Reply To: Online Module 2: Minecraft and the Curriculum

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Colette Langan

Part one: Discuss what the criteria are for an effective lesson in Minecraft education.
An effective Minecraft lesson allows students to participate in engaging and creative exercises, across so many curricular areas, as part of a small group.
Learning is taking place in an fun, open and non-threatening environment.
Time to experiment with the programme initially will lead to familiarity and heighten interest levels
Microsoft 21st century skills, creativity, collaboration, communication and problem-solving skills are central to each Minecraft assignment. The students learn how to discuss, share and agree boundaries, roles are assigned and contributions are welcomed and considered.
Students function at a level that is appropriate to their age and ability. The low threshold- high ceiling formula means that students a sense of accomplishment regards of outcome.
There are lots of opportunities to give and receive feedback.
Self / Peer /Teacher Assessment is possible
The projects are student led. They take ownership of the activity and the teacher is there as a facilitator, to assist when and where appropriate.
Self- assessment and peer assessment are possible.

Part 2: Discuss your school’s current level of ICT. Make reference to teacher use, student use, hardware, digital content, and school emphasis on integrating ICTs into teaching and learning. Is your school equipped for Minecraft education and how might you introduce it?

Our school has increased its investment in ICT in recent years, but we need to invest more in both hardware and in training.
All classrooms have IWBs and they are used throughout the day for teaching and learning. We have two charged laptop trolleys for 30 laptops(Windows 8) which are timetabled for use throughout the school.
All the teachers have a school laptop (Windows 10).
12ipads were bought recently and are used regularly as part of station teaching in the junior classes.
Coding and Scratch is introduced in 3rd & 4th class, and it needs to be continued and built upon in the senior classes. The Beebots are used in the junior classes for coding.
Greater expenditure on whole school training in the use of ICT is essential to build confidence and competency in the use of the technology. Teachers are willing to give new technology a go but lack the skill and the knowhow to incorporate it into the school day effectively.
Technology is the way forward and it is important that we promote the development of computer skills in our students. Minecraft is a great way of integrating project work across the curriculum. The level of interest and engagement from colleagues might be a limiting factor in its introduction. As suggested elsewhere if one or two teachers were to pilot it successfully with their class this should spark some interest from others around the school. I would like to see it being introduced into school as it is so versatile, creative and dynamic.