Minecraft EDU

My days spent at #TCEA16 last week were motivating and extremely inspiring.  This week, I would like to select a few highlights to share with you.  Today’s post is all about Minecraft EDU – something I know nothing about, but will rely on the experts to advise you.

For awhile I didn’t get it.  The kids kept talking about Minecraft and showing me ridiculously pixelated figures that made me think we’d gone back to the days of Atari.  When my daughter started playing, I still didn’t understand the appeal.

But the kids kept talking about it.

So, I found myself wandering into a session on Minecraft in Education at TCEA16.

And I got it.

Nicole Hicks and Julie Dillard gave an outstanding presentation that showed real ways Minecraft EDU can be used in the classroom – from timelines to reports on cells and events in history.  Using the creative mode of Minecraft EDU allows students to truly “craft” their own learning, and the engagement is phenomenal.  Definitely check out the presentation I’ve linked for tons of resources and student examples.

So, what’s the cost?  Well, that depends.  During last night’s #edtechchat (which, coincidentally, was about Minecraft in Education) some mentioned that they use the Pocket Edition, which is available on both Android and iOS for $6.99.  I am not sure of the functionality.

Those who use the Minecraft EDU server currently pay for licensing and for the server.  However, Microsoft just acquired Minecraft EDU, and is promising to roll out some changes.  This could possibly bring more features and/or reduce the price per student.  You can read more about that here.  The presenters also gave pricing information for their particular school here.

If you’re still in doubt as to the worthiness of adding Minecraft EDU to your school, here is a link (also obtained during #edtechchat from @DD1Gaming) that will show you how Minecraft can address particular standards.

After seeing the TCEA presentation, I finally “get it.”  I’m going to wait to see what changes come down the pipe from Microsoft, but Minecraft is definitely on my radar for use in the classroom in some way, shape, or form.

screen shot from the 4th Grade Electric Circuit Museum video shared by David Lee EdTech
screen shot from the 4th Grade Electric Circuit Museum video shared by David Lee EdTech

 

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