Back to School Preview: Make it Minecraft!

23 Jun 2023 Image: Screenshot of Minecraft Education. Character, flanked by two Data Byte mobs, standing in the doorway of a room full of books.

As schools go on break and educators make professional learning plans, here’s a preview of new, foundational content that Minecraft Education will be launching for Back to School 2023.

Get ready to reengage students across the curriculum, starting with online safety as they get setup on school devices. Then discover how to make learning count by integrating Minecraft Education into your teaching with new math content and professional learning opportunities. Make it safe, make it count, make it Minecraft!

Make it safe: New lessons in online safety and cybersecurity

For today’s young people, the Internet is like a second home for classwork, homework, gaming, social media, and entertainment. Meanwhile, educators take their classrooms online for all kinds of teaching and learning, from how to conduct research to going deeper into subject areas. We teach kids physical safety from a young age, and we should do the same for the virtual world.

Minecraft Education offers a safe and inclusive platform for game-based learning. We are here to help you build a safer learning environment and help your students build digital citizenship skills.

The CyberSafe collection for Minecraft Education is an engaging, fun way for primary school students (ages 7-12) to learn about privacy and security. With three immersive worlds, Home Sweet Hmm, Privacy Prodigy, and CloudCraft, learners can explore how to stay safe online, ways to keep personal data safe while out in the world, and how interconnected the world is through data centers and cloud computing.

Image: Screenshot of Minecraft Education. Data Byte mobs smiling and dancing

The Data Bytes are back!

We are expanding our Cybersecurity offering this Back to School season with two new collections for secondary students (ages 9-18) called CyberFundamentals and CyberExpert These new maps were created to ensure that as students' digital footprint increases, so does their understanding of how to stay safe. Let’s all remember: “Think before you click!”

Soon students from kindergarten to graduation can utilize Minecraft Education to learn these crucial future-ready skills. This new content will cover:

  • Protecting Networks: Players will learn about simple network topologies like LAN and a WAN and how computers send data across those networks.
  • Cyberattacks: Players will learn about how a packet-sniffing attack is performed—and how simple encryption can help prevent it.
  • Password security: Players will learn about how to create complex passwords, their role in network security, and other layered security practices (such as two-factor authentication) to keep unauthorized users from accessing their networks.
  • Cryptography & Integrity: players will learn the principles of cryptography by examining encryption, digital signatures, and authentication methods.
  • Firewalls & Risk Mitigation: Players will learn about cyberattacks, how to limit vulnerabilities and damage with access control systems.
  • Malware & Ransomware: Players will learn to distinguish the different types of attacks (viruses, trojan horses, worms) that affect information security for individuals and organization and identify ethical solutions.
Image: Screenshot of Minecraft Education. POV view of in-game screen and book with the words "Firewall enabled! Activate cybersecurity systems (1/3)" superimposed on top

Make it count: New mathematics lesson

Math teachers face several challenges, from students’ lack of confidence to the abstract subject matter. Students are often expected to solve problems without context or relevancy, which impacts their retention and motivation.

Minecraft Education offers a uniquely intuitive and fun way to teach and learn math, as the game world is composed of blocks, each representing a cubic meter in the game's scale. This fundamental structure lends itself exceptionally well to mathematics, specifically geometry and spatial reasoning.

So, we are releasing a new math world called Mummy Mayhem for Minecraft Education with immersive adventures and puzzles sure to engage any student.

Players will join the Math Marauders, a club of young adventurers, and head to Egypt to visit the pyramids where a mathematical mummy is said to still roam the ancient sites (the last adventurer to attempt to solve the puzzles never returned). The Marauders will put their math skills to the test to unluck the secrets of the past and make it back home safely. On their blocky quest, students will build skills in:

  • Geometry
  • Fractions
  • Spatial intelligence
  • Problem solving

Minecraft Education offers a unique and engaging way of teaching mathematics that aligns with research on effective learning. By introducing mathematical concepts through interactive, hands-on tasks in a familiar and engaging environment, it can enhance students' spatial reasoning skills and their overall understanding of math.

The use of Minecraft Education in the mathematics classroom has shown positive impact on students' mathematical outcomes, demonstrated in both their conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills, as well as their attitudes and engagement in the subject. We look forward to seeing how Mummy Mayhem enables teachers to spark engagement in math and reduce the self-doubt students have about their skills and abilities.

Image: Screenshot of the Minecraft Education Mummy Mayhem world showing the interior of an ancient Egyptian Pyramid

Make it Minecraft: New professional learning

Looking to introduce Minecraft Education in your classroom next school year, or need to freshen up your skills? Sign up now for the Minecraft Teacher Academy online cohort, running July 25, July 27, and August 1. This free instructor-led professional learning cohort is made up of three 90-minute sessions, available across two time zones. Learn what you need to make it Minecraft this school year!

This April, we launched the Minecraft Teachers’ Lounge, a new Facebook group that provides a community space for educators using Minecraft Education worldwide. Come on in, introduce yourself, and get ready to be inspired.

We also evolved the Minecraft Mentors program into Minecraft Education Ambassadors, a group of educators dedicated to supporting their peers and demonstrating leadership in game-based learning. Check out the community and apply if you’re ready to take this next step!

It’s never been a better time to integrate Minecraft Education into your teaching and learning practice. Get in touch with us @PlayCraftLearn to share your summer learning. We can’t wait to help bring joy back to the classroom this Back to School.