Well today was day 1 at Minecraft Code club at my kid’s school. I was lucky enough to have a parent council that was crazy enough to listen to my grand design for how I would teach kids coding by looking at Minecraft Plugins. Even crazier, I was going to do this over lunch in three 35 minute sessions.
And I wasn’t going to teach coding by using scratch or any other graphical coding language. Nope. Straight into Java. And DOS commands, did I mention the DOS commands?
And then just for shits and giggles I was going to do in on Windows 8 laptops.
Yep, I’m a glutton for punishment.
Today was day one. I was going to introduce the concepts of a server, a computer program and look at a plugin to build a house. I had 21 Grade 4 kids in a library with 7 laptops.
It was fabulous.
The kids had all the energy and passion I would have expected. But I didn’t expect the questions on:
- Can I show them how to do this at home?
- Can I help them build their own server?
- Can I help them build the Taj Mahal? (From a Minecraft book) Yes some of them even came prepared with reference material!
We even encountered a bug. Or a glitch as they called it. And they loved every second of it.
I must admit, so did I. Through them I relived the first time in my basement when I typed my first Basic program into my Vic 20. I fell in love. For a kid who couldn’t control much, I could create worlds. Everything was at my fingertips. Suddenly I didn’t feel so small and helpless. I could accomplish anything. Coding and Goaltending gave me the confidence to do anything.
It’s that feeling I want to instill in a few of the boys and girls. Through these lunch time programs we can show what is possible and how to create worlds. Maybe, just maybe, we can create some sparks in a few that will generate a love for coding. Now that would be cool.
Now where did I put that torch?