. "I was showing students a NOT gate, explaining that if you have a switch turned on, the output on the other side is off, which confused some of them.

&One of my other students said, 'Sir, you mean like in Minecraft?', and I half-shrugged in agreement. That's when I started looking into it. If it wasn't for my student piping up, I probably wouldn't know anything about it.

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