November 27, 2023: Educators around the world are using Minecraft to ignite game-based learning and uphold the principles of responsible AI!

Minecraft: Education Edition is a game-based learning platform that offers educators a digital way to engage students and ignite their passion for learning! It is an open-world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is your imagination. The open learning environment gives students the freedom to experiment, encouraging creative self-expression and problem-solving. This week in the mentoring circle, we explore how Minecraft allows students to create, explore, imagine and contextualize their surroundings by playing a video game. We look into how playing with Minecraft: Education Edition also incorporates learning from and about Indigenous perspectives.

Minecraft: Education Edition offers special features for educators such as easy tutorials, classroom management tools, secure sign-in, classroom collaboration and tons of sample lessons, plus a global network of mentors and tech support. Educators are using Minecraft as a digital teaching tool for a range of subjects, from history and chemistry to sustainability and foreign languages, and can also map lessons directly to specific learning outcomes and curriculum standards. The San Juan Math, Science & Technology Center in Puerto Rico is using Minecraft: Education Edition for a new level of engagement among its students. Watch below how the school decided to integrate the digital platform into their curriculum, and have seen exciting results through game-based learning.

Educators visiting the Minecraft: Education Edition community site will find existing lesson plans on pixel art, grid paper to plan student work, and even a Minecraft world set up as a blank canvas for students to engage in creative expression. These materials are distributed to the students for the crafting to begin. Spatial thinking and pixel art in Minecraft create an excellent opportunity for students to work on mathematics and visual arts objectives in an engaging virtual environment. For pixel art lessons, students turn in screenshots from their Minecraft creation and their grid diagram from their plans. In the following video, we learn how pixel art is a medium that’s engaging to students and that allows educators to take their first steps with the game without being the expert.

New Zealand game designer and founder of Piki Studios, Whetu Paitai, created a special Minecraft world called NGĀ MOTU – THE ISLANDS to immerse young people in Māori culture. The project shows how the digital and interdisciplinary world of Minecraft can bring to life Indigenous culture as students work together to explore Indigenous languages and history. With NGĀ MOTU – THE ISLANDS students can learn about Indigenous perspectives of the Māori people, from Te Reo (language) to architecture, arts, and economics. Through playing the game students learn Māori letters, greetings, and pronunciation while exploring the significance of place. Their comprehensive lesson plan, which includes objectives, videos, and a glossary to accompany the Ngā Motu world!

You can immerse in Te Ao Māori with NGĀ MOTU – THE ISLANDS as the world resembles the Aotearoa (New Zealand) ecosystem, complete with moa and kiwi. Learn about the Indigenous language, culture, and people of Aotearoa. Inside the game/lesson explore a traditional  pā (settlement) and ride waka hourua (boats). Visit NGĀ MOTU – THE ISLANDS to find easy teacher training tutorials, a downloadable world, and lessons across subject areas from humanities to maths, from language arts to art. Developed by Piki studios, a small whānau game design, and publishing company, based in Aotearoa that focuses on developing beautiful, meaningful content and resources immersed in the Māori world. Hopefully, someone will get inspired and create another Indigenous lesson with similar objectives.

Discover how you can create your own lessons in Minecraft: Education Edition! Start with a template or open a new world, then use tools like NPCs and Chalkboards to give your students information in the game. Watch a quick tutorial with Brian to learn how to create lessons in Minecraft: Education Edition. Explore hundreds of lessons created by educators worldwide, for students of all ages inside the Explore Lessons section. On that page, you can search by local education standard, keyword, grade, and subject. Follow @PlayCraftLearn on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about using Minecraft in your classroom. For example, the following episode focuses on Minecraft: Education Edition during remote learning.

Millions of teachers and students use Minecraft: Education Edition in more than 100 countries. The digital game-based learning platform is changing the way teachers see video games and making learning more fun. A major supporter of the online community of teachers trying to bring Minecraft into schools is Stephen Elford. A teacher at Numurkah Secondary College has spent years integrating the game into his classes to engage students in a different kind of learning. He co-authored a book with teachers from around the world titled “Minecraft in the Classroom.” From recorded lessons to standalone tutorials on his YouTube channel, he shares his journey in the following Ted Talk, explaining how student engagement has gone through the roof by incorporating Minecraft: Education Edition in his lessons.

Now, get ready to run an Hour of Code with your learners — welcome to Generation AI! Team up with Minecraft to build helpful AI-powered inventions, and explore the amazing potential of AI and the importance of fair, reliable technology! Hour of Code: Generation AI is a one-hour experience that will provide students with the basics of coding and demonstrate all the ways they can utilize computational thinking to solve problems. In this lesson, students learn basic coding concepts to correct mysterious mishaps throughout history! They travel back in time to save the future by first choosing their own adventure and connecting with great innovators and inventions in science, architecture, music, engineering, and more.

Hour of Code: Generation AI has been designed as a fun and creative tutorial introduction to computer science (CS) and responsible AI — understanding AI and its potential implications is critical for all students. The lesson explores the amazing potential of AI and the importance of fair, reliable technology. With coding in MakeCode Blocks or Python, Minecraft Hour of Code allows anyone to learn the basics of coding and how to build better AI for all. The following walkthrough of Minecraft Hour of Code: Generation AI demonstrates how the activity works, and what educator resources are available. It showcases the skills students will learn as they use computational thinking to correct coding problems, solve fun puzzles, and use the principles of responsible AI.

Educators around the world use Minecraft: Education Edition to engage students across subjects and bring abstract concepts to life in remote, hybrid and in-person learning environments. With hundreds of standards-aligned lessons and STEM curricula, classroom-friendly features, tutorials and challenges, educators can access everything they need to get started with no experience required. With Minecraft students have been able to practice task management skills, problem solving, and personal relationship skills. Minecraft Education is a game-based platform that inspires creative, inclusive learning through play. Explore how game-based learning can be a powerful tool for teaching and student engagement inside blocky worlds that unlock new ways to tackle any subject or challenge.