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Microsoft will use Minecraft to teach coding to kids

There’s no doubt that the ability to code is becoming an increasingly valuable attribute, but how do you get kids excited about computer science?

Microsoft thinks it has the answer. The company has announced a partnership with Code.org that will use Minecraft to teach kids the basics of computer science.

Code.org’s annual Hour of Code is a global campaign promoting computer science which aims to teach basic coding skills in just one hour.

Microsoft, which bought the Swedish game developer behind Minecraft, Mojang, last year, has announced that users will be able to sign up for the free Hour of Code Minecraft module as part of the campaign.

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer, Microsoft says in the announcement: “A core part of our mission to empower every person on the planet is equipping youth with computational thinking and problem-solving skills to succeed in an increasingly digital world.”

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“With ‘Minecraft’ and Code.org, we aim to spark creativity in the next generation of innovators in a way that is natural, collaborative and fun.”

Players will be able to use blocks of code to make Steve or Alex, the game’s main characters, carry out various tasks.

A video, presented by Minecraft lead developer Jens Bergensten, introduces users to the module whereafter members of the Mojang team will help users build the code to enable their characters to move.

There are a total of 14 coding challenges overall and the Hour of Code begins on December 7, although the module is already available on the website.

This is the third year that Code.org has run their campaign which coincides with Computer Science Education Week, Dec 7 – 13.

Minecraft, originally released in 2009, uses an open world format that lets players explore and create structures.

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