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Learning through Minecraft

The gaming and creation game called, Minecraft, has been incredibly popular over the past few years.  The program is now part of the Microsoft Education platform and they have been tailoring it for schools and learning.  As with any computer program, privacy and safety concerns are essential.   Minecraft for Education provides the district with tools to protect students within the Office 365 platform, which Pine Valley Central has implemented district wide.  In other words, only Pine Valley students can access the virtual spaces that teachers and students create.   

Several teachers have been using the program for educational purposes. 

4th Grade teacher Rose Park is adding a new twist to her unit on Early American History.  The students are learning about various jobs and trades in Early Colonial America.  They research an occupation, write about it using a program called Book Creator, and then get to use the Virtual World program Minecraft to create a digital re-creation of this occupation or trade.  The students were highly engaged and showed a tremendous amount of knowledge about their topic.   

3rd Grade Teacher Christina Lyndsley, has used Minecraft in her Math class.  According to Mrs. Lyndsley, “Students entered a world that had pre-made structures.  Their job was to find the area and perimeter of each.”  Later they created a house using the dimensions to build the foundation.   Mrs. Lyndsley also uses Minecraft for student free choice on Fridays.  “Students are learning how to work together by creating within the same worlds.  Some students are creating buildings together.   We also learn that play in the digital world is just like play in the tangible world.  Students learn a code of ethics, if you will, that outlines what is expected.  We've seen much growth in personal responsibility and leadership in this area.”   

Want to know more about Minecraft for education?  Go to Microsoft’s Education page for more information and educational possibilities.