By Editorial team
Learning how to use and innovate with technology are essential skills for today’s youth, giving them the power to drive growth and opportunity for themselves and their communities. That’s why Microsoft has partnered with Code.org for Hour of Code. Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Microsoft Education, recently made the announcement here.
Hour of Code is an annual, global campaign held during Computer Science Education week, this year taking place between 7 and 13 December. It encourages millions of students around the world to try one hour of coding, with the goal of sparking their interest in computer science. Last year, 12 countries in the Middle East and Africa participated in Hour of Code, and the campaign reached more than 60 000 students in the region.
This year, we’ve added a new twist to Hour of Code. Building on the popularity of Minecraft – the game that requires players to create a virtual world and work to advance in it – we are bringing a Minecraft-inspired coding tutorial to students and educators. Already known for its potential to teach students skills like digital citizenship, empathy, social skills, as well as improve their literacy, Minecraft adds a new learning dimension with this tutorial. It introduces players to basic coding in a familiar environment by including characters and challenges inspired by the game.
We think Minecraft is particularly relevant because it has universal appeal across gender and age. At the same time, this tutorial will be equally approachable for first-time Minecraft players. Our aim is to de-mystify the basics of computer science in a fun way, in the hopes of encouraging critical skills like computational thinking and problem solving.
If you are an educator or a parent, you can invite your students and children to do the Minecraft tutorial at http://code.org/mc. Anyone can volunteer to lead a coding workshop, or if you want to advocate for more computer science education in our schools you can add your voice to the thousands that are already calling for it.