Northern Ireland news

School pupils being introduced to coding through Minecraft

Dr Kevin Marshall from Microsoft Ireland, Damien Duffy Director of Development, Belfast Met and Billy Breen from Prodigy Learning

PRIMARY school children are to be introduced to coding through the popular Minecraft computer game.

Prodigy Learning in association with Microsoft Ireland and Belfast Metropolitan College have launched an initiative to deliver skills in using Minecraft: Education Edition platform to 150 primary school teachers.

Minecraft allows children to create their own virtual worlds and experiences, using building blocks.

Teachers are being equipped with the basic skills and knowledge to implement Minecraft in the classroom. They will later attend an event at Belfast Met where they will learn how to use block-based coding in Minecraft:EE as an introduction to coding.

Prodigy Learning Ireland manager Billy Breen said the initiative highlighted the importance of `stem' education in schools and the commitment of teachers to encourage digital skills in the classroom.

Belfast Met director of curriculum Jonathan Heggarty said the college had a strong history of working with educators to provide skills in innovative technology.

It also encourages coding from a young age in its CoderDojo programme.

"Minecraft is a powerful and exciting platform for educators which can transform the learning experience," Mr Heggarty said.

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