MinecraftEdu is the leading site for educators to use Minecraft (Full Version) in the classroom. It is a subscription based site, but it provides classrooms the tools needed to do advanced processes in Minecraft, as well as the ability to create private worlds for your class. In the past, you have had to create a dedicated server for Minecraft ($41), but there are now is an option to have a cloud server for a fee($20/month). Single-use licenses are $14-$18.
In this article, Common Sense Media highlights the awesome things that are going on at Quest, a Game Based Learning school. There are several games that are shared that help kids gain cognitive skills, but most of all, a love for learning. It is important for us as educators to be able to connect with the passions of our students, and gaming is something that is done by a majority of students. By bringing gaming into the classroom, the levels of learning increases.
This video teaches kids the basics of multiplication through a tour in a Minecraft world. The vocabulary of multiplication is shared, as well as visuals to represent multiplication equations. The lesson would be best suited for 2nd-3rd grade, or as a refresher of the basic concepts of multiplication.
This blog post by Michelle Conaway highlights the skills that she observed her own children building as they played Minecraft. From problem solving skills to math and reasoning skills, she shares examples of how Minecraft can impact students. This is a great article to share with parents that may not be as familiar with Minecraft or that are skeptical about its academic merits.
This web based game gives players a wall of Minecraft blocks, and players have to calculate the volume of the wall. It starts off very simple, but it increases with each level. The students are timed, and if they run out of time, the game ends and your score is given. It also gives you a ranking, which will motivate most students to repeat the challenge and beat their previous score. It would be helpful to have a calculator or a scratch paper nearby to show your strategies!
This webpage has a large collection of activities that can be done using Minecraft. All of the activities are organized by subject areas. What I love about this site is that even if you aren't able to have the kids use Minecraft in the classroom, you are given resources that are themed around Minecraft and can be used to engage learners. From Minecraft writing prompts to Minecraft math coloring sheets, there are many resources that can be used in any elementary classroom.
This article shares examples of how the motivation to learn how to play and engage in video games actually help kids learn to read. It boils down to the students caring about the topic they are reading about...and video games are something that many kids care about. If we could bring in reading texts that actually relate to things that are part of their daily lives, we may just be able to inspire more kids to love reading!
This is a You Tube video created by the PBS Idea Channel highlighting the basics of Minecraft, as well as sharing how it can be used in classrooms. Again, this could be a great tool tool to explain and advocate for the use of Minecraft in the classroom.