Martin Pelletier, Grade 3 and 4 teacher at École Le Sommet in Moncton, New Brunswick, uses the Minecraft Education app extensively with his students. As a mentor officially recognized by the platform, he gave some advice to teachers who wish to explore it with their students during the most recent Virtual Congress in Conscious Entrepreneurial Education (IDEA 2021).
First of all, according to him, we must get students to see the Minecraft application as more than just a game. "We must show them the educational potential, the fact that they can learn while having fun" , he confided at the outset.
Then, throughout his presentation, he shared his advice for teachers, and his main message was: “Have a global vision of the project that takes into account the expected end result. However, the paths to get there may be different depending on your students. And it is correct so. Your students will quickly overtake you. You are not the expert. »
Many teachers worry about classroom management with this type of hands-on project. At this time, they must see themselves more as a conductor who guides the students on their journey. “The conductor doesn't know how to play all the instruments,” he recalls.
- Start by introducing students to Minecraft (do not assume that everyone knows the platform).
- Establish guidelines that are communicated to students (e.g. do not destroy what fellow students have built, do not create weapons, do not incite violence with zombie characters, explosives or potions, specific to the Minecraft universe.)
- Assign specific tasks or roles to certain students.
- Plan time to work online and offline with students, and set time limits for certain tasks.
- Plan times for reflection on the work accomplished and for feedback to go beyond the task.
- Schedule breaks and record creations regularly.
- Allow unstructured work time for students to explore the platform.
- Let the students overtake you!
Mr. Pelletier suggests that teachers explore the site Education.minecraft.net, which features a host of resources, such as turnkey lessons in several subjects. Although more and more resources are offered in French, many are only in English. On the other hand, it is possible to translate them using the translation function of the Chrome browser. In addition, he indicates that challenges are regularly offered to teachers by different organizations, such as Academy Logics and theUNESCO.
The Minecraft Education app is free for those with a Microsoft 365 account, available for iPad, PC computer, and Chromebook.
you can follow Martin Pelletier on Twitter. Do not hesitate to ask him your questions!