Minecraft Club has liftoff

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Here at my school, we have clubs the last period on Friday. We change by trimesters, and this trimester I officially offered a Minecraft Club. We’re using MinecraftEdu. I stumbled and fumbled and tried to do a Linux install and was rescued by “Magic Mike” Schmelder, my IT head, who installed it on a Windows server.

I will now say that in all my years of teaching (lots), I have NEVER seen kids as excited about anything as Minecraft. Seriously. They literally run into the room, log in, and then start running in Tutorial World (the world we’re currently using), exploring everything, shouting to each other, talking to the screen, even jumping across the room to show a fellow gamer something. Now we did have to have a little chat beforehand about setting some guidelines, and they agreed that we would have two: no inappropriate in-game chat, and no griefing. Once we settled on that, I let them go.

There are 15 in the club, mostly hardcore MC fanatics, but also several noobs (I’m one of them). The vets are generally being generous with their knowledge, even though it takes precious time away from what they are doing. That’s a good sign.

And since there were quite a few more who wanted to be in the club but didn’t make it, I have offered to do an after-school club for them. Amazing response! I’ve had one student ask if he could build his house up during study hall (uhhh, no). I am very interested in curricular applications, since it seems a shame to waste all this enthusiasm!

And I am really a terrible player, so far. But that’s OK. I’m learning.

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4 thoughts on “Minecraft Club has liftoff

  1. I am doing a university project on linking virtual with real learning experiences, and was fascinated by your comments. I had picked Mine-craft because I am fascinated the age group it holds ie my son of 9 up to 50 year old designers. I am a non gamer but found it easy to play and enjoy .
    What I am doing is suggesting that Secondary school D&T students can ‘make’ something virtually, and then go on to make the real thing physically. Anything that tells us about the link between virtual and physical experiences will be a great help.
    This is part of my BAed in Design and Technology in Goldsmiths college. If you know of anyone doing this in a school it would be great to talk.

    Thanks Niamh Grace

  2. Hi Niamh Grace, and thanks for the comment!

    Your research area sounds fascinating. I can’t think of anyone doing what you mention, but you might want to join the minecraft-teachers Google group and ask there.

  3. Mr. Irving,

    My name is David Winner, and I’m a former student of yours. Can I talk to you about some things that I’m writing about? You can email me or follow me on Twitter (I just followed you) so we can direct message.

    Thanks,
    David

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