Today in EDCI 336 we had the amazing opportunity to work with Heidi James and her grade 6, 7, and 8 students today. Heidi and her students taught us how to use Minecraft in the classroom. Heidi has used Minecraft as a tool to teach science, social studies, and math. In social studies, Heidi had her class create various components of ancient civilizations. In teams, the students created entire civilizations as a final project. Heidi assessed the students on whether or not they had all necessary components in their civilization and also how well they worked as a team. She had access to all of their work and could check up on their progress along the way. In math, they used Minecraft to learn about coordinates in 3 dimensions (coordinates x, y, and z). All of the students who came to talk to us seemed passionate about Minecraft and excited about using it in the classroom. They were also confident in their abilities enough to teach us, a group of adults, how to use it. As a student, I think it would be empowering to be able to teach others, especially adults, how to do something. Minecraft also promotes collaboration in the classroom. It challenges students to problem solve in order to reach one goal.
I would love to use Minecraft Edu in my classroom one day. There are so many possibilities to incorporate Minecraft into the classroom. There are also countless opportunities for cross curricular connections. Minecraft allows students to explore and inquire about the possibilities of the world that they are in. It gives students endless opportunities to create and be leaders in their own world. I am a little intimidated about the prospect of using Minecraft in my own classroom because my knowledge is limited. There are lots of tutorials and resources for teachers available, so I would not be alone in the learning process. I also keep reminding myself that my learners will be able to help me because they will likely have a wealth of knowledge to share.