Minecraft Education Edition

Minecraft Education Edition

Imagine an environment where educators can motivate and inspire students to design, create and problem-solve in a world where the only limit is their imagination.  Welcome to Minecraft: Education Edition!

 

Minecraft: Education Edition is a way to bring the digital world into the classroom.  It is built on top of the core Minecraft game – so it includes all they key features of the game that students are familiar with and love to play.  It is a sandbox environment with no specific goals for the player to achieve, thus allowing a great deal of freedom in choosing how to play the game.

So what is the benefit of using games such as Minecraft: Education Edition in the classroom?

Games can offer an engaging, immersive environment for students to experiment, try and solve challenges, and collaborate with peers in a virtual world.  Games encourage iteration. When you play a game, you come back and try again when you fail, you work at it to get better. Imagine if students applied the same kind of perseverance to learning long division or history lessons as they do when they’re mining for diamonds or creating circuits with Redstone?

In games, avatars encourage participation and reduce the fear of failure. Reluctant students participate more actively, often finding their voice and demonstrating strengths that may not show up in the traditional classroom1. In fact, in a recent study, 91% of children 2-17 are already playing video games. Students are iterating, experimenting, and actively engaged in games. Minecraft: Education Edition offers us an opportunity to bring this experience into our classrooms1.

Additional capabilities have been added to enable students to collaborate in the classroom, and support educators to deliver lessons and learning activities within the game.  For example, worlds in Minecraft: Education Edition are set to the lowest difficulty level, in order to create an immersive learning environment that balances both engagement and focus.  A camera and portfolio have also been added so that students can document their learning as part of this creative process.  The addition of Classroom Mode allows educators to create worlds where students can collaborate, further expanding their possibilities for collaboration and learning.

The Minecraft Education community provides opportunities to connect with other educators to share resources, participate in community discussions and to discuss and save your favourite content.  Educators will find existing lesson plans and even Minecraft worlds set up as a blank canvas for students to engage in creative expression. There are lessons and class resources for a variety of age groups and subjects including English, Mathematics and Science.  Students can explore the Human Eyeball, discover Medieval Britain or travel the Oregon Trail.

Learn to Code in Minecraft

Code Builder is an additional feature that allows students to learn coding in Minecraft using tools including Code.org, Tynker, Scratch and Microsoft MakeCode. Students can use blocks of code or JavaScript to build and create in Minecraft. Minecraft Hour of Code also offers a free, one-hour introduction to coding basics.

Chemistry Update

The Chemistry Update for Minecraft: Education Edition introduces a Chemistry Resource Pack to Minecraft: Education Edition! Students can discover the building blocks of matter, combine elements into useful compounds and Minecraft items, and conduct amazing experiments with new lessons and a downloadable world.  This update provides educators with engaging ways to explore the world of chemistry within the Minecraft world, in addition to providing an area to create and experiment with new items in Minecraft.

Students can view a complete periodic table and build a customised Chemistry lab. Following the Scientific Method, students can combine over 30 elements with the Compound Creator, use the Element Creator to build 118 elements and use the Minecraft Lab Table to create items and reduce blocks to their components.

For more support material for getting started with Minecraft Education Edition visit http://Education.minecraft.net

 

Sources:

Level Up Learning: A National Survey on Teaching with Digital Games. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2018, from http://joanganzcooneycenter.org/publication/level-up-learning-a-national-survey-on-teaching-with-digital-games