Criteria for an effective Minecraft lesson:
Child led – the lesson should be facilitated by the teacher but the learning that takes place should be led by the child. They should have ownership over the project and the teacher can differentiate questions to allow for higher order thinking where appropriate.
Problem solving – the children will have the opportunity to use their problem-solving skills to overcome errors and issues in a creative and innovative way in the Minecraft world. It will provide them the opportunity to try things without fear of failure.
Team work – lessons using Minecraft allow the opportunity to foster the skills required to work as part of a team. The children will have to communicate effectively with each other, listen to each other and undoubtedly overcome differences of opinions and find ways of working together.
Expectations – As per any lesson there needs to be clear guidelines of what is expected of each child during the lesson. As Minecraft is online the importance of appropriate behaviour online is paramount and these rules would tie in with the schools acceptable use policy.
All the classrooms in my school have interactive whiteboards and a teacher computer. As part of the Digital Literacy Framework we received funding this year and have purchased 16 iPads. We also have 6 tablets and 10 notebooks that are available for class use. There is also a computer room in the school that has 16 computers. These however are slow to process and can be frustrating to use with a whole class as a lot of time can be wasted waiting for them to load.
Our staff is divided in their opinion of ICT use. Some staff members feel that children spend enough time on devices and as such the learning in school should focus on alternatives. Others embrace ICT and use it daily in their classroom. There are also some staff who are not comfortable themselves with ICT and as such don’t use it at all.
I am unsure of the license that we have in the school if it is equipped for Minecraft, but I will be finding that out when we go back to school.
In terms of introducing Minecraft in the school, I think I will start to use it with my class and after we have completed some projects on it I will ask other teachers if the children can present their world to other classes. This will hopefully encourage other teachers to use it when they see what can be done with it.