AMARILLO, TX (KAMR / KCIT) âMinecraft Education is a program sold by Microsoft that is now part of our Microsoft Office 365 portfolio. With this purchase, we are able to give every Canyon staff and student a copy of Microsoft Office, Windows and Minecraft. This version of Minecraft is the same version that the general public can buy with additional features that make it very interactive for educational purposes.
Not only are there predefined lessons to help teachers teach using âgamificationâ in learning, but it also opens up opportunities that would not be available in traditional environments. For example, students can acquire chemical elements and “craft” materials using their knowledge of chemistry. They can learn math through predefined math lessons or even by interacting with the program which essentially manipulates a world of 1x1x1 unit blocks. Even the ability to explore pre-built worlds like Macbeth allows students to explore literature rather than just reading about it.
One of the most intriguing things that excites me about Minecraft is the coding part. Students have a character in the game called “Agent” and they can use code to program the agent to perform the same types of actions that a player would do in the game. So, let’s say the student wanted to build a house. They should plan the layout of the house, do the math on dimensions, scale, and plan things like stairs, windows, doors, etc. Then the student would write the code to match the construction plans or (pseudocode) and when they run the code the student gets instant feedback on what he did right or wrong. The best part is that students can collaborate on these projects. Maybe a few students write code, a few students design, other students decorate, but all the students have fun learning.
When you make learning fun, you engage students to meet them where they are and turn a difficult task like learning to program into an adventure!