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A Whole New World With Minecraft

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Participate and share : Poster

Jennifer Lewis  
Minecraft: Education Edition is a powerful tool for teaching and learning that promotes creativity, problem-solving and collaboration. Learn how Minecraft: Education Edition engages students and supports state and ISTE standards. Explore getting started, lesson ideas and resources. No playing experience necessary!

Audience: Library media specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: none
Topic: Games for learning & gamification
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Disclosure: The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Minecraft: Education Edition is an educational version of Minecraft designed specifically for classroom use. Minecraft: EE was developed by Microsoft and Mojang as a teaching and learning tool that allows students to participate in unique and creative learning opportunities. This session will provide attendees with information about using Minecraft: EE to teach state standards.

I will begin the session by discussing what Minecraft: EE is, how it can be purchased and accessed, and the technology requirements needed to use the program.

I will then share the benefits of using Minecraft: EE in schools. These benefits include student engagement, mastery of Georgia Performance Standards, and teaching students skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. I will share a brief video of our students discussing Minecraft: Education Edition and what they perceive to be benefits of the program.

I will also share the specific differences between Minecraft and Minecraft: EE, including the designated educational features of Minecraft: EE. One difference is that Minecraft: EE provides additional inventory options, including signs, boards, a camera, and the portfolio tool. Using Minecraft: EE, students can take “pictures” of their creations, add captions, and export these pictures into a portfolio, which can then be uploaded to a learning management system.

Attendees will participate in a brief Minecraft activity to become more familiar with the basics of the program. I will provide laptops with the program for attendees to work in groups to learn beginning functions of the program, including how to join a world, how to move, and how to access and use items in the inventory and tool bar.

To give attendees ideas about using Minecraft: EE with their students, the presentation will include examples and pictures of collaborative lessons planned with classroom teachers and designed to support the Georgia Performance Standards. I have used Minecraft: EE with students in kindergarten through fifth grade and will provide at least one example for each grade. Lesson ideas include: kindergarten community helpers, first grade sources of light, second grade push and pull roller coasters, third grade fraction houses, fourth grade book settings, and fifth grade Hoovervilles.

In addition, I will share information about lessons we have designed as critical thinking challenges. For example, I taught students how to build a word and use redstone circuits to make the word flash. I will share the Minecraft: EE monthly challenges and how to implement them school-wide.

My presentation will address common challenges that educators face when implementing Minecraft: EE with students. One common challenge educators cite is student assessment. I will share assessment tools I have used, including checklists and rubrics.

To conclude, attendees will be given resources to help begin their Minecraft journey both as a player and as an educator. The resources I have found to be particularly helpful include the Minecraft: EE website, the My Minecraft Journey on the Microsoft Educator Community site, and various books and YouTube channels.

Supporting research


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Jennifer Lewis, Indian Knoll Elementary School

Jennifer Lewis has been an educator for over 23 years and is currently the media specialist at Indian Knoll Elementary School in Canton, Georgia. She is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Global Minecraft Mentor, Apple Teacher, Nearpod Certified Educator, Seesaw Ambassador, and Flipgrid Student Voice Ambassador. Jennifer was named Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year in 2018. You can follow her blog at http://missliberryteacher.blogspot.com/.

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