Microsoft launches Code Builder for Minecraft Education Edition

At its education event earlier in May, Microsoft unveiled its latest effort to help kids learn how to code: Code Builder for Minecraft Education Edition. Initially available in Beta, Microsoft is now launching Code Builder for everyone with the latest update to Minecraft Education Edition.

Code Builder essentially makes it easy for teachers and students to dive into coding within the world of Minecraft with visual code blocks that can be dragged and dropped in place with immediate results. From Microsoft:

Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition is a brand-new extension that allows educators and students to explore, create, and play in an immersive Minecraft world – all by writing code. Connecting to learn-to-code packages like ScratchX, Tynker, and a new open source platform called Microsoft MakeCode, players start with familiar tools, templates and tutorials. And, Code.org will bring Code Studio to Code Builder later this year to support even more learning opportunities.

A couple of other tweaks in this Minecraft Education Edition update apply to Classroom Mode and Command Blocks. Teachers can now control the weather, destructive items, mobs, and more via classroom mode. Meanwhile, Command Blocks will let players bring Minecraft commands to in-game blocks to perform specialized tasks.

Check out Minecraft Education Edition

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

7 Comments
  • My son's previous teacher is implementing this in to her science and technology curriculum next year.
  • What does this mean for gamers?
  • Pains me to see this.  My kids school has no interest in bringing any Minecraft Education Edition into the curriculum, and the only way you can get hold of this stuff is through subscription, and as a teaching institute.  So I'm stuck teaching the kids Scratch at home, rather than Javascript / Typescript via Code Builder.  Code Combat almost bridges the gap, but Minecraft would get them fully insprired.  Microsoft need to offer this stuff to EVERYONE, even if you don't have an .edu email address, and you're not a student / teacher.  I'd still happily pay for a subscription. 
  • We are in the same boat. At least my son's school used the Minecraft-themed coding lessons on https://code.org. Since Minecraft Education Edition is not an option, I am directing him to Small Basic. It's probably good for him anyway, since he is more than ready to move on from drag-n-drop programming to programming with a keyboard. Small Basic can be installed as a Win32 app or from the Windows Store. Microsoft did a great job packing in a lot of features into a kid-friendly IDE. Programs can be run standalone, and can be exported to Visual Studio when the budding programmer is ready for more advanced programming. There is a good series of books to teach not only Small Basic, but some of the algorithms behind games and other applications. (Those of you who cut your teeth typing game code out of David Ahl's books will find a familiar title in a new edition, sans the now obsolete line numbers.) You can find them at https://www.computerscienceforkids.com/. The publisher also has books for learning VB, C#, Unity, and Java. Tip: buy direct from the publisher, instead of Amazon, if you want free access to the downloadable program files.
  • Very nice!  I'll check that out, thanks! One of the nice things about the drag-and-drop interface in Code Builder for MC:EE, is that you can switch to the Javascript / Typescript representation at any time.  In fact, I think there's stuff you can do that *isn't* available in the drag-and-drop interface ... it comes up as a question-mark block (or something similar) after you write the code, and switch back to drag-and-drop.  I recall seeing it in the video, I'll need to take another look.  In the meantime, I'm off to check out Small Basic.  Thanks again!
  • I remember seeing that feature (JavaScript view) in code.org a couple years ago, so good to hear it is in MC:EE. I'd like to see Microsoft clone Small Basic as Small (Java)Script and Small C#. Ultimately I'd like to see them combined all into a single IDE that would allow the user to view/translate on the fly, so they could see how their program could have been done in a different language.
  • what about code builder for windows 10 edition so i can learn how to do it :D