Minecraft Modding classes

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.

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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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Steve Jenkinson February 15, 2014 - 8:05 am

Only problem is I can’t afford 250 dollars for a course and I bet most people can’t regardless how good it may be. More realistic pricing may get more interest. But that’s a no for me.

coolcatteacher February 15, 2014 - 8:19 am

Steve, you’re also getting the software and several of the courses include some pretty good software that will cost you money. We’re actually looking at the other courses to figure out how to do this for my son for this reason – learning to code is important. I used to code in Java and the stuff they taught my 12 year old was very hard stuff and he was engaged in it all day. I’m looking into a site license for my school because you’re right, most people can’t afford it. But if you also could see the 1:1 attention they are getting, etc. they are really setting themselves up as the premier, best way to teach kids to code. Of course you can DIY and there are times for that, but for me, this is a relief and I’m glad we have the software and support. If you can save up your money, it is worth it.

Vicki Davis
@coolcatteacher Blog
Host: Every Classroom Matters
Author: Reinventing Writing
Co-Author: Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds
:: This email (and tweets too) are off the record unless we specify otherwise.:: :::: Sorry for brevity as sent from my mobile device::::::

Steve Jenkinson February 15, 2014 - 9:06 am

I am teaching computer craft at my Centre. We simply don’t have the funds you are talking about neither can I afford to test the theory of how it could be successful in an sen centre. I can’t even test it at home prior to buying and even then I am not prepared to pay that for something which is unproven in schools. Just to get funding for minecraft edu which is considered a game for computercraft was a massive ask.

Personally I would to investigate this but it’sa price even in the UK mainstream schools. So unfortunately with great sadness it’s still a no.

Steve Jenkinson February 15, 2014 - 9:17 am

We get a budget each year which die to cutbacks is even less. I increasingly wish my wife would agree to move to us Canada or oz as at least the education departments look after you and respect you for what you do.

Steve Jenkinson February 16, 2014 - 2:21 pm

Vicky do you work for them? If so could you outline what the package contains?

amber February 15, 2014 - 8:09 am

I’m a high school math teacher and I play modded minecraft with my kids. I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate this awesome game into our stem program at school for a while now but was clueless about HOW to mod. The course IS expensive but with some saving up and some lessons on budgeting thrown in it’s possible I think! I can’t tell you how excited I am and how excited my 7 year old daughter will be. I see lots of creation in our future. Thank you so much for what you do! You’ve opened a door in our world too. :)

coolcatteacher February 15, 2014 - 8:21 am

Yes, Amber – It gives me hope too! I’m so excited – my son’s life is forever changed. He’s learned some really hard stuff about Java AND he now understands why it is important to spell things correctly (the code won’t work if you have the variable name wrong.) I’m very excited for him and am looking to figure out how to get this for my school. I’m so impressed.— Vicki Davis
@coolcatteacher Blog
Host: Every Classroom Matters
Author: Reinventing Writing
Co-Author: Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds
:: This email (and tweets too) are off the record unless we specify otherwise.:: :::: Sorry for brevity as sent from my mobile device::::::

Steve Jenkinson February 15, 2014 - 10:37 am

30 pounds as a trial before I buy? Very keen to investigate the course but need to be 100 per cent site before I ask school to buy it and nowhere do I see what is actually pay off the package aside from the learning videos.

As it’s up to me to look at it I would be paying with my own money.

Merdia March 17, 2014 - 12:05 am

Ok how about this if you can find other moms in your community that have kids that are interested in this the it’s a good idea to buy it together and use it on different pc’s that way the make there own mod for them selves and you only got to pay like 20$ and so do the other mom problem solved btw I like your pic. Jesus saves :) amen am I right?

coolcatteacher March 17, 2014 - 3:31 am

Actually, I think the course is individual – I don’t think you can share it – you’re actually a student enrolled in a course.— Vicki Davis
@coolcatteacher Blog
Host: Every Classroom Matters
Author: Reinventing Writing
Co-Author: Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds
:: This email (and tweets too) are off the record unless we specify otherwise.:: :::: Sorry for brevity as sent from my mobile device::::::

Merdia March 17, 2014 - 10:18 am

Actually in the first lesson when you download the software he says you can download it twice if you want to share the program with your brother or sister

coolcatteacher March 25, 2014 - 6:06 am

Thanks for clarifying that.

Tania mansfield February 15, 2014 - 11:19 am

Thanks for this Vicki – I have just shared this with my 10 yr old and he is beyond excited! He has the chicken pox so is off school for the next 7 days. He is a minecraft lover ( as is his mother , although she does not really understand it, she still supports everything it teaches and develops in him)

So your post has made a young boy happy – his next week is planned……..thank you!

coolcatteacher February 15, 2014 - 2:30 pm

Enjoy Tania!Vicki Davis

Tania mansfield February 16, 2014 - 10:08 am

If i was to set up a Minecraft activity at school, would I need my own server? Could the kids just go on with their own memberships and meet on a specific server? I have no idea – but I have no doubt if I organised a room of MC lovers that they woudl learn off each other, share their knowledge and challenge each other….plus we could have some wonderful conversations about responsible and respectful use…
Could you check with your son for me? My son tells me everyone just needs their own account and a server to meet up on….is it that simple?

Merdia March 16, 2014 - 11:59 pm

No you don’t need a server just look up test servers or small servers with no language if you know what I mean and you just have to monitor it and your son is right but really people can download youth digital mod design class and get minecraft for free :) good luck

Aaron Maurer February 16, 2014 - 7:02 pm

Great stuff Vicki! Really excited to read about this as my son and I go around in circles about the mod piece of Minecraft. Now, just to find the money to test this with him so I can move into the schools.

coolcatteacher February 16, 2014 - 9:48 pm

It is expensive. We are saving up for our next course.—
Vicki Davis
@coolcatteacher Blog
Host: Every Classroom Matters
Author: Reinventing Writing
Co-Author: Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds
:: This email (and tweets too) are off the record unless we specify otherwise.:: :::: Sorry for brevity as sent from my mobile device::::::

Merdia March 16, 2014 - 11:38 pm


Merdia March 16, 2014 - 11:56 pm

I would like to say that I think you all are doing well with this idea and I have one to btw I’m 12 and during my mom’s account so yah anyways the basic idea is that really youth digital is an account but really you can make like 4 mods on one laptop or other pc so if you have let’s say 12 students and 3 laptops and 2 mods on each computer you can pair everyone up in pairs of to no boy girl business b-cuz sometimes the guy will want to do a cool mod like a black ops mod or a super hero mod and the girl will want a lipstick mod or a fashion mod so you should find 2 people who have the same interests and pair embarqmail up like let’s say this kid likes a book and this other kid likes that book to they can do it together and if you have the parents pay 3 dollars a lesson per kid per day should have over 1,000$ that can pay for 3 accounts and pay the teacher so while six kids do the mod 6 others are sitting there brainstorming with their partner about their mod and drawing up plans on paper then when 10 minutes pass ding they switch and you have your self a 25 minute class where you can also make money while haveing them learn java script and have fun cha-ching not done yet though look at these numbers.

3 accounts:750$ if you have 2 mods per laptop and 3 laptops you can do a 12 kid class

Around 54-60 lessons 2 per day 3$ per lesson 12 kids cha-ching 1,354$ or around that price depending what state or country

Eric May November 22, 2014 - 10:40 am

I am curious about your thoughts for this course for a seven year old…

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere