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Crafting Code: Exploring Programming With Minecraft Education From an Early Elementary Perspective

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Location: La Nouvelle Ballroom, Table 4
Experience live: All-Access Package

Participate and share : Poster

Dr. Jeffrey Hall  
Dr. Lucy Bush  
William Hall  

A student presenter (a rising second-grader) and two education faculty members will detail the student’s experiences exploring Minecraft Education modules. The focus will be on the Hour of Code modules that introduce the basics of coding. Attendees will receive links to relevant Minecraft Education research and resources.

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Minecraft Education is recommended but not required for this session. The program can be downloaded from here:
Topic: Games for learning & gamification
Grade level: PK-2
Subject area: Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this presentation is to describe and discuss Minecraft Education modules from the perspective of an early elementary student. The objective is for educators to learn about Minecraft Education, discover the variety of modules available for use, and understand the appeal of learning in this environment from an early elementary student’s perspective. At the end of the session, participants will be able to access Minecraft Education, search for an appropriate module, and understand how to implement it with students. Lesson plans are provided through Minecraft Education.

Supporting research

Adams, S. S., & Rowsell, J. (2017). Emotionally crafted experiences: Layering literacies in Minecraft. Reading Teacher, 70(4), 501-506.

Baek, Y., Min, E., & Yun, S. (2020). Mining educational implications of Minecraft. Computers in the Schools, 37(1), 1-16.

Blackburn, S. (2020). ‘Crafting’ student success one ‘block’ at a time: Cherokee County School District brings Minecraft: Education Edition into the classroom through extensive training and PD. District Administration, 56(6), 12-13.

Bos, B., Wilder, L., Cook, M., & O’Donnell, R. (2014). Learning mathematics through Minecraft. Teaching Children Mathematics, 21(1), 56-59.

Callaghan, N. (2016). Investigating the role of Minecraft in educational learning environments. Educational Media International, 53(4), 244-260.

Dezuanni, M. (2018). Minecraft and children’s digital making: Implications for media literacy education. Learning, Media & Technology, 43(3), 236-249. DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2018.1472607

Egbert, J., & Borysenko, N. (2019). Standards, engagement, and Minecraft: Optimizing experiences in language teacher education. Teaching & Teacher Education, 85, 115-124. DOI: 10.1016/j.tate.2019.06.015

Elliott, D. (2014). Levelling the playing field: Engaging disadvantaged students through game-based pedagogy. Australian Journal of Language & Literacy, 37(2), 34-40.

Hewett, K. J. E., Zeng, G., & Pletcher, B. C. (2020). The acquisition of 21st-century skills through video games: Minecraft design process models and their web of class roles. Simulation & Gaming, 51(3), 336-364.

How Minecraft supports social and emotional learning (SEL). (2017). Tech & Learning, 38(4), 10.

López, L. L., de Wildt, L., & Moodie, N. (2019). “I don’t think you’re going to have any aborigines in your world”: Minecrafting terra nullius. British Journal of Sociology in Education, 40(8), 1037-1054.

Minecraft in the Classroom. (2017). Curriculum Review, 56(5), 4.

Nebel, S., Schnieder, S., & Rey, G. D. (2016). Mining learning and crafting scientific experiments: A literature review on the use of Minecraft in education and research. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 19(2), 355-366.
Nebel, S., Schneider, S., Schledjewski, J., & Rey, G. D. (2017). Goal-setting in educational video games. Simulation & Gaming, 48(1), 98-130.

Niemeyer, D. J., & Gerber, H. R. (2015). Maker culture and Minecraft: Implications for the future of learning. Educational Media International, 52(3), 216-226. DOI: 10.1080/09523987.2015.1075103

Revelli, V. (2019). Using Minecraft to help teach code to grades K-12. Tech Directions, 79(1), 6.

Short, D. (2016). The tragedy of the commons. Teaching Science: The Journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association, 62(1), 24-29.

Starkey, T. (2016). How Minecraft is building a place in schools. TES: Times Educational Supplement, 5195, 34-36.

Wernholm, M., & Vigmo, S. (2015). Capturing children’s knowledge-making dialogues in Minecraft. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 38(3), 230-246. DOI: 10.1080/1743727X.2015.1033392

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Dr. Jeffrey Hall, Mercer University

Dr. Jeffrey Hall is an Associate Professor in the Tift College of Education at Mercer University.

Dr. Lucy Bush, Mercer University
William Hall, Mercer University

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