If you are in the Education Industry, you are probably on the lookout for ways to make learning more fun and interactive.
Three years ago, Minecraft became a part of the Microsoft family. Microsoft began working with Minecraft in classrooms around the world. Flash forward to today —there are more than 2 million licensed users in 115 countries around the world and more than 250 educator-created lesson plans in the community!
Instead of students thinking they are learning, students are playing a game, they are building their next superpower. Minecraft is a game. Minecraft: Education Edition and MakeCode for Minecraft fits the learning experience into the game itself.
Microsoft announced last month that they are bringing Minecraft: Education Edition to the iPad. Students can use Minecraft to learn about many different subjects. With Minecraft: Education Edition, students can tap into the power of iPad to build historic monuments, swim through coral reefs with the Update Aquatic, bring creative stories to life, experiment with chemistry and document their learning with the camera and portfolio features. The Chemistry Resource Pack introduces lab tables, element blocks and items that are editable only using the new chemistry features. With this added feature, players can create elements and combine them into compounds, build a periodic table and combine materials using chemistry to create new items like helium balloons, sparklers, latex and underwater torches. Other lessons in Minecraft: Education Edition can teach subjects like STEM, history, language, art and much more.
Some assignments include:
- Craft coral reefs and explore shipwrecks in Minecraft: Education Edition using MakeCode scripting
- Write sensor programs with Data Streamer Connect
- Flash code for both Arduino and Micro: bit microcontrollers
- Construct an electroconductivity sensor to measure the conductivity of ocean water
- Assemble an ultrasonic sensor to map the ocean floor
- Engineer a joystick to navigate a robotic shark through a virtual marine environment
- Stream real-time data from your sensors into Excel with Data Streamer
- Work with global oceanic climate, temperature and salinity big data sets
- Compare the world’s mountain heights to the depths of the ocean floor trenches
Review and reflect
- Check the understanding of mathematical and scientific concepts with interactive visualizations in Excel
- Use photo and videos to create lab notebooks, student journals and presentations
Work in 3D
- Model the five ocean zones in Paint 3D and populate them with marine organisms
- Animate a shark model in PowerPoint to understand yaw, pitch and roll
- Use a 3D model of the world to understand how ocean currents circulate around the globe
“Minecraft: Education Edition on iPad unlocks new and intuitive ways of collaborating and sharing and has revolutionized the way our students and teachers explore curriculum and projects. The features allow for deep and meaningful learning, and the values it promotes, from inclusivity to 21st-century skills, empower everyone to use technology with extraordinary results”
– Kyriakos Koursaris, Head of Education Technology at Park International School
Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition released in 2017 is another feature that allows educators and students to explore, create and play in an immersive Minecraft world — all by writing code. Connecting to learn-to-code packages like ScratchX, Tynker and a new open source platform called Microsoft MakeCode, players start with familiar tools, templates and tutorials.
Players can not only develop computational thinking but can also apply their creations across the curriculum.
The Microsoft MakeCode team also works on other editors that allow the programming of physical things such as micro-controllers including the micro:bit and Adafruit Circuit Playground Express. In all these scenarios, the coding is directly linked to building something real, which is the primary reason most computer programmers learn to code in the first place.
Students that are already licensed with Office 365 Education will be able to deploy Minecraft Education Edition on iPad. If you don’t have a license yet, visit Microsoft’s website to learn how to purchase and download a free trial!