|Computer Science Curriculum From Minecraft|
|Written by Nikos Vaggalis|
|Monday, 11 February 2019|
Teaching Computer Science at school just got easier as Microsoft is making a 30-hour curriculum, targeted at students in the age range 11 to 16, available as a free download.
The course is comprised of 10 units with each focusing on specific computer science concepts and programming skills. Teaching all units and lessons will require approximately 30 hours of instruction, with each unit including 1-4 lessons of approximately 45-60 minutes each.
The lessons are comprised of activities that introduce core CS concepts and give hands-on coding experience, as well as a number of independent projects suitable for applying the newly gained skills, and assessments for testing the knowledge and skill development acquired.
Many kids are already familiar with the world of Minecraft since it's a very popular collaborative game in which characters survive by performing tasks such as chopping, hunting or mining.This curriculum requires students to understand the merits of writing code to automate such tasks using the core concepts of computational thinking.
So by the end of the course students are expected to be able to:
The curriculum is well structured and addresses the probable inexperience of teachers who have never taught computer science before but nevertheless want to incorporate the CS into their curriculum, regardless of their subject area.
For example the guidance, backed by the appropriate material, given to educators is as as clear cut as:
Introduce the concept of computer science
Ask students: What is computer science?
Ask students: Why is it important? How does it help us?
Coding with Microsoft MakeCode
The Units in detail:
Unit 1: Introduction
Unit 2: Events
Unit 3: Coordinates
Unit 9: Artificial intelligence
Unit 10: Final independent project
Of course, the most eye-catching of all has to be Unit 9 on Artificial Intelligence which introduces the concept of crafting programs that mimic human intelligence, but also revolves around the ethical questions surrounding it.Here students will be creating AI rules for winning a tic-tac-toe game as well as building Intelligent Agents who navigate mazes and chop wood on their own.
The final project is about creating several sub-projects which address the needs that your Agent is going to have to satisfy in order to survive the game, and which can be solved with code. For example, to satisfy your character's requirements for lots of paper you can code a sugar cane farm for him to harvest. Simiarly for building better tools you can code an iron-finder.
In all, this curriculum offers a first class opportunity for educators around the world to introduce their pupils to the concepts of computer science and critical thinking in order to prepare them for the workplace of the future.
Download the Computer Science curriculum from Minecraft: Education Edition today
MakeCode and CODAL Ease The Way To Programming Electronics
Hour of Code 2017 Introduces App Lab
The Malmo Challenge - Collaborative AI
The AIX Minecraft Project Makes Thinking Software Possible
Pythonroom Brings Coding to the Classroom
IBM Watson and Education in the Cognitive Era
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|Last Updated ( Monday, 11 February 2019 )|