Reply To: Online Module 2: Minecraft and the Curriculum

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Saoirse McDermott

Part one : Criteria for an effective lesson in Minecraft education
•Creative and child led – Pupils are actively involved in a process of knowledge construction and skill development with the teacher acting as a facilitator. Pupils should be provided with an opportunity to explore their own imaginations, to be creative and to express themselves. It is imperative that the students develop a sense of ownership over the project or assigned task.
• Development of 21st century skills – The lesson should incorporate the 21st century skills of collaboration, knowledge construction, self regulation, real world problem solving and innovation, use of ICT and skilled communication. As teachers we must equip pupils with the skills necessary to function as active, responsible and social beings as they progress through primary, secondary and third level education and eventually join the workforce.
•Integration – Meaningful integration will allow pupils to transfer concepts and skills across a number of subject areas and to develop and refine these further. Making connections across several curricular will facilitate maximum teaching and learning.
•Differentiation – In adopting the ‘low threshold high ceiling’ model, learning is made accessible to all whilst also providing natural extension opportunities.

Part two : My school’s current level of ICT.
We are a developing rural school, with three classrooms of multigrade. In designing our school vision and crest, we highlighted four core values, the second of which is that “We uphold high expectations for effort and performance in our learning and develop skills for the 21st century.”

All mainstream classrooms are equipped with ultrashort throw projectors and smartboard IWBs. There are 6 pupil PCs at the back of each classroom and another in the SET room. Each class has 3 ipads with a fourth shared device available.

Pupils from 2nd to 6th class have access to school office 365 accounts and use one drive as their e-portfolio for digital projects. In preparation for a safe return to school this September, the parents of infants and 1st class will also be given access to office 365 accounts to facilitate the sharing of teaching and learning materials.

Senior pupils are learning to code using scratch 3.0 while all pupils from infants to 6th class create videos using ipads.
Pupils from 1st-6th utilise a variety of online learning tools throughout the school week including Quizlet, read theory and typing club.

A school website and twitter is used to share positive reports and accounts of teaching and learning while Aladdin School management system allows for the tracking of pupil data and assessments as well as secure communication with parents.

I absolutely believe we are equipped for Minecraft education and am hoping to introduce this in the next year or two. I am the infant teacher at present but 4th – 6th class will be trialing lego education in the coming school year.