Minecraft and Code

This week saw me visit the Bett Show which is an educational tech exhibition held in London’s ExCel Centre. The show is massive to say the least and in order to get the most out of my visit I put together a list of some of the people I wanted to talk to. At the top of my list was Microsoft and the work they’re doing to with their Minecraft Education Edition. I spent a great deal of time talking to them about ways I can incorporate Minecraft into my coding courses and came away feeling very encouraged along with a couple of really good ideas about how to take things forward.

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Integrating coding into Minecraft is easy and fun with the Code Builder which is based around the visual coding platforms such as Scratch that most of us are familiar with. This really simplifies the process of using code to manipulate the virtual world and offers an easy progression process when pupils are ready.

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I also spent time with Google and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, again looking at ways to integrate their products into First Coding courses. Both stands were incredibly interesting to spend time with.

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Other highlights include meeting a number product designers that I’m a huge fan of and have followed and read about them for years. Oh, and I also got to play and see inside the largest working Gameboy in the world. It’s surprisingly similar to how I made my arcade cabinet and I’m now wondering how one goes about breaking a world record.

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A Long Way for a Loaf of Bread

We paid a visit to one of the nearby hills, Gold Hill in Shaftsbury. It was made famous when it was featured in an ld Hovis advert. I’ve been here before but many years ago when I was small and I remember the crowds of people that would gather for a photograph. I also recall a massive gift shop at the top, selling bread related wares. It’s not there anymore and neither are the crowds. It would be good to return in the summer though

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Salisbury’s New Coding Club for Kids

This week saw the first code club for kids in Salisbury. It’s progressed from a school club to a village club and now the club is being trialled in Salisbury. I had ten great kids attend, all with different abilities and ideas. We made a Space Invaders game which was a lot of fun.
My interactive BB8 droid is making an appearance in the next lesson as I’ll be showing the kids how to a build chatbot.

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Durrington Show 2017

We went along to the Durrington Show at the weekend. We’ve visited it a couple of times in the past, admiring all the classic cars and steam engines. A couple of years ago I met the local amateur radio club and they were very kind to offer a few introductory lessons here. It was nice to see them there again this year, putting on an interesting display of wartime spy equipment.

This yer I met people of a club I haven’t heard of before, the Salisbury Model Engineering Society. I really enjoyed chatting to these guys and seeing what they make. I’ll be popping along to their next meetup in a couple of months time.

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