Minecraft PE in the Classroom

Looking down at a structure made in 'creative mode' on Minecraft PE

Game: What do you know about Minecraft?

I've never even seen Minecraft. How about an intro?

Olivia, an avid nine-year-old Minecraft and Minecraft PE user made this basic introduction to Minecraft PE.  It's made for someone who had never played before.

Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool?

This is a very fast paced but highly detailed statement about the versatility and empowering nature of Minecraft in education.

PDSB examples of Minecraft Use

Many thanks to Kris Schuermann of Champlain Trail for sharing these screenshots and ideas from some initial work with his students.  

Minecraft in the Classroom, or, Things Look Differently From Different Viewpoints

In the following blog post, Matthew Oldridge describes how two of his students showed him how they could communicate their thinking and understanding in math in a new way. The first video included the blog post (also embedded below) summarizes one of the student's thinking. He chose to do a question from the "Guide To Effective Instruction in Mathematics" in a Minecraft environment rather than on paper.

An interesting science activity based in Minecraft

Here is an example of a class using Minecraft to explore matter and concepts such as temperature and how it might affect the state of the matter (solid, liquid, & gas). This is a shorter, edited version of the full video.

Exit ticket: How might you implement Minecraft PE into your classroom to support student learning?

Minecraft in the Classroom - Peel DSB FAQ

What can students learn by playing Minecraft?

Consider this quote from a classroom teacher about gaming and Minecraft:

  • "Before Minecraft, I tried to use video games in class, but I always had to change my lesson to fit the game," Joel Levin, co-founder of TeacherGaming, a company that helps schools set up games, told the Washington Post. "Minecraft was the first game that came along where I could change the game to fit my lesson." (Source: http://2machines.com/183040/)

Because of the open play concept of Minecraft, it is especially suited to education as it can be used in many different ways, by a variety of teachers, in many grades, within many different curricular areas. Minecraft is not going away and it has attracted the attention of educators worldwide. Magazines such as The Atlantic, Wired and Edutopia regularly publish articles about it.

If you are looking for examples of successful classroom applications using Minecraft, take a look at Examples by Subject on the MinecraftEdu Wiki. The general Teaching page is also informative.

How do I get Minecraft going in my PDSB classroom and how much is it?

If you have iPads in your classroom or school, you can download the iOS app called Minecraft PE (PE = pocket edition). It is a somewhat scaled down version of the main Minecraft game but it is certainly packed with all of the most important gameplay features. Very soon, the full version of Minecraft can be installed on the school computers, once some technical issues are fixed.

  • If you download the iOS app, you pay once for each installation of the game on each device. The app is $7 each. In this version, Minecraft PE is assuming that the owner of the iPad is the only user. Of course, you can share the iPad around and any or all students can play on it.
  • If you download the PC version, the game itself if free to download and install but you need a user login to play it. In this version, Minecraft is assuming that many different users will be playing the game on a PC so you will need to buy user licences. If a school is buying them, then usually they are purchased and the usernames are generic, such as SchoolName001, SchoolName002, and so on. In this way, the user accounts can be recycled and used by various classes, year to year. User accounts are USD$27 each and purchased once; these never expire and do not need to be renewed year to year. Educational institutions can order accounts at a reduced cost (UDS$14 each if 25 or more are ordered) at MinecraftEdu.

Where can I go to learn and play in multiplayer server-based game?

GamingEdus has a special server called The Professional Play Server. This is purely a learning server for teachers and their immediate families.

This server is ideal for educators who have never played Minecraft and want to learn in safe, fun environment, or who have played Minecraft and want to connect with other educators, or who want a safe, kid-friendly server for their families to play Minecraft. Every Tuesday If you would like a more personalized introduction to Minecraft, GamingEdus runs a "Tuesday Evening Play 'n' Learn" starting at 7pm. Members of the GamingEdus site will take you on a tour and answer your questions.

Gamification D2L course in PDSB!

For more information on gaming and gamification in the classroom, self-register for our gaming course on D2L - Play to Learn: The Gaming of Learning. Go to the BYOD site, click D2L and self-register. As easy as 1-2-3!