Reply To: Online Module 2: Minecraft and the Curriculum

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John Molloy

Part 1:

A good lesson in Minecraft should include the following criteria:

Students should be given ownership of the project while at the same time, the teacher can provide direction and assist with troubleshooting.
The lesson should incorporate the use of 21st century skills as outlined in Microsoft’s 21CLD Rubrics
The lesson should integrate multiple curricular subjects
The lesson should Integrate the use of an imaginative and creative space to solve the problem in a variety of different ways. Minecraft, being a sandbox game achieves this.
Good lessons will have a low threshold – high ceiling element allowing learners of varying abilities to be challenged.

Part 2

We currently have IWB’s in all classrooms.
We have:
2 x ipad carts
1 x chromebook cart
1 x Windows laptop cart

All teachers have laptops.
Teachers mainly use Activinspire on IWBs along with whatever other apps they need to teach.
Children use ipads for learning reinforcement games and content creation (puppet pals, ebook creator, imovie etc.)
Chromebooks are used for learning reinforcement games (mangahigh, sumdog, spelling city etc. ). Children use Google Docs/Slides to create content also for projects across different subjects.
Coding is done on the chromebooks using Scratch and also with Microbits using makecode.
Windows laptops are also used for similar tasks.
Coding for Junior classes is in Scratch Jr. on the ipads.
During the recent lockdown we were able to use the children’s existing school google logins to easily setup Google Classroom as our online learning platform.I previously used the original Minecraft EDU in 2015/16 on projects in school. I would like to use the new Microsoft version in school. Our hardware is capable so it is just a matter of getting the correct licensing in place.
I would introduce it to students by:
Explaining that we will be using Minecraft in school but it will be slightly different and that we will be using it for learning.
Doing an SPHE lesson on how we will behave in the virtual world of minecraft just like we do in the real world.
Training the children in the basics using the tutorial world over a few Friday afternoon sessions.
Let them build and get used to the controls and enjoy using it.