Teaching coding has never been easier, with tools like Scratch, Make:Code, AppLab and many more, teachers have a wide range of options when it comes to teaching their students how to code. One tool that I’ve found extremely helpful is using video games both as a hook and as a platform to teach students coding. As a Coded-Minds instructor I’ve taught coding using Scratch, Minecraft, Roblox, Flappy Bird, Space Invaders, and even Among Us. Here’s why it’s worked for me:
Kids Love Video Games
In order to be a successful teacher, it’s extremely important that you follow your student’s interests. With the rise of video games like Minecraft and Roblox, students are not just playing games, but creating with them. This allows you as a teacher to engage them in an environment that they love, and teach them coding fundamentals that they can later take to more advanced coding projects.
Be A Videogame Designer
Scratch allows students to remix, or create their own video game. It’s a great way to teach students the fundamentals of coding such as strings, loops, variables and booleans. When their projects are ready, they can share it out to the wider community to give other people a chance to learn from their work! This turns students from video game players into video game designers and fills them with a sense of pride at a finished product that they wouldn’t get if they were just doing boring exercises.
Minecraft Education Edition
Although they don’t have a dedicated educational edition, Roblox can still be a powerful tool for teaching coding. The trick here is that you need a student with some coding skills. You can use their tutorials to teach them how to create a basic world map (Such as an Obby), or you can have them try their hand at using the command line to change object attributes. For more advanced students you can have them write and run scripts within their games. With Roblox it’s really easy to share your work, so that gives students motivation to keep learning skills.
Used properly, video games can be a powerful tool for educators wanting to teach coding. They engage students and encourage them to learn the skills necessary to become masters at coding. As an educator, don’t be afraid to test out the newest game that the kids are talking about, you might find some lesson ideas from them.