An effective lesson in Minecraft Education should include (but not limited to) the following criteria;
1. Child led learning and ownership of the project. As a teacher you will scaffold the children but they will be given the freedom to interpret the project in whatever way they would like.
2. The inclusion of ICT as this is a skill that will greatly benefit the children in the future and include those found in Microsoft’s 21CLD Learning Activity Rubrics.
3. Collaboration and Group work. Working together to problem solve but making sure that the group is not too big (no more than four children).
4. Integration of Curricular Areas e.g. a Roman Construction lesson might include History, Science, Maths, Art, English and SPHE.
5. Inclusion of imaginative and creative space. There is no one-size fits all answer and the children can problem solve in a variety of different ways.
6. Differentiation. An effective lesson will have ‘low threshold, high ceiling’ formula. For example, all children will start in a given biome but the high achievers or those competent in Minecraft have the ability to incorporate coding in their project.
7. The lesson should spark interest and therefore result in excellent work.
My school is a new building, recently constructed over two years ago. We are lucky with our ICT and WiFi as it is all brand-new.
The classrooms (including Special Education) are all equipped with WiFi and a SMART Interactive White Board. All teachers have a school laptop and visualiser. There is access to a digital school camera if needed. There is also a charged laptop trolley that is on a timetabled rotation around the school. It has 30 laptops and 12 iPads.
Student use of ICT is encouraged and used by teachers around the school. The iPads are used in the younger end of the school for ‘Station Teaching’ and the laptops tend to be used in the middle to senior end of the school. The children in my school have a keen interest in ICT and are able to work on a laptop competently. They like to complete work on them for English (Report Writing), Maths games, Kahoot! etc. Teachers have not been formerly given any ICT CPD training in school apart from CPD completed in their own time. All teachers use their IWB proficiently and throughout the school day.
Hopefully my school is equipped for Minecraft Education and this is something I will talk to the principal privately about. I will have to research and see if their is a licensing fee and discuss with my staff about introducing it and coding to our classes. I really feel the children would benefit hugely from it. The interest is already there!