Friday, February 28, 2014

Why Minecraft is good for teaching computer science

Minecraft enthusiasts in San Diego will be able to take a unique inside look into their favorite game during a class taught by Jacobs School computer science Ph.D. student Stephen Foster at UC San Diego Extension.

Students will learn how to set up Minecraft servers and build Minecraft mods. In the process, they will learn about client/server architectures, network security, operating systems and computer programming. The class will be taught in a project-based style.

Heads-up: the class, which starts March 1, is full. But Foster says it'll be offered again soon.

In this video, Foster explains why the video game is a great tool to teach computer science. In the process, he makes some interesting connections between Alan Turning, one of the fathers of computer science, and Minecraft.

Note: Foster is one of three co-founders of ThoughtSTEM, a company that teaches students ages 8 to 18 how to program. He is also one of two creators of CodeSpells, a first-player video game that teaches children (and adults too) how to program in Java.

Related stories:

Teaching Kids How to Code

UC San Diego Computer Scientists Develop First-Person Player Video Game that Teaches how to Program in Java

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