At the beginning of December my coaching partner and I were busy planning Hour of Code activities. During our planning I had the opportunity to dig deeper into Python and really enjoyed my learning journey. This journey got me thinking about how I could teach an elective on Python during the next session, so I started researching ideas, projects and resources geared toward middle school student.
And what did I find? Well, the holy grail of programming electives…Adventures in Minecraft! I came across this book thinking that it could have some fun ideas for my after school MinecraftEdu class. You know, build ideas, challenges, other fun things to keep the kiddos focused. Turns out its WAY MORE that fun things to build in MCEdu, it’s about how to use Python to program Minecraft! Whoa…wait…what…? You can do that? You can actually program things in Python and have something happen IN Minecraft! I was hooked. I bought the book then and there, tossed aside the work I should have been doing and began learning how one programs Python!
As I began reading the book and downloading files from the companion website I had a sudden realization that all this may be for naught. Why, you ask? Because I am using MinecraftEdu and work in a school. Nothing every works the “way it’s supposed to” in a school. I proceeded anyway determined that it would work, one way or another! As I continued along I found that this book, published in November 2014, was already out of date (as is often the case with techie books). The book is based on Minecraft 1.6 and I’m on 1.7 MCEdu! Ugh! This isn’t going to be easy.
Skip to Friday morning…I knew my work computer was still set up for MinecraftEdu 1.6, so I downloaded and installed the necessary files to my laptop while the Chapter 1 how-to video guided me through the process. Adventures in Minecraft folder saved to the desktop, Python downloaded, Bukkit server up and running! We’re a go! With all of the setup completed, I becan my first Python program for Minecraft! Here it is!
Here what is, you say? Right there, in the chat! I made that happen…WITHOUT typing it into the chat window! Okay, so that may not seem so impressive, but every programmer starting a new language must start with a Hello world! script!
With the knowledge that I could program Minecraft on a school computer as a teacher, I set off to the computer lab to see if a student could do the same. Fingers crossed!