Three years ago, Minecraft became a part of the Microsoft family and my team began our work to extend Minecraft’s potential in classrooms around the world. Flash forward to today – one year after the release of Minecraft: Education Edition – and I’m thrilled to share that we’re continuing to see tremendous momentum with more than 2 million licensed users in 115 countries around the world and more than 250 educator-created lesson plans in our community.
We’ve seen firsthand how Minecraft’s open sandbox environment ignites students’ innate creativity and makes learning fun and collaborative. Educators are teaching a wide variety of subjects with Minecraft: Education Edition, and we’ve seen particularly exciting results when Minecraft is used to teach Computer Science. Though many don’t realize it, coding is in fact one of the most creative activities a student can do, building something with no limitations but his or her own creativity. And research continues to show that creativity, collaboration and coding are all critical skills for success in the modern workplace.
As part of Microsoft’s continued commitment to empower students with these skills, we’ve partnered with Code.org for the past two years to offer educators and students a free Hour of Code tutorial using Minecraft. The results are far beyond anything we could have imagined.
To date, nearly 70 million Minecraft Hour of Code sessions have introduced the basics of coding to people around the world, joining the global movement. Today, I’m excited to announce that we have built a new Minecraft Hour of Code tutorial called Minecraft: Hero’s Journey.
Available at Code.org/Minecraft today, Hero’s Journey introduces a fun character called the Agent and 12 new challenges that teach core coding concepts like loops, debugging, and functions. It’s free and playable across iOS, Android and Windows platforms. Upon completing the tutorial, students can import their code into Minecraft: Education Edition for the first time ever, bringing their work to life in the game, or share their work via email, text message or social media. Learn more about the tutorial at education.minecraft.net/hour-of-code.
Above: Loops enable players to repeat a set of instructions until a certain condition has been reached.
I hope you’ll join us in building a global appreciation for Computer Science by visiting Code.org today to try the tutorial and plan your very own Hour of Code! And please share your experience on Facebook or Twitter using: #Minecraft #Hourofcode to spread the excitement around the globe during Computer Science Education Week.
Each day I come into the office, I am inspired by the stories and videos we receive from our Minecraft: Education Edition community and innovative educators like Melissa Wrenchey, Doug Bergman and Jeff Gearhart who are using computer science to inspire the next generation of creators, innovators and leaders.
Thank you to everyone who made this first year such a success. Our continued growth is only possible with feedback and ideas from you – the passionate educators around the world who are changing education as we know it. Keep it coming!