Minecraft in schools

"We're not trying to turn your students into gamers, we're trying to turn your gamers into students."

This was the quote that started the day off for the teachers that attended the Minecraft workshop these holidays. It was run by Brad Thomas from Cyclone, partnering up with Microsoft. Thank you to Tiffany Driver (ILT at TePapapa School) for organizing this event.

In a nutshell, Minecraft is about breaking & placing blocks. Players can work together in virtual worlds to create wonderful, imaginative things. You can play it alone, with friends in the same room, or with creators around the globe.

We used the Minecraft Education Edition, and learned the basics of creating in a Minecraft world. We also had the opportunity to join a virtual world and work collaboratively to create Bilbo Baggin's Famous Hobbit Hole (is there any New Zealander that doesn't know Lord of the Rings?). Brad very cleverly wove literacy into the activity as we had to read a rich description of the setting and re-create it on Minecraft.

And to top it all off, he directed us to the Minecraft Education Edition website which has unit plans, lessons plans, and Minecraft worlds/biomes. This was a big hit with the teachers!

We even got to explore the immersive Te Ao Maori Minecraft world created by Whetu Patai (a NZ game designer and founder of Piki Studios). See this website for more details.

It was an awesome opportunity to learn about something we have heard our students talk about endlessly at school. If you'd like to find out more information on how you can start to use Minecraft in your school, please contact your closest Across-School-Lead teacher. :)


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