How I Use It
I began using MinecraftEdu in my k-5 technology lab last year. At first, I used the Worlds that were already created by teachers in the MinecraftEdu community. The students were given challenges and worked collaboratively to solve. The students enjoyed MinecraftEdu so much that they were always asking when the next challenge would begin. As a result, I began using MinecraftEdu as a reward at the end of each week when students earned enough positive behavior points. We now call them MinecraftEdu Minutes. What worked: Students are highly motivated with this software. They learn to work together to solve problems and create solutions that are outside the box. They are so motivated that it is a great behavior tool. The behavior problems in my classroom have diminished greatly. What didn't: There are times when the worlds get "glitchy" as the students would say. This leads to frustration for students.Usually, we can log off and back on again and that solves the issue. However, in the students mind, "Valuable minutes were lost."
Although the applications are endless, I mainly use MinecraftEdu as a positive behavior tool. Obviously that is not the intent for this phenomenal teaching tool. This software can be used across the curriculum by any creative teacher. The resources that are already in the MinecraftEdu community are amazing and provide a starting place for beginning MinecraftEdu educators. The teacher console is easy to use and allows teachers to interact with the students in the virtual world. Teachers control weather, transport students to others, give necessary equipment or materials to students and even freeze student if necessary. Set up of MinecraftEdu took awhile. Even though they had complete directions, it took me awhile to figure out the server and setting up my lab. After the initial work however, it is working very smoothly with few problems.