As many schools transitioned to virtual learning during the COVID–19 pandemic, teachers were struck with a new problem – how do we keep students engaged now that they’re not physically with us in the classroom?
The truth is that this isn’t an entirely new problem. Even when learning occurred in- person, the challenge of making curriculum concepts relevant and interesting for students has always existed.
So the question is – how do we keep students engaged and motivated to learn, no matter where they are?
Luckily, we don’t need to look very far for the answer. As it turns out, one of the most popular games among youth – Minecraft – is ripe with opportunities to connect to the curriculum, engage students, and even support their socio–emotional development. Through the winter and spring of 2021, we set out to educate teachers on how they can make learning exciting by introducing Minecraft in the classroom. This initiative was generously sponsored by Microsoft.
We offered a series of virtual professional development workshops for teachers as well as live–streamed workshops for classrooms to tune in and join our expert instructors as they explored curriculum–connected, hands–on activities and projects in Minecraft.
During these sessions, we showed how the curriculum can be taught and reinforced through Minecraft, from learning to code, exploring key math concepts, and even storytelling and language development. These workshops provided educators with curriculum connections for various grade levels and specific activities they could explore with their classes! We provided a wealth of additional resources, from lesson plans to help videos, to provide continuous support to teachers.
Through this initiative, we were able to support 318 teachers through our professional development sessions, as well as 3,382 students through our live–streamed classroom workshops. We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to reach so many classrooms across Canada, and introduce them to this new, innovative way of learning!
We are also incredibly grateful for the wonderful feedback we received from teachers on our workshops.
OUR INITIATIVE SUPPORTED…
WHAT TEACHERS HAD TO SAY:
Wonderful and very supportive presenters. So excited to explore some more and share it with my students! Thank you!
The instructors were amazing! So clearly explained and were happy to answer any questions that came up. It helped me gain a lot of confidence in being able to facilitate Minecraft _____learning with my class!