One homeschool mom and her teen review a Minecraft Coding program and find a fun way to learn real life skills.
We noticed Youth Digital a couple of years ago at a homeschool convention and my Minecraft loving children, especially my oldest, were instantly interested. I was immediately impressed with the whole concept; we just couldn’t work it into the budget at the time. When we were offered the chance to review MOD Design 1 I was obviously thrilled.
I wish you could have been sitting next to me and seen my 13-year-old’s reaction when he found out we were getting this! The excitement has only continued, he fell in love instantly and has continued to LOVE the lessons.
What is Youth Digital?
“The future will be made by creators, not consumers.”
Youth Digital offers an innovative online learning solution that kids can access from any computer with an internet connection. Their learning platform provides kids a comprehensive educational experience that is amazingly fun, highly interactive, and rewarding. Through Youth Digital courses, kids will master critical technology skills and learn to use professional-level software that will help them be successful in today’s digital world.
What is MOD Design 1?
Mod Design 1 by Youth Digital is an engaging way for kids ages 8-14, to learn key technical skills while programming their mods for Minecraft. The interactive lessons are fun to watch and easy to follow. Kids can learn at their own pace and use their imaginations to create their own Minecraft mods! Kids will code a Minecraft mod from start to finish and watch as the result becomes a unique, shareable Minecraft mod that they built from scratch.
Kids will learn the basics of one of the most popular coding languages in the world as they modify real Java code to build Minecraft mods. Students will master introductory computer programming concepts including object-oriented programming, methods and parameters, instantiation of new objects, and more. Kids will also learn to use a pro-level Java development tool, Eclipse.
Over 30 hours of self-paced, engaging online lessons
1-year access to our dedicated team of online teachers to help your student along the way
Here are some screenshots showing what things look like inside. This one shows the student dashboard with the lessons.
Within each lesson, there are videos and an outline of what will be covered. Here are two outlines.
The informative and entertaining videos also include screencasts, showing the child exactly what to do and how to do it. Here’s a peek at the sword lesson.
Below you can see a screenshot of the coding section; your child is taught how and where to insert code!
This was one of those reviews that I knew would be a team effort, and I told my 13-year-old son that from the beginning. He agreed to work with me, and this has been a fun process. He has been into Minecraft for years now, and I am very supportive of his interest. Once I learned about Minecraft, I quickly realized what an incredibly educational game this was for my kids. Extending the love of Minecraft into learning in this way through Youth Digital has been awesome!
What my son had to say about his experience:
“OK so when I was told that I was going to do the MOD Design 1 course I was extremely excited because I already loved to play Minecraft and I enjoyed programming. The people that created the course are geniuses because you can definitely learn a lot from the course.
It does get hard at times but it is really nice because you can get help with what you are stuck on just as simple at clicking the HELP! button and tell them and show them what’s wrong! I had to use this a few times and they are super helpful and respond quickly.
The program is awesome because as you go through the course you do interactive quizzes and and solve problems and you can earn points! You can use the points to learn even more stuff to put into your mod! What’s also cool about it is ALL the software to run the program comes with the course and even if your course expires you can still keep the software to keep working on your projects!
The age recommendation is from 8-14 years of age, I think that younger ones (8 and 9) can definitely do this course. It may get hard but with the HELP! button makes it ease to get unstuck from your problem. I’m turning 14 here soon and I love the course so I also think that 13, 14 and 15 year olds will learn and enjoy the course as well.
Going into the course you don’t have to know anything about programming to enjoy the course! They do a through job of explaining how to do it and what it means. So for all the Minecraft lovers out there this course is a great learning experience and fun way to play Minecraft!”
Even better, here’s a video interview I did with him. Ever wanted a peek at his personality? Watch this. He’s a goof…I love him so. The video is almost 7 minutes long; he had a lot to say!
I recommend MOD Design 1 and Youth Digital in general for a few reasons. Expanding on an interest and providing real life learning skills in our computer-driven world is so valuable. He has already begged for another course, and we will see if we can fit this into our homeschool budget. Watching my children be comfortable with computers means a lot to us. No matter what they decide to do with their lives, it is almost certain a computer will be involved somehow. Pac has dreams of possibly working with software design, so this was a fabulous experience for him.
About the All-Star Blogger
Carisa chronicles her life as a homeschooler over at her blog, 1+1+1=1. Head over and you can find more reviews, guides, freebies and more.