Teaching STEM with Learn to Mod
This post is sponsored by Learn to Mod. I was given free access to the site and I was compensated for my time in writing this post.
If you have a kid who loves computers, chances are he or she is a lover of Minecraft as well. Minecraft is the sandbox of the computer world allowing users to build just about anything they want. It’s especially fun for those kids not interested in competitive type computer games. We have three Minecraft players at our house, but only one of them is excited to “mod” his Minecraft world. When I was approached by Learn to Mod, I knew I had to let Joshua, our new 6th grader, try it out. Teaching STEM with Learn to Mod shows how you can use one of your student’s favorite games to teach programming concepts.
Benefits of Using Learn to Mod
No doubt there are other ways to teach kids programming and to have fun with Minecraft, but Learn to Mod has some distinct advantages which are pretty cool.
- Cool way to get kids thinking about programming and to think like a computer- what better way than through a favorite game?
- Badges give you a goal- to work for and while they seem like just cut and paste at first, they have text in between and give you an idea of the tools you have available to you as you work through them.
- Create your own- mods, texture packs, schematics, and worlds. Use them in your mods that you create!
- There are servers available- and they turn off automatically after they sit idle. They take a bit to boot up and while you wait you can check for bugs in your code.
- Allows you to create items, blocks, and tools with a completely different tool set
- You can switch between mods and texture packs simultaneously
- Online simulator- is still in alpha, but it works and requires Unity to run. They are still working on it, but it lets you try out the mods if you don’t have the Minecraft game
- Quests offer a reward system- for every badge you complete, you get diamonds or reward points which allow you to buy stuff in the simulator (without real money).
- Includes a forum and online community- so you can ask questions, report bugs, and show off and share your creations
- There are classes available- for learning coding, game design, and texturing
My Minecrafter’s Favorite Learn to Mod Features
This post wouldn’t be complete without a few thoughts from our household Minecraft Modder, Joshua. Here’s what he had to say and then take a tour with him in the video. He can hardly wait to share his experience with you!
- Simple & Easy to Use– When he first got started he kept saying how intuitive it was. It was super easy to get started having big fun with Learn to Mod.
- Share the Mods– You can share your mods with everyone, even your friends who are not Learn to Mod users.
- Use Resources Created by Others– You have full use of resources that have been created and uploaded by others.
Joshua wanted to share something he made with everyone, so he put together a little video. Take a moment to watch and see the cool stuff he coded on his own for his Minecraft world.
If you have a Minecrafter at home, Learn to Mod is a great learning tool for them. Of all the resources we’ve tried, this one has been the most successful at allowing our modder to use his mods. He’s shared them with his friends as well and that’s been a huge bonus for him.
Other STEM Posts at Blog, She Wrote
How to Make a Marble Speed Trap with LEGO Mindstorms– If you have a Mindstorms kit, you can make a speed trap for a marble.
Resources for Putting the Technology in STEM– A list of websites, books, and lessons that we have found helpful for teaching STEM in our homeschool.
How to Incorporate Technology into Your Homeschool– A list of the ways we use STEM in our homeschool.
OH!! This class looks great!! I’m signing up!
Eva, this has been a ton of fun and the price seems so reasonable. The owner said they just got a two year grant so the product will keep getting better and better!
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