Minecraft teamed up with Code.org to design a fun educational tool and hopefully inspire the next generation of coders.
The Hour of Code is an annual campaign designed to get kids across the globe interested in coding, and this year, Microsoft and Minecraft developer Mojang (which Microsoft acquired in 2014) have joined the initiative by designing a fun Minecraft tutorial that helps teach children the fundamentals of coding. It says it's for ages "6 and up," but I confess: I'm 27, and I had a lot of fun with it.
The Hour of Code campaign doesn't officially kick off until Computer Science Education week, which begins December 7, but the tool is already up and ready for use by kids and educators. Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi believes Minecraft's simple, universal appeal will reach a broad range of children, saying "Minecraft is a special game that girls and boys alike often can't be pried away from. This year's Minecraft tutorial will empower millions of learners around the world...and will inspire them to impact the world by creating their own technology or apps."
If we really want a more diverse workforce in the tech sphere, we need to reach a broader range of students at a young age, so coding becomes just another way for them to build, play, and create. So initiatives like the Hour of Code are worth paying attention to and supporting—plus, I had a lot of fun shearing sheep.