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How Minecraft Teaches Kids Real-World Skills

How Minecraft Teaches Kids Real-World Skills
The point of Minecraft seems simple: build practically anything you can imagine. Some kids recreate famous pieces of architecture, others express their creativity through grand designs. Since 2009, Minecraft has sold over 20 million copies. And if that seems like a typical blockbuster, don’t be fooled — it isn’t. Graphics are boxy and blurry, and sounds are primitive at best. So why do kids obsess over it? I gather a handful of 5-to-13-year-olds. First, some basics about the game. Players begin on any number of randomly-generated terrains — square blocks that make up deserts, mountains, prairie and even clouds. When night falls, mobs of monsters — spiders, zombies and skeletons — chase them with a single-minded purpose. Minecraft is an open-ended “sandbox” that doesn’t come with instructions, so the gameplay is confusing — but that’s what makes it irresistible. John tells me he tries “new moves to learn new things.” It’s all a blur to me. But Minecraft has potential pitfalls, too.

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Why teach coding in school? Whether you're a technophobe or a geeked-out early adopter, there's no denying that the world is run on computers, and the language of computers is code. It seems only natural that there's a wave of interest in the idea of teaching kids to code -- some say it should be a requirement in every school. I think no one would argue that every kid is cut out to be a programmer, but a basic understanding of code couldn't hurt. In fact, this knowledge could give a leg up in an increasingly technology-centric society.

The New York Public Library Hopes You’ll Make Video Games Mauricio Giraldo, a designer in the New York Public Library Labs, made a video game using some of the library's own collections of public domain materials, and the institution is hoping you’ll follow. In Giraldo's game, Mansion Maniac, you control Pac-Man-esque, pixelated character, guiding through real, early-century floor plans of New York City homes and apartments. As you move from room to room, the game will automatically load and attach more of these authentic, historical layouts to the luxurious world, and when you're done, you can save and print out the floorplan to show all your friends that New York apartments have always been very small. “It starts a lot of conversations,” Giraldo told me over Skype.

Ten Things For Parents To Love About Minecraft By Bec Oakley My kids have been playing Minecraft for years, and we often play it together as a family. Over that time I’ve given a lot of thought to the ins and outs of the game - watching how they play and what they learn, listening to my friends’ experiences with their kids, reading a LOT of articles about the ways people are using the game and whether they’re having success with that. My conclusion is that playing Minecraft can be an incredibly positive and worthwhile experience for kids, but there are definitely a lot of parents who are either running into problems with the game or questioning whether it’s okay for their kids to play (and they often have good reasons for this). But in this article we're going to take a look at some of the considerable benefits that kids can get from playing the game. 1.

Secret iMessage shortcuts: Ten gestures to speed up your iPhone chat! Messages is the most popular app on the iPhone. There are tons of features you can activate with just a tap. It's got even more, however, that you can access with long presses, swipes, and other gesture shortcuts. If you have enough time, you can figure them all out. CEO Hadi Partovi Podcast Interview with Kara Swisher It’s easy to mistake computer science for programming, and CEO Hadi Partovi says that even the kids who will never work for Google or Microsoft should be educated in digital literacy. Partovi joined Re/code Executive Editor Kara Swisher on the latest episode of “Re/code Decode,” where he argued that we should start imparting the basics of computer science to kids in elementary school. “We don’t teach biology or chemistry to kids because they’re going to become surgeons or chemists,” Partovi said. “We teach them about photosynthesis and that water is H2O, or how lightbulbs work, just to understand the world around us. You don’t use any of it, but you do on a day-to-day basis use public-key encryption, and the average American has absolutely no idea what that is.” Vjeran Pavic for Re/code

The New 'Monopoly' Replaces Cash With Credit Cards and an ATM 28 1ShareNew Monopoly cheaters, your days are numbered. Hasbro has announced a new version of Monopoly that gets rid of cash money altogether, replacing it with a miniature ATM. Players will no longer have to count out physical bills, which means younger players won’t have to worry about doing math beyond their skill level, and cheaters won’t be able to sneak money out of the bank. According to Engadget, Monopoly Ultimate Banking will come with an ATM-inspired device that can scan players’ debit cards and the game’s property cards in order to complete transactions. For example, a player who wants to purchase a property simply scans both cards, and lets the ATM automatically deduct the right amount from their “savings.”

Retro video games live on Mario and friends: Well-known characters from classic games still have plenty of loyal fans. While the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One compete to enthral us with a new generation of games, there's still plenty of life left in the classics. With the average gamer in their 30s, many of us began playing video games long before Sony and Microsoft arrived on the scene. A generation of gamers started out at the local milk bar, pumping coins into arcade classic such as Asteroids, Space Invaders and Galaga. What do you want leaders to do with technology? (Updated Visual) I worked with Bill Ferriter, who created the visual “What do you want kids to do with technology?” on this updated version of “What do you want leaders to do with technology?”, adapted from my previous post on this topic. This morning, Bill sent me the updated graphic that he had created.

Cargo-Bot – iPad The first game programmed entirely on iPad® Be Logical. Play Cargo-Bot