A Different Way To Learn

MineAcademy is a curricular project designed in Spain by Possible Lab and supported by Microsoft Education Spain. Thanks to this project, teachers will be able to use Minecraft: Education Edition to teach different subjects in an immersive world where students can live the experience of learning inside this game.

Taking advantage of the blocky world, we have created the perfect environment to acquire diverse knowledge such as Geometry, History, Electricity… even programming. Using a story-telling background, students will travel and build a world in which they will find a variety of activities to learn multiple concepts about a subject. The teacher will be the Master of the game, guiding the students through the lessons and checking the activities they are completing.

There are a lot of proposed activities in MineAcademy: some of them need to be solved inside the game and others are meant to be resolved in the classroom. The aim of the project is to make students not only work in the game, but in their notebook and with their classmates. In each lesson (we’ve named them ‘missions’), students must play and work collaboratively in groups of three/four people, in order to solve challenges and activities. Teachers have access to an established lesson plan where they can see not only the activities their students are facing but also suggestions, solutions to those challenges and the competences that each activity develops. Using these competences, teachers can evaluate the learning process through observation in the class and marking the activities.

Regarding the assessment process, we have created an ultimate stage in each mission, named MineShow, where students can self-evaluate their work during the lesson and build an evidence of the knowledge they have acquired. This self-evaluation is built with blocks of colors (red, yellow and green) and in this area students will have to work in “Creative mode” to create a specific model showing the concepts they have learnt during the lesson. Once they have finished the model, they must present it to their classmates, giving to everyone the chance to share a review about their acquired knowledge.

The whole project is built using the Office365 environment for both students and teachers. For example, all the students’ activities can be held on SharePoint. Here, students will find the instructions of how to proceed in each activity and other type of resources, such as PowerPoint presentations, so they can download and complete the activity in an offline way. Teachers will have access to their own SharePoint, in which they can find the full lesson plan of the missions, the students’ activities, printable resources, a comic setting the mission’s goal and a video-tutorial of the game.

Currently, we have created lessons related with Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Coding, orientated to work towards concepts linked with Geometry, machines and electricity, history and coding respectively. Most of the projects have been developed in Spanish, but some of them are going to be translated into English. In the meantime, if you want to be part of the MineAcademy Schools, you can try the ‘MineHacking Mission’. In this lesson, your students will learn how to code, working with the Agent in Minecraft: Education Edition, and at the same time they will learn how to repair a computer.

In Spain, we have had the opportunity to show our projects to different schools which are now part of the MineAcademy Schools program. The various sessions with students from those schools have been an enriching experience since we have achieved our educational aim: transform the teaching-learning process using Minecraft: Education Edition. We have discovered that pupils have an enjoyable and amazing time while in school, learning and playing with MineAcademy. Thanks to this project, their motivation and interest in different subjects has increased significantly making the most of an educational environment where teachers feel confident and comfortable, letting them believe in the potential of this learning tool.

In addition to being a Global Minecraft Mentor, Leti Ahumada is a content developer primarily focused on teaching primary students. She loves reading and writing, but most of all loves teaching and creating her own Minecraft worlds and lessons.