Instead of sitting on a couch playing Minecraft on XBox, what if your child could program her own Lucky Block or code a Custom Creeper? “Modding” or modifying the source code of Minecraft using Java, the game’s programming language, is not only a great introduction to computer programming, but it additionally provides a number of other benefits that can help jumpstart your child’s future in engineering.
So what are some ways in which learning to mod Minecraft can jumpstart your child’s future in technology?
Minecraft Modding Gets Kids Excited about Coding
Unfortunately many younger students who are introduced to coding using traditional teaching methods find it boring. Coding has been traditionally taught using the “Hello World” method, in which students start with a blank template file and learn to print the words “Hello World” on a screen. While this may work in situations where you are conferring academic credit, this method tends to be too slow and monotonous for younger students, who will quickly fall away and lose interest.
Minecraft Modding with Java gives students extra motivation to learn code as it allows them to do fun and unexpected things like creating a custom Mob, creating a Thunder Hammer that shoots lightning, and creating a custom LavaBomb. Minecraft Modding with Java allows students to get the nearly instant feedback of placing their creation into the Minecraft game and have fun with their code.
Young kids by nature need more rapid rewards, and the reward of playing with their Mod builds confidence and piques interest. In addition, students who are really into Minecraft will experience an “ah ha” moment when they get to put something that they have designed, created, and coded into the game that they love to play, and this provides kids with extra incentive to learn the backbone (Java) of what makes Minecraft work.
Minecraft Modding allows kids to gain experience with real code
While there is certainly nothing wrong with drag and drop programming tools like Scratch and Tynker, there is something inherently satisfying and confidence-building about writing real code using a professional coding tool. At CodaKid, we use a professional IDE called Eclipse which is used in software development companies throughout the world. With guided instruction, children get over their fear of interacting with real Java code and they learn to recognize core coding concepts such as conditionals, loops, and methods. We also use breakout videos to explain core coding concepts and employ age appropriate analogies that hold their attention and even make them laugh.
Minecraft Modding establishes the connection between Coding and Creativity
The single greatest way to get kids exciting about coding is to establish a connection that coding is creativity. While modifying source code, kids learn to to envision things that aren’t in the game, engage their creative sides, and use coding and digital art tools to bring their ideas to life. The magical moment when a child first sees and plays with an object in the game that they have created from scratch is a sight to see and inspires students to dig deeper and learn more complex concepts. In CodaKid’s Online Minecraft Modding with Java course kids learn how to make their own swords, blocks, ores, biomes, mobs, explosions, special effects, and more.
Minecraft Modding helps develop problem solving abilities
Coding is a fantastic way to teach problem solving. When taught properly, coding education teaches students how to break down problems into smaller parts, how to plan, and then how to execute. In particular the issue of debugging code provides students with an opportunity to diagnose issues, plan solutions, and then test their work. Sometimes debugging can be frustrating, and it teaches students to be patient and persevere in the face of difficulty. Coding also naturally encourages kids to concentrate which can help develop their ability to stay focused in an increasingly distracting world.
Minecraft Modding mproves basic computer and typing skills
While this may seem quite obvious, an Online Minecraft Modding course will increase your child’s familiarity with important computer functions, shortcuts, special characters, and more.