Reply To: Online Module 2: Minecraft and the Curriculum

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Paul Barry Slack

An effective lesson in Minecraft is one that has a certain structure in terms of planning and organising but the overriding feature of the lesson is that it is child led. In terms of structure it is one that has plenty of opportunities for integration with the various curriculum subjects. Problem solving should also be at the heart of the lesson giving opportunities for differentiation through the low threshold high ceiling nature of the game. The constructivist / constructionist approach to learning should be followed in the lesson where the children in their work construct meaning and build knowledge through building things that are tangible and sharable. Opportunities to give and receive feedback throughout the lesson should also be a feature of the lesson. This allows for positive collaboration amongst peers with all ideas and contributions taken on board and discussed.

In terms of the current level of ICT in our school there is a central computer room which holds 25 desktop computers which are linked to an online network. Slots of 30 minutes in the computer room are scheduled with the various classes throughout the school. A teacher’s server as well as a pupil’s server are used to store work and files. Each classroom is equipped with an IWB and a visualiser. Assistive technology is used in a number of classrooms whereby pupils with special needs have access to an Ipad. In terms of digital content the school has a website which includes a section for digital literacy and interactive websites for the children to use at home. There is also a teacher’s website which includes a blog and lists resources for integrating ICT into teaching and learning. Software including Wordshark and Numbershark are available for teachers to use with individual children. In terms of Minecraft Education the school availed of the free version a number of years ago but since Microsoft took it over there has been a number of issues in terms of access to it in the computer room. It was used in the computer room by a number of classes to support learning in history.