Concept by: Michele Di Paola
SUGGESTED COMPUTER PROFICIENCY: INTERMEDIATE
Minecraft is a best-seller videogame, still able to engage kids in hours of passionate gameplay after many years on the market: someone calls it the digital LEGO of our times. What if this huge interest and commitment could be used also for learning and education? A playful learning experience is more likely to be enjoyed and remembered in the long term.
This training course will teach you to exploit Minecraft (Java Edition) to design situated learning episodes for your classroom. You will learn to create and manage your own game server, and how to use Minecraft to teach and learn a variety of subjects. For example, we will see how to create 3D models and build your game-worlds; how to install new features in the game; and how to create in-game automatic non-playing characters (NPCs) to give lessons, ask quizzes and give prize items to players for correct answers. The course will also illustrate the differences between the Java Edition of Minecraft and the new Minecraft: Education Edition by Microsoft.
By the end of the course, you will master all the core features of Minecraft to use it as a powerful educational tool. Moreover, you will know how to show to your students to improve their overall gaming experience in Minecraft, thus creating a bridge between learning at school and playing at home in the same digital environment.
Participants to the Minecraft for Education course will learn to:
- Create and manage their own game server to host their worlds on Minecraft;
- Create 3D models and build your game-worlds as you prefer on Minecraft;
- Create in-game automatic non-playing characters (NPCs) on Minecraft;
- Learn how to use automatic robot-turtles and give them instructions through coding, to build whatever you like on Minecraft;
- Understand the basic principles of (video) game-based learning;
- Applying non-formal learning to video game-based learning;
- Debate computational thinking.
The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the requests of the participants, and the trainer delivering the specific session. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion. If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance.
Day 1 – Course introduction & Exploring Minecraft
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities.
- Icebreaker activities using drama for trust and ensemble building.
- Identification of needs and goals for each participant and relevant populations.
- Presentations of the participants’ schools.
- Exploration of a Minecraft world: first experiences within the game.
- Discussion: how could I use this in the classroom?
Day 2 – Minecraft and education
- Presentation of some basic concepts: non formal learning, videogame based learning, computational thinking.
- How to apply active educational methodologies to videogames and digital tools.
- Design of a curriculum including Minecraft based activities (part 1).
- Building your worlds: practical workshop of world design in Minecraft.
Day 3 – Character building and narratives
- More on world building: resources, community, repositories.
- Characters building: Non Playing Characters programming.
- Stories and narratives in a videogame: workshop of digital storytelling (part 1).
Day 4 – Coding in Minecraft
- Electricity, circuits and automation in Minecraft worlds.
- Coding and robots in Minecraft .
- Design of a curriculum including Minecraft based activities (part 2).
Day 5 – Videogame narrative & Course closure
- Stories and narratives in a videogame: workshop of digital storytelling (part 2).
- Setting up an online multiplayer environment for the classroom.
- Minecraft: Educaton Edition pros and cons.
- Course evaluation: round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion.
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance.
Day 6 – Excursion
Excursion and other external cultural activities.
- Teachers & school staff: primary level;
- Teachers & school staff: secondary level;
- Teachers & school staff: special needs.
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