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Minecraft Mania

Minecraft Mania

Joy!

One of the most satisfying aspects of being an educator is witnessing joy in my students.

I have seldom seen greater joy than when my students build, destroy, then build again in Minecraft Education Edition.

This cycle not only promotes an exceptional amount of engagement, but also my students' impassioned love of learning.

Joy!

When I first began using Minecraft Education Edition with my students, I was very skeptical that this experience could possibly be educational.  I thought that they would just be playing a mindless game. Once I saw the true potential for Minecraft and the applicability to my curriculum, I was convinced. This was meaningful student output.

Students have made everything from the Great Pyramids at Giza to the Sphinx to Machu Picchu to the Roman Colosseum. They have dedicated hours crafting structures that in the not too distant future would only be accessible as images online or in a textbook. I had never witnessed such a profound level of enthusiasm, energy, and dedication than when I told the kids we would be using Minecraft to build historic structures. The whoops and shouts of exclaim told me that I had really uncovered something significant here.

Joy!

In these times of pandemic learning, I am grateful not only for the interactivity of platforms like Minecraft, but also the ability for students in hybrid situations to work together, regardless of their settings. Whether in my classroom or anywhere in the world, students just need a reliable internet connection.

The opportunity to learn alongside students and have them teach me, a Minecraft newbie, how to build in Minecraft has renewed in me the pleasure of being in a true community of learners. I am not the sage on the stage, but in fact a co-learner along with many students who have much to teach. This, for me, has helped rekindle tremendous enthusiasm for me as a learner and has renewed in me a great passion for teaching.

Joy, indeed!


Rick Joseph, the 2016 Michigan State Teacher of the Year,  teachers 5th and 6th grade. He speaks Spanish and Italian and loves to travel. He also likes to read, write, and run. He is married to Mary Beth, and they have two sons, Zachary and Nicholas. He has a jealous dog named Teddy.

 




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