Move over Minecraft – there is a new kid on the block in kids coding education. For those who haven’t heard, Roblox is a first-person sandbox style game that is taking the playground by storm.

With over 60M monthly users, Roblox has been on a rapid growth trajectory thanks to its exciting gameplay, multiplayer maps, and a fun commercial component with Robux – a sort of virtual currency that kids earn by selling player created content.

While it will be a challenge for them to overtake MinecraftEDU’s massive footprint, Roblox has a unique opening in the niche kids coding space and in many ways we see it as a far superior platform.

Here are 5 reasons why we are so excited about Roblox as a kids coding tool and why we think it’s the next big thing in kids coding education.



1. Roblox allows text-based coding with Lua

Kids these days are ready to move past visual block coding quickly, and Roblox provides a great way to introduce kids to text-based coding.

Roblox is programmed in Lua, an elegant programming language that is a great first language to learn.

Similar to Python, Lua eliminates a number of syntax issues that trip kids up. For example, Java requires a semi-colon at the end of every line of code, whereas Lua does not.

Lua has a number of other user-friendly conventions which eliminate a number of other things that are difficult for kids.



2. Roblox has a native, user-friendly editor that is easy to use

With Minecraft modding, kids need to use 3rd party text editors like Eclipse or Netbeans, and learn how to compile Java code using these professional tools. While its great to introduce kids to these tools, kids sometimes experience hangups with them which require tech support.

With Roblox, Lua coding is significantly easier. Roblox has a handy text editor that is built into the platform, which allows kids to create new games, maps, items, and more – all without using 3rd party tools.

Roblox Coding

3. Multiplayer programming is easier with Roblox

When kids code Minecraft mods with Java, one thing that they always want to do is to play their creations with their friends online.

With Minecraft, this process is cumbersome and requires kids to compile and share .JAR files, and have the students load the custom .JAR files onto all participant computers prior to playing with them in a modded multiplayer setting.

With Roblox, this process is much more streamlined.

First, Roblox handles the server for you.

Second, you are working on the server so the files are already shared.

While kids will need to learn a few programming concepts in Lua, kids creations are easily accessible by all, and we’ve had kids create cool things that have been played by hundreds of other players in a matter of minutes.

4. Roblox.edu is investing in extensive curricula and has a responsive team

RobloxEDU is building out exciting curricula for camps and classes, and has a very supportive team to help with this implementation.

CodaKid was proud to release the first online Roblox Lua coding course in 2017, and we had some fun conversations with the Roblox team during development who were very supportive of our efforts.

CodaKid also developed and launched its first Roblox coding camp in winter of 2017 which got outstanding reviews.

Roblox Coding

5. Roblox encourages kidpreneurship

Roblox’ business model of allowing players to earn Robux – a sort of virtual currency – is a brilliant way to get kids interested in coding their own games and making/selling content on the Roblox platform. Robux are convertible to cash, and provide kids with a fun entrepreneurial outlet that is completely absent in Minecraft.

Some players are making over 50K a month developing and selling Roblox levels on ROBLOX Developer Exchange.

We will be writing more about this in the coming weeks, and will provide some tutorials about how to make Robux on the Exchange.

Conclusion

We are excited to see Roblox continue to emerge as a kids coding tool in the coming years, as we think that it has a number of exciting features that make coding fun and engaging for students of all ages.

To try CodaKid’s Game Development with Roblox 1 for free, you can check us out here. CodaKid’s online courses are self-paced and taught YouTuber style. Best of all they include unlimited support from our team of friendly teachers!

Do you have any experience with Roblox coding that you’d like to share? Please leave comments below!

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