How to mod minecraft: Youth Digital has the class for your kid

Minecraft is his passion. My son loves it. He wants to mod but every time we sat down to figure it out, I couldn’t figure out what software to download or where to begin.

Minecraft Modding classes

Before this course, I tried to do it myself  but got spyware infections both times

After two times of downloading software for modding and two serious spyware/ malware infections on my computer, I was ready to just give up. I would spend hours installing and then more hours cleaning off my machine so I could use it to work. It infuriated me. Why should it be so hard? It isn’t. We just needed to find some people who knew how.

How to Mod Minecraft: Mod 1 Class from Youth Digital

So, today is a day home from school and my son is enrolled in the “Mod 1″ class from Youth Digital. Not because he has to, but because he wants to.

We watched the introduction video with the teacher, Justin (a cool, funny, hilarious guy who is also really smart) and we kept having to pause the video because we had to stop laughing. This series hooked my son from the beginning.

Learning to mod minecraft with Java on the left and the video course on the right

As my son learns to mod minecraft, you can see his Java code module open on the left and the video of Justin teaching him what to do on the right. He’s already made a sword in gimp and pulled it into his mod.

The Learning itself is Gamified and Engaging

There are different levels. They earn points for attaining each level. He can’t unlock the next level until he finishes the earlier ones. When you unlock a level, you get special codes that let you add to and enhance your mod that you’re making. When you’re done, you send the mod to your instructor who plays it and gives you feedback. Throughout, Justin asks you to go for help if you need it by clicking help. They offer to look at your code or give you feedback.

He started at 9:15 am this morning and it is 2:24 pm and he’s still “playing”/ learning/ programming in Java. And he’s twelve. (OK, we’re about to go workout soon as I do think we have to have balance, but still – it is that engaging. How many classes would your child take that you’d have to tear him away from?)

Now, I get asked to demo stuff all the time and I don’t write about things here unless I’ve tried it or a student or my child has tried it, but this is a dream for my son.

He wanted to mod, he just didn’t know how

Yesterday, he emailed me a list of what he wanted in his mod. He’s been taking notes on his ipad about what he wants his world to be.

I felt like a failure as a Mom/ geek/ teacher because I’m clueless and lost and didn’t know how to help him. This problem has made me feel dumb.

Connecting to games can help improve learning.

Games, as we’re learning in our Gamifi-ed Project, have so much potential for helping us teach. I’ve found through this course, that you can gamify, make things fun, and use games to teach. My son just asked me a question about variables and has already learned why spelling things correctly is so important. Games have a place in our toolkit.

Opening a door

I’m happy to sit in the den and work on my Surface Pro and give up the big screen computer in the office to him as he programs because a world just opened. A door opened.

Today is the day my son went from playing games to making them.

I literally felt his world change (and mine) when we started watching the videos.

Yes, Youth Digital let me try out the course for free. I’m grateful. I’m thankful and the work they’ve done in there is a rock solid example of a great way to teach kids.

Java code where he's figuring out an error with his variable.

This is a shot of his Java code as we were figuring out his mistake in calling up a variable in his code. Spelling is hard for him and now we’ve just discussed why spelling things exactly correct is so important in coding.

We know coding is important. Most of us also know we’re ruefully unequipped to teach it properly without a refresher course. Sometimes great teachers are connectors. We connect our children and students to excellent places to learn and turn them loose. We take their passions and help them become creators instead of consumers. We help them unlock doors.

I recommend Youth Digital’s Mod 1 Course if you want to help your child or grandchild Mod

So, if your child is dying to mod Minecraft, I give my whole hearted endorsement to Youth Digital’s Mod 1 course. (No, they aren’t paying me, but yes, I did get the course for free to try. I’m going to see what I can do to get it for my students as well.)

A step-by-step guide to install spyware-free software to get started

It will guide you through installing the software with a special (spyware free) kit that you download – it does take about an hour to install but Justin tells you how to do every step. (TIP: Let your child do it! Don’t do it for them. This is a time to be over the shoulder.) It is really worth it just to keep your computer safe with the scum that says they’re showing you how to mod in order to steal your personal info on your computer.

I’m so excited for my son. And now, as it relates to Minecraft, I no longer feel like a loser Mom that is too dumb to figure out how to help my son learn more about what he loves — I feel like a Mom who opened a door and whose son is running through it, ruby sword in hand.

You don’t have to be the expert, teachers/ parents/ adults – you only have to connect kids to things they love taught in excellent ways and they’ll do the rest.

The only thing my son and I agreed on is that he’ll put a cat in there named after me. ;-)

Mod on, baby. Mod on. Your Mama is so proud.

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