Today we are delighted to be attending the UK launch of Minecraft: Education Edition in Edinburgh. Minecraft: Education Edition is an open-world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is children’s imagination! It’s going to be a busy day of talks and workshops from gamers, educators and teachers including Stephen Reid (@StephenReid) and Tracy Broadbent (@cosygamer). Tracy, co-author of Switched on Minecraft, will be running a really practical session on using Minecraft in the classroom. We can’t wait!
We will be live blogging from the event so you don’t miss a thing! Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest updates @risingstarsedu
12:00 - Classroom Games Ideas
Stephen Reid kicks off the day by talking us through how to use games in the classroom. Loads of great ideas to take away including:
- Exploring fossil fuels with Little Big Planet
- Designing structures with Besiege
-Understanding the solar system with Universe Sandbox
- Creating and costing luxury hotels in Minecraft
Looking forward to getting into the workshops next!
12:45 - Hour of Code with Minecraft!
Next up, Tracy’s Broadbent’s workshop on the Hour of Code with Minecraft. The aim of the session, we have one hour to work through the new Hour of Code resources! 12 levels, one hour... “Easy!” shouted one of the pupils in the session. Not so easy it turned out! Each level we were set new (and increasingly difficult) challenges and had to learn new coding skills. Working together, everyone coded their way through the levels to successfully complete the Hour of Code, each with a unique Minecraft world! A truly creative and collaborative session.
Get involved and try Hour of Code in your school at https://code.org/learn
13:45 - Roald Dahl Literacy Project
James Protheroe (@DpDarran), Assistant Head at Darran Park Primary and all-round Minecraft enthusiast, is up on stage! To celebrate 100 years of Roald Dahl, 95 schools from around the world took part in a Roald Dahl literacy project using Minecraft! Children used Minecraft as a stimulus and recreated environments from the books including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits! All schools submitted their own Roald Dahl-style stories. The winner, announced LIVE on stage is Coppermill Primary School – congratulations!
Thanks to James for his great session demonstrating how Minecraft can be used to encourage creative writing.
14.00 - The Great Fire of London!
Tracy Broadbent takes to the stage to share how her school uses Minecraft creatively in the classroom. One of their topics was the Great Fire of London so the children took to Minecraft to recreate Pudding Lane, complete with cramped wooden houses, cobbled streets and even small pools of wee thrown out from the windows! (This was a detail the children were keen to include!) The children worked collaboratively, sharing their expertise and learning from each other.
To take it further, Tracy wanted to draw in a maths objective. Every household was to be charged a hearth tax to be paid to the King. Children were given free choice of how many hearths to have in their house, enabling children to choose their own level of challenge.
Interested in running this activity in your school? You can download a guide to this activity for FREE here
Finally, Tracy finished with an important point. It is up to the adults to dig deeper. It is up to them to push the children to question and delve into the learning. It might be hard at first but it can be one of the most rewarding things you do in the classroom!