This week Sonja Delafosse shared with me the above video of some Canadian educators sharing their experiences with introducing Minecraft: Education Edition into their classrooms to build sustainable communities with their students.
It’s worth watching (like most YouTube videos now I watched it at 1.75x speed), as it shows how often students pick up and run with an idea inside of Minecraft:EE because their existing enthusiasm for the platform translates into high levels of engagement in the learning journey.
A few key points that stood out to me:
- The two teachers presenting both said they’re not experts in Minecraft themselves – they were prepared to set the learning objective but relinquish any claims to expertise in the game play itself.
- They learnt alongside the students, especially when the students wanted to extend the parameters of the learning into 3D printing of Minecraft models
- Many students are passionate about their communities and sustainability – this creates a wide scope of learning opportunities and a cross-curricular thematic approach to education.
- Minecraft helped the students learn empathy for others – understanding the impact of the different environments on their fellow Canadians across a very large geographic region.
- Minecraft allowed the integration of STEM skills in various ways e.g. creating motion sensor street lighting that turned on/off when students walked past them (whilst also driving awareness of energy conservation)
- Students gained confidence in presenting ideas in various ways – whether that was verbally to audiences, or via the chat features inside the Minecraft game, differentiated presentation skills were developed.
- Some students experienced confidence gains through having their skills recognised for the first time, and being actively approached for assistance from other students.
Again, I encourage you to watch the video above if you’re interested in how Minecraft:EE might be able to be used in your classrooms. If you’re after a quick setup guide for Minecraft:EE check out this blog post, and here is some research into the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) impact of Minecraft in the classroom.