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Chris van der Kuyl: Minecraft Can Inspire Next Generation of Digital Experts

Minecraft entrepreneur believes the game can transform education and inspire the next generation of digital experts.

As the Courier reports Chris van der Kuyl, known for developing the popular Minecraft game for consoles, states that a transformation of Education is central to Scotland’s economic future.

In another interview he describes how he believes the game can be central to modern education.

Chris says it can be used to inspire a range of subjects including literature, music, language and maths, and that those interested in computer games can also go down the production, design and programming routes.

The level of adoption and engagement with the game is phenomenal, selling more than 200 million copies and driving a mind boggling one trillion views on Youtube!

Yet he believes he is just getting started. He studied Computer Science, with a trip to Silicon Valley early on in his career making him think that there was no reason he couldn’t start his own business in Scotland.

He believes this type of maverick streak is key to transforming education in Scotland, to address issues such as the low uptake of Computer Science. His career has featured technology entrepreneurship from a very early age.

Learning through gaming: using Minecraft in the classroom

As the Guardian wrote in 2016 Microsoft launched a version of Minecraft tailored for Education, that made it accessible via their existing Office logins and featured a variety of tools for managing its’ use in the classroom.

In this Ted talk Joel Levin makes the case for using video games — such as Minecraft — as a way to teach essential life skills like problem-solving, communication and collaboration.

After witnessing the positive experiences his children had playing Minecraft, Joel decided to experiment by bringing the game into the classroom. Can video games be used as effective teaching tools? The answer, he found, was yes. “Games help keep learning fun,” and when video games are used alongside the context and curation provided by a teacher, they have the ability to foster an explosion of creativity and ingenuity.

Teach Coding with Minecraft

In this video Microsoft provide a very quick overview of how this can be applied to support the goal of this site, to teach coding. Susie explains you can now open Code Builder within the game, which uses Microsoft Makecode to offer a visual, block-based programming environment for easily customizing the Minecraft world.

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