What is Java and Minecraft Mods? Teaching Kids to Program

At iCodeSchool, we believe that children are the future of the planet. With this knowledge comes the responsibility to teach them essential skills to succeed in an age of ever-evolving technology. One of the ways we inspire children to bridge the gaps they’ll eventually cross is through something called STEAM learning. STEAM is based on the concepts that combining science, technology, engineering, art and match will prepare young learners for what’s ahead.

A problem many parents and teachers are facing today is the idea that STEAM learning is boring, difficult, or too advanced. This couldn’t be further from the truth. To show kids that STEAM is fun, engaging, and useful, we’ve created several courses, like our Java with Minecraft Mods camp for elementary and middle school children.

Throughout his blog, we’ll dig a little deeper into what Java is and how it works with Minecraft to enhance your child’s understanding of computers, technology, and science.

What is Java?

In programming, as in life, there are many languages used to create the apps, software, games, videos, and other tech we enjoy. Java is one of these programming languages and an early one at that. Developed in 1995, it is still used today in a variety of applications and websites. You may notice a popup asking you to run Java if you haven’t already installed it on your computer.

Understanding how Java works and being able to use the programming language essentially means your child has access to advanced computer skills. These skills can then be used to create his or her own website, game, or mobile application, and more.

Java is free to download, making it an excellent early tool for students and young programmers. Whether your child is interested in computer programming, or simply loves to play computer games, Java is an excellent way to increase understanding of the things they enjoy.

How Minecraft Mania Teaches Children to Code

Minecraft is a single and multiplayer game that took the world by storm in 2009. Still a popular computer game played over multiple consoles, Minecraft is a great way to teach your child to code early. It also fosters creativity and a sense of community.

Minecraft offers a unique user experience called a Minecraft mod. A mod is basically an independent modification to the Minecraft game made by users. There are thousands of different mods already online and running, which can be downloaded and played for free.

Many people believe that the reason Minecraft became as popular as it did is that it offered players so many customizations. Being able to create your own virtual world is a video game fantasy for many, and Minecraft made it a reality.

Using the Minecraft mod experience and the programming language Java, iCode School created a course for your child to learn to create and explore their own Minecraft mod.

iCode School’s Minecraft Camp

Coding with Java to create a Minecraft mod provides more than a video game experience to young learners. It offers a chance to learn practical hands-on computer coding skills which will be beneficial in years to come. Working in a team environment, students learn to work together, depend on themselves, troubleshoot, problem-solve, and delegate different responsibilities to their teammates.

The coding process and the gameplay process are very different things. What children receive when they begin a course like this, isn’t just a chance to play a game with their friends. Coding a Minecraft mod is a lot of types of language and code. In the beginning, it all looks like computer jargon and gibberish. By the end of the course, students understand Java, how to use it on their own, and the power of code and the internet.

The iCodeSchool Advantage

iCode School designs curriculum specifically for future generations who will require these skills to succeed in a digital world. Everything from shopping to learning takes place on computers and knowing how to program a computer is just as important, if not more so, than understanding how to use one.

The skills children learn through iCode School’s Java with Minecraft program will carry over into a computer science degree, an engineering career, or a video game designer position. These early years are crucial in a child’s learning journey to develop the foundation for future courses and advanced lessons.

For more information on iCode School, our Java with Minecraft course, and other STEAM-based courses, contact us today. Our inclusive learning environment is a safe place for kids to develop self-esteem and proficiency in science, technology, engineering, art, and math learning models.

Babysitting an Adult

It sounds humiliating from an employment standpoint, but that’s exactly how it feels for men and women in modern corporate America. The hierarchy of business structure includes entry-level employees, senior employees, supervisors, managers, and upper management. Depending on the size of the corporation there could be multiple employees in each role.

According to an opinion piece published in Harvard Business Review, the infrastructure of this hierarchy puts management and employees at a ratio of 1:10 on average. This seems minimal in a small business setting of 20-employees, but as that number grows into the hundreds and even thousands, the management required is outrageous. Management also earns more. So, for a company of 1,000 with 100 managers earning roughly 33% more than entry-level workers, a company is spending a large portion of their overall budget on these roles.

So, what’s the problem with companies paying so many managers to supervise? Many Americans believe that if employees were being trained properly and hired based on the skills and abilities, they need middle management roles would be obsolete.

The Toll of the Middleman

Management is an essential piece of any business puzzle. Without managers, a company would falter. However, the role of the supervisor is a different story. Supervisors are a middleman between manager and employee. They act as a messenger, disciplinarian, watchdog, and trainer. While many supervisors are helpful, the act of being supervised is demeaning to many senior-level employees, some of whom may have been with a company longer than a new supervisor has even been out of school.

Feeling the presence of a supervisor constantly watching and criticizing work being completed takes a toll on a business. When employees are hired based on the skills they possess and are trained to do their jobs well, the role of supervisor should be unnecessary. So long as there is a manager to address big-picture issues, problem solving and experience in the field should be enough to help employees succeed.

Early Support and Education Help

One of the issues facing employees in the lower ranks of a corporation is a lack of early education. Many employees don’t begin receiving support or equipment to properly learn their roles until they’ve advanced in the company. This diminishes confidence early on and creates a need for greater assistance from managers and supervisors. Victor Lipman of Forbes once expressed his disapproval for these methods of training, stating, “I can readily speak from experience on this one, having received considerably more training and development opportunities in the latter stages of my career than in the early formative stages, when I most needed it.”

Providing ongoing training through every stage of employment is the best way to prepare employees for their roles and keep them strong as the company changes and grows. This removes the need for constant assistance from supervisory middlemen.

Future of Drones and Drone Programming

Drones have come a long way from the early remote-control helicopters of our past. Modern drones are far more than play toys and are used in several high-profile industries. For research, surveillance, planning, and even deliveries, drones perform tasks that humans often can’t. To reach these goals, drones must first be programmed.

At iCode School, our goal is to provide the skills early learners need to be successful in the future. Drone programming is one of these skills. Throughout this blog, we’ll take you on a walk through the future of drones and drone programming.

What is a Drone and Why Does it Need Programming?

A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle. By this definition, it could be any shape or size, but here we’re mostly talking about the smaller remote-control drones, often paired with a video recording system. There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding drones and what they do. While flying one of these miniature devices is a lot of fun, they’re designed to do much more than entertain.

Drones perform jobs. For example, recently Amazon.com has begun using drones to deliver packages. For a drone to make it from point A to point B with a package in hand, it must first be programmed to do so. Programming requires intricate computer coding, which helps the drone understand what its purpose is and how to fulfil that purpose properly.

Drones for Business

Drones do more than deliver packages and loop the loop. There are a variety of industries currently benefiting from the use of drones, including:

  • Wedding and wildlife photography
  • City planning and Architecture
  • Search and Rescue
  • Film and Television
  • Real Estate
  • Mining
  • Mapping

The data drones capture is used for many reasons. In some fields, such as photography, the data is edited and turned into high-resolution prints. In real estate, city planning, and mapping, data is delivered to their respective departments to be analyzed. In many businesses, the data analyzed from drones is used to make big decisions, such as improving practices, suggesting budgetary changes, and estimating future work.

As drones continue to evolve and change, they may begin to develop even more use in these and other industries. Developing drones to serve the individual purposes of niche markets is certainly a possibility. Any changes we see will depend on the limitations of drone programming and whether our youngest generations choose to pursue careers with a STEAM foundation.

The Drone Impact on AI

The future of drones is unlimited. Especially as so many models continue to develop new and unique ways to benefit their prospective buyers. Artificial intelligence is one of the leading advances in drone technology. Currently, drones are limited by the manual operations of their human counterparts. However, drones are becoming closer than ever before to a time when they may power themselves.

The concept of AI-powered drones is both exhilarating and alarming. It could open a world of possibilities or a world of limitations, depending on how the AI functions and to what extent. AI has always been a futuristic subject, but already it’s taking shape in household items. Even the mobile phones we use have AI support, like Siri and Google.

Understanding the programming of drones plays a massive role in whether we will achieve fully AI-driven drones in the future. This is a big part of why iCode School supports drone programming. Not to develop AI, but to give young learners the chance to explore these opportunities of the future.

Developing early drone programming skills gives students the foundational skills necessary to advance this technology further when it’s finally their time to take the key to the city.

Drone Programming with iCode School

iCode School works hard to provide the children of today with the skills they’ll need tomorrow. To do so, we offer STEAM learning, which prepares young learners for work in fields related to science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

Through a comprehensive computer science curriculum, students learn the programming behind many of the latest technologies including drones. These skills provide a strong foundation for advanced computer and technology courses and a variety of career paths. The future is filled with amazing technological discoveries yet to be made, and at iCode School, we truly believe our students will be among those to do so.

For more information on iCode School, programming courses, and other STEAM-based programs, contact us today.