Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Mod Creation: The Adventure Begins

Mod Creation: The Adventure Begins

Spring 2017 Software
Ages: 7 - 15 yrs.
Producer: CodaKid
Price: $249.99

ModCreation: The Adventure Begins is a Java programming training course for children ages 7 - 15. It consists of over forty video lessons and thirty-five mini-projects that teach children (and some of us parents) how to create custom mods (modifications) for the popular game, Minecraft (Note: CodaKid is not affiliated with Minecraft or its creator) in a straightforward, step-by-step way. While the appeal for most children will be learning how to customize their Minecraft experience, the lessons teach important basic programming vocabulary and concepts (e.g., arrays, parameters, loops, etc.) that provide a strong foundation for additional learning and projects. Learning code can be difficult and one misplaced letter or punctuation mark can wreak havoc; fortunately, when the program detects such an error, it is underlined in red so that users can go back to the videos and attempt to figure out where their mistake is. And, if unable to determine what happened or if users have unanswered questions, their annual subscription to the course ($249.99) includes the ability to message CodaKid staff. Some lessons may require additional viewing, but that's the great part about a video course; children can spend as much time as they need learning and practicing the concepts. Talk about playful learning involved in creating and modifying their weapons and armor, creating monsters, and crafting new biomes. The course may be designed to teach programming, at which it does an amazing job, but it is also an excellent way to teach and hone problem-solving, logic, and patience. At a little over 68 cents per day, your Minecraft obsessed gamer will gain and polish a lot of skills. That's a lot of bang for the buck.

Sharon Heuscher   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.

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