Reply To: Online Module 2: Minecraft and the Curriculum

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Roxanna Hirrell

Part One:
Criteria for an effective lesson in Minecraft Education.

The learning should be child led.
Collaboration is key (with roles and responsibilities clearly defined and agreed upon by the group).
Mixed ability groups (attainment wise and in relation to Minecraft experience). A child with high attainment in school may not necessarily by the child that is most adept at Minecraft and vice versa. Learning from each others prior knowledge and peer based support is essential.
Numerous curricular areas should be incorporated.
The incorporation of 21st century skills should be an integral part of an effective lesson as outlined in the Microsoft 21CLD Student Work Rubrics.
Pupils should be encouraged to experiment, trouble shoot and problem solve together.
Pupils should experience success.
Finally, and most importantly, it should be fun 🙂

Part Two:
We are an all boys school of approximately 140 students.
Our school has invested heavily in ICT over the last number of years.
We have Smart boards in all classrooms. We have a class set of laptops in a wheeled charging case for use. These laptops do need to be replaced in my view as they are quite old.
We have a class set of iPads.
We decided on a digital strategy and each class has specific targets (apps they will become familiar with, projects they will complete).
We have a set of Beebots.
We have invested in microbits and Lego We do kits.
We have also taken part in the VEX robotics competition and we have 2 robotics kits.
We have completed numerous ICT CPD in school and personally over the years and I believe that teachers in our school are open to learning how to use technology more in their classroom. We also have good peer support.
Our school does not use Office 365 however I would be interested in looking at the standalone subscription to Minecraft Education. I would like to see it introduced in the senior classes, possibly 4th and 5th class, so they could have a number of years to use it.
I would like to float the idea of Minecraft Education to my principal then approach the class teachers if it is agreed that it would be something of interest for our school.
I would also like to introduce Dreamspace to the other teachers, particularly as it was delivered online (it would be an awfully long bus journey for us).