Minecraft: Education Edition – An Immersive Virtual Tool

27 Jun 2022 Dan Noble

Dan Noble Bio:

Dan Noble is the owner of Outsidetheblocks, an organization focused on assisting educators in harnessing the power of Minecraft: Education Edition in the classroom, providing in-services, student workshops, unique co-taught lessons and experiences, practical introductions to advanced redstone & command functionality, as well as developing unique, custom, curriculum specific lesson/activity content.

He is a fully certified MCSE who has been in many IT roles for 20 years, and more recently employed in the education sector, running a board wide Minecraft Education program as well as putting in time as an active Global Minecraft Mentor. As a long-time enthusiast of all things Minecraft and education (as well as a gaming, vintage computer, history, geography, science buff) he brings unique skillsets and an in-depth knowledge of the application to provide expertise in helping educators leverage Minecraft and have fun with their students while doing so!

To see what Dan has been up to lately, you can follow him on Twitter at: @thatminecraft12

Media Block


Everyone involved with Minecraft Education has an awesome Minecraft journey to share. When I reflect on my own, it has been a long one, with many incredible, positive experiences along the way. My journey started in the summer of 1985…

Media Block

“Wait! 1985? Minecraft only came out in 2009!” is what people normally interject at this point.

That’s right! Many of the fundamental and unique skillsets that I frequently use (whether it be in workshops, build projects, or in building lessons) had their beginnings in my gaming experiences going back to the mid-80s! (Even as late as five years ago, if you had told me that my experiences with gaming over the last thirty plus years would become a foundation for my future career as a Minecraft Education consultant, I think I would have been jaw droppingly incredulous to say the least.)

In the summer of 1985, I became a little tired of the handful of games we had for our Commodore VIC-20 (I’m dating myself here) and sat down and taught myself how to write in BASIC and wrote out a couple of the games in the manual. And then I started tinkering with it. As more games and platforms became available over the years, I’ve realized that I was mostly drawn to the ones that had some ability to customize the environment you were being dropped into (and for the ones that didn’t, I imagined all sorts of possibilities for).

So, when I first encountered Minecraft for the very first time, my first thought was: “Where have you been my whole life!” quickly followed by “This game has some interesting possibilities...”

Indeed, Minecraft isn’t so much a game as it is an immersive virtual tool that opens up limitless possibilities to explore. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to realize and share my passion and experience for those possibilities with students and educators in an educational environment.

Student workshops and lesson planning huddles with educators frequently become “can we…/of course we can!” moments: where we collectively discover a new road in the Minecraft journey that links to curriculum or real-world elements. The excitement in the air as we begin a new exploration becomes an almost tangible entity. Projects that were a stretch with traditional media become amazing creations with incredible depth that students can’t wait to present. The effort, research, and incredible creativity they’ve poured into their worlds frequently inspires me as much as I’ve been told that my works inspire them. It’s a captivating experience for us all, and I’m often told after one of my workshops how much Minecraft has re-engaged students that had “checked out” and re-energized the class.

This is the power of Minecraft Education at work in the classroom.