Minecraft Education Edition

Posted by Alison Ruoff on 2/19/2017

Our Minecraft project is in full swing in Room 2!  If your little one has been coming home and talking about playing Minecraft with their teacher, it's true!  I thought this would be a great place for you to learn more about all of the amazing things we are doing.  

Minecraft Center

This Minecraft project started at the beginning of the year in my Teaching and Learning in Virtual Worlds class for my EdS degree through Boise State University.  For years my students have been coming to school talking about Minecraft, wearing their Minecraft t-shirts, and bringing their Minecraft toys for show and tell.  I had always dismissed Minecraft.  I didn't know how to play or understand why my students liked it so much.  The phrase "I don't get it." comes to mind.  Dr. Haskell, my professor at BSU, is an educational games and virtual worlds expert and inspired me to integrate this powerful learning tool in my classroom.  I felt so strongly about doing this that I spent months filling out paperwork and working with the IT department to make it happen.  

At this point in time we having been using it the classroom for about a week.  One story I would like to share with you happened on Friday.  We were looking at our recently built homes.  Every student had their own plot of land and we went through the streets of our town talking about things that we liked and how we could make things better and one of my little guys said, "I didn't know girls could build that."  A boy sitting next to him said, "Of course they can build stuff, look at Ms. Ruoff, she is a girl."  I said that I was learning how to build things just like they were and that everyone can build amazing things, boys and girls.  I can't even begin to explain all of the incredible moments I have seen with my kindergarten.  I had only about 4 students who had ever played Minecraft on a PC before.  Some had experience with it on an Xbox or iPad so learning to use both hands to navigate was the first skill that we worked on as a group.  

I am in the process of documenting literally "our first steps" into lessons so I can develop a scope and sequence for future years.  There is a lot of formative assessment on the fly when I'm working with the kiddos and from this has come:  Line Dancing with Ms. Ruoff, Follow the Leader, Simon Says, and Hide and Seek: Find Ms. Ruoff Challenge.  We are all having so much fun..."Ms. Ruoff where are you hiding?" or "I'll help you.  Watch me." or "I did it!!"  

I have decided to divide up our Minecraft experiences into three areas, experiences where I am working with them, experiences working with their group, and free choice, where they can explore, experiment and do whatever they choose.  I have seen such high levels of cooperation and collaboration between my students that I feel the need to pinch myself.  


For more information and links to research regarding Game-Based Education please click here or visit Minecraft Education Edition