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Minecraft: Education Edition is getting a Code Builder tool to help teach coding skills

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Microsoft announced a new code-builder addition to Minecraft: Education Edition, meant to help students learn coding skills through the popular game. The tool, which enters beta today for teachers and students at qualifying schools, allows players to use learn-to-code tools like MakeCode, Scratch, and Tynker to interact with the game.

In-game, the coding is represented by an actual helper robot that players will be able to code commands into. In the demo shown off onstage, using simple strings of commands in Tynker, the robot was able to be programmed to dig a pit to find water, but Microsoft notes that the potential extends as far as your coding skills. More advanced users will also be able to code commands directly in Javascript, without the friendly robot character.