Implementing Minecraft in Education: Where do I Begin?
The landscape of public education has changed dramatically over the years. Accountability and transparency are critical to everything we do. As dedicated professionals, we are also faced with justifying every expenditure, particularly when it comes to instructional technology. These additional responsibilities may seem daunting, however this state of affairs presents a tremendous opportunity for educators as the digital age progresses. I’ve prepared some helpful advice and tips to talk to administrators, teachers, and parents about getting Minecraft: Education Edition up and running in your school.
Minecraft is a relatively new entrant into the realm of education. To be successful in your school, any new initiative must have champions at the highest level. The best way to turn influencers in your district into advocates for Minecraft: Education Edition is to help them understand the benefits. Whether your plan is to utilize Minecraft in one classroom or across an entire school district, communication is key. With thoughtful planning, you will be able to implement Minecraft in a way that ensures maximum success.
Start With Why
Teachers who use Minecraft: Education Edition can see the improvements in their students’ higher order thinking skills achieved through highly engaged game-based learning. Minecraft can help prepare students for the future workplace, building skills like collaboration, communication, critical thinking and systems thinking. The open learning environment gives students the freedom to experiment, encouraging creative self-expression and problem solving. Start by communicating this information to key decision makers in a way they can understand.
Build a Team
Start small with your implementation and build from there. Assemble a team consisting of Technology department personnel, a teacher who is patient and willing to go through all the steps for proper implementation and at least one person who is a decision maker willing to advocate for you as you start your Minecraft journey.
Get Your Community on Board
Communicate with staff, parents and students that Minecraft: Education Edition is specifically designed for use in the classroom. Remember that the people who pull the levers in your district, the decision makers need to stay informed on how Minecraft is directly benefiting students. Show examples of how this ties to what your district is already doing or how Minecraft: Education Edition can be a step in the direction your district is going. Show how this ties to district curriculum and impacts student achievement.
By using these tips, you will hopefully be able to implement Minecraft: Education Edition to fit your students’ needs and increase the use of Minecraft throughout your district.
James lives at the intersection of Teaching, Learning and Technology. He was born and raised in Chicago and is passionate about preparing students to be productive citizens for the digital age. James has written ebooks on Learning and Technology, taught at the K-12 and collegiate levels and currently lives in Southern Arizona serving as the Director of Instructional Technology for Tucson Unified School District.