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IT4K12 – Minecraft Mania

June 5, 2015

IT4K12 2015

I have an opportunity to be at BCERAC’s IT4K12 conference in Vancouver June 4/5, 2015. These posts are my notes from the various sessions.- Todd

Iram Khan
Teaching Principal
Mcleod Road Traditional
Surrey School District

Conan O’Brien Reviews Minecraft

Started getting into Minecraft after listening to a presentation from Marianne Malmstrom at ISTE2014 (@knowclue)

Minecraft Institute of Technology

  • Can take courses on Minecraft
  • Taught by kids

When Mrs. Khan returned home from ISTE 2014, she spent a good part of the Summer playing Minecraft with her own children, and learned how to to play from them. Discovered that kids love to read books, blogs, anything they can find about Minecraft, and are improving their literacy at the same time!

Minecraft seems to go beyond gender, socio-economic status, age. Everyone likes to help each other out with strategies, and just talk Minecraft.

Started a Biome project, and had to come up with characteristics of the environment, what animals would live in the environment, and what Steve would interact with in this environment. Did not open the game during this project, but the kids loved having Minecraft’s Steve being a part of their assignments.

Minecraft Club

Started a Minecraft Club, and suggests that you have to be careful, because everyone will want to join (not a bad thing, but could be unwieldy). Invited teachers to recommend students who needed some help with writing, and then used Minecraft concepts as kids planned and wrote stories related to Minecraft. Students then delivered the story through Minecraft, using signs within their world.

Currently students are only working in their own world, but school district is looking to put up their own Minecraft server.

Discovered the AutCraft server, a place where autistic children, with their parents, can online and play minecraft together. Counselors join the world and help students through social situations.

Why is Minecraft so popular?

  • it’s endless (procedural generation: generating content algorithmically rather than manually)
  • there are no rules
  • you create your own narrative (do you want to be an explorer, builder, creator, just a social person)
  • it’s social (not just online, but creates a commonality during real-life)
  • being creative meets an innate need

Minecraft isn’t the ultimate TEACHING tool, it is the ultimate LEARNING tool. – Marianne Malmstrom @knowclue

Total number of views all YouTube videos on Minecraft has reached over 47 billion.

Mrs. Khan may use different modes, creator, survivor, etc. as the need arises.

Watch out for LEGO Worlds, just released June 1, could be the next GREAT thing…

Lots of new similar games coming out, Salt, No Man’s Land, Oculus Rift based content.

Considerations (to do Minecraft or similar games)

  • Bandwidth
  • Devices
  • Software Approval <- sometimes takes forever to get software approved by district?
  • Health / screen time
  • Mindset & Pro D
  • Privacy


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