Coffs Harbour Public School Blog

Courtesy & Honour – Principal:Leonie Buehler

Minecraft in Education

Minecraft is a sandbox indie game originally created by Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson and later developed and published by Mojang. The creative and building aspects of Minecraft allow players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. Other activities in the game include exploration, gathering resources, crafting and combat. Gameplay in its commercial release has two principal modes: survival, which requires players to acquire resources and maintain their health and hunger; and creative, where players have an unlimited supply of resources, the ability to fly, and no health or hunger. Minecraft is being used to teach more than just computer skills. It easily lends itself to science, technology, engineering and maths explorations. But beyond that, language teachers are strengthening communication skills, civics teachers are exploring how societies function, and history teachers are having their students recreate ancient civilizations. It is a wonderful extension tool to expand and push problem solving and engage the higher order thinking skills as students plan, develop and build their learning projects.  Information sourced Minecraft Wikipedia

“Need more convincing that Minecraft can be a powerful tool for learning? Check out this fun video from PBS Idea Channel’s Mike Rugnetta, who specifically (and very quickly) lists a number of ways the video game can and has been used to learn everything from physics to history.” Mind/Shift.org

 

Here are some links to excellent Minecraft resources and builds:

  • Minecraft Edu: Educational organisation formed by American and Finnish educators with the goal of introducing the Minecraft into schools. The group works with Mojang to make the game (modified for classroom) affordable and accessible to schools. In September 2012, there were approximately 250,000 students around the world with access to Minecraft through the company. A wide variety of educational activities involving the game have been developed to teach students various subjects, including history, language arts and science. For an example, one teacher built a world consisting of various historical landmarks for students to learn and explore.
  • Minecraft Edu Wiki:This wiki contains a wealth of tutorials and details about how the Minecraft Edu mod works.
  • Real world examples: See how others are using Minecraft in the classroom.
  • Block by Block: Fantastic youth urban planning project with the UN and Minecraft

    Block by Block Project

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Levin (Minecraft Edu developer and teacher) talks about using Minecraft in his classroom:

Exceptional building!

High Rossferry City

These are renders of our Minecraft city. We’ve been working on it off and on for 19 months now with just 2 people. We’re inspired by great artists from Van Gogh to Mondriaan, and architects like Mies van der Rohe and Rietveld. There are many references to art, science, music and movies, all over the city.

16 Responses to Minecraft in Education

  1. Ant says:

    Hi,
    I was really excited to see you have started to incorporate Minecraft into your learning experiences. I’m a primary teacher in Victoria and I’m thinking of doing the same. I would love to touch base with someone from Coff’s Harbour to begin to get my head around the possibilities.
    Do you know of any other Australian schools picking up on this wonderful opportunity?
    Please get back to me at the email address I provided when you get a chance,
    Thanks,
    Ant

    • Joel says:

      Hi,
      Like Ant I’m really excited to other schools using Minecraft. We’ve been using it in 5/6 classrooms since 2011 and it’s been a smash hit since day one. The only trouble is, no one seems to care. 3 times I’ve tried to have write ups published and every time I try to share our experiences with colleagues they stare at me blankly. They’re just humouring the nerd.
      So it’s really heartening to see a school using it so well. And such enthusiasm from the community is really great too.
      Ant, If you’d like any ideas, I’d love to be of some assistance, I’m in Vic too.

      Joel

      • mrsbooth006 says:

        Hi Joel, the Victorians’ are always doing great stuff in their classrooms but for my schools it has been the Principals who have seen the worth in using virtual spaces as a valuable resource to compliment a balanced curriculum for all. I think perhaps there is now a solid ground swell of educators using Minecraft for instance, so it is not so ‘new’ and also for me I see using virtual spaces as an authentic platform to teach ethical and moral reasoning in on-line behaviour. This, I believe, is critical for all students as technology is moving so rapidly forward.
        Just to note I emailed Ant a while ago regarding his post but as yet need to receive a reply. I will send him another with your details also.

        Kind regards
        Kate Booth

        • Joel says:

          Hi Kate,
          Thanks for the reply. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for what you’re doing with Minecraft. I can’t wait to tell out Prep teachers on Monday about your interesting use of iPads and Minecraft. We’ve got a 1:1 iPad program, so there’s no reason we couldn’t give something similar a try. Besides, we’re in the process of building a whole new school, so it’d be a fantastic tie in.
          Anyway. Thanks again.
          Joel

  2. Mike Mangovski says:

    Hi,

    I’m a High School teacher and am very interested in integrating Minecraft to reconnect with those students that are disengaged.

    Your blog is fantastic and I can see myself spending a lot of time investigating the possibilities.

    I do, however, have some questions with regards to connection via the DEC network. I investigated this myself a few years ago but hit a lot of roadblocks. The link to Nick’s Tech Blog does not work anymore. Do you have this information accessible anywhere else?

    I’d like to get a look at what’s involved. I have a fair idea of a solution but want to have a roadmap before jumping in and spending dollars.

    Thanks again,
    Mike

    • mrsbooth006 says:

      Hi Mike, thanks for the notice regarding Nicks link and I’ll check it now. I have emailed you so hopefully we can put our heads together and come up with a plan for your classes. =D

  3. Kate Daley says:

    Hi,
    Like Mike (;)) I am also a high school teacher and I am putting together a program for the GATS class using Minecraft. I also looked at Nicks link that was broken.
    I’d love to have a chat on how you implemented this in the school and the classroom.
    Thanks, Kate

    • mrsbooth006 says:

      Hi Kate, Nick has a different blog now and I have fixed the link which also provides details about the OZMinecraft Educators group which might interest you. I will email you with my contact details .

  4. MrsW says:

    Hi,
    I love what you are doing with Minecraft in the classroom. I have a 3/4 class in NSW and we are using Minecraft on the iPads for the first time this year. We have linked it to our new science syllabus and the outcomes Built Environments and Working Technologically. Students are following in the footsteps of the First Fleet and creating their own settlement from scratch looking at what their citizens would need and how they would use the different environments. Students are working in teams of 2 or 3 and are creating a journal to document their learning journey which will be turned into a eBook using Book Creator. They will also give the class an oral presentation as they walk us through their settlement and explain what they did and why.
    We have only allowed creative mode to be used, not survival.

    • mrsbooth006 says:

      What a great project! It sounds fantastic. This is when I wish I was a classroom teacher so I could spend more time with the students’. Please let me know how it all goes and thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. Sharon Hodgson says:

    Hi there

    I am very inspired by your project. I work at Southern Cross Distance Education in Ballina. I am working towards implementing Minecraft as a learning exeprience for some of our DE students. I am required to write a policy outlining how the departments policies on social media BYOD etc and Child protection requirements can be met. As our DE students are not on site at a school but spread throughout a large geographical area I have to be able to demonstrate how the minecraft server will be monitored ensuring safety of all particpants.

    I am hoping that you have some documentation you would be willing to share that would help me develop a comprehensive policy.

    Thanks

    Sharon

    • Mrs W says:

      Hi Sharon. Using minecraft in the classroom is fantastic! I highly recommend it. My program can be found here http://cnpslearning.weebly.com/merryn-whitfield.html
      And examples of student work on the project can be found here
      http://34wg.edublogs.org/Minecraft
      I don’t know if I have all the information you need though, as we used the iPad PE version of minecraft. We did not use a minecraft server as they do with the PC version and we didn’t allow visitors to each groups world. Also with the PE version, there is no need to login with usernames or passwords.

  6. Alistair says:

    Hi All,

    I’m a grade 11 student from Launceston Tasmanina and I have been helping my school with using Minecraft in grade 9 Geography for their sustainability project. It’s about a 5 week project in which they have to build a village of some sort that works with sustainability and what would happen when there was a flood (We flood their crops). They do this in groups of 4 or 5.
    We are using ‘Bukkit’ to run the server, its a great tool.
    We have run it once already and are planing on running it again in a few weeks.
    How are you guys getting the idea of using Minecraft insted of doing essays and that sort of stuff to the students?
    We found that some students love the idea and contribute a lot while others didn’t, do you know any ideas on getting more people engaged in the use of Minecraft?

    Thanks,

    Alistair

    P.S.

    Sounds like you guys are going quite well with the use of Minecraft in class.

  7. stuart says:

    Hi

    I am in a High School Setting and i am extremely interested in how schools have successfully implemented minecraft into their schools. I would ebe very interested in all of the building and implementational stages. I looked wt the links provided by Mrs W . Really great stuff. if you would be able to drop me an email i would be very interested in talking more thank you very much

  8. Susan says:

    I am trying to find out to get the MinecraftEDU licence for my DEC Selective school – not having any luck. If someone could help me find out how to purchase and any issues/tips with using it within a DEC network etc.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Mike Mangovski says:

      Hi Susan,

      Unfortunately MinecraftEDU can no longer be purchased. It was acquired by Microsoft and withdrawn from their website. Microsoft are intending to release their own educational version of Minecraft. Information can be found here: http://education.minecraft.net/

      You can sign up for updates on their website. They are yet to release any official pricing or requirements.

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