Recently in Joburg, the Microsoft Education Exchange (E2) Africa Forum bought together almost sixty MIE Experts and representatives of Microsoft Schools for two days of hands-on learning, networking, and trying out some of the latest Microsoft tools at the Microsoft offices in Bryanston. One of the highlights of the event was a keynote on Problem-Based Learning presented by Stephen Reid from Immersive Minds in Scotland. Stephen introduced teachers to the basics of Minecraft in the context of developing a group work project which involved coming up with a South African problem and then modeling a solution in a Small South Africa Minecraft world.
|Stephen Reid presenting a keynote on problem-based learning and Minecraft|
The #SmallSouthAfrica #Minecraftedu map is finished
Stephen recently created a post on his Immersive Minds Facebook profile entitled ‘Our #SmallSouthAfrica #Minecraftedu map is finished”. He says: “Designed to accompany our Microsoft #ProblemBasedLearning course on the Microsoft Educator Community (https://education.microsoft.com/…/co…/problem-based-learning) we’ve used the map with teachers from all over Africa to explore some of the prime issues facing South Africa today. So far we’ve see it used to explore:
- Ethical mining practices
- Clean water access
- Urban development and social housing
- Education for girls
- Tax expenditure
- Human rights
- Conservation and animal rights
- and more
Minecraft can be used as a powerful tool for critical and creative thinking in social, economic and environmental issues and in developing awareness and empathy beyond the curriculum.
The map includes:
- A diamond mine
- A coastal area, including discoloured water
- A game reserve including a cheetah, warthog, buffalo, termite mounds and hyena dens.
- A city model, including some key historical buildings from Jo’burg and Cape Town
- An informal settlement
- Lion’s Head Mountain
- A replica of the Ndebele village.
As with all Minecraft resources the map can be changed in any way and can be extended beyond the walls seen in the images.
The map will be available for download soon via https://education.minecraft.net/”
Here are a couple of the images from Stephen’s Facebook post:
Computer4Kids and Minecraft
Contact Computer4Kids in South Africa to find out more about
using Minecraft: Education Edition in your classroom. They provide Minecraft: Education Edition training and have created some great Minecraft: Education Edition learning resources for you to use in your classroom. Currently Computers4Kids is running a Minecraft: Education Edition competition which closes on 17 September. Why not encourage your students to enter this competition?
Complete the free course on problem-based learning on the Microsoft
The free problem-based learning course, which is available on the Minecraft Education Community, can be accessed here. Problem-based learning (PBL) has become an integral part of the 21st century classroom. When students are faced with solving ill-structured, open-ended, messy problems, they are pushed to think more critically and work collaboratively. Many Microsoft tools help support problem-based learning. This course has been developed to help you understand what PBL is and how to plan and implement a problem-based learning experience in your classroom.
To view one of the problem-based learning projects which used Minecraft: Education Edition to demonstrate a solution, (done at the E2 in Joburg), visit our blog here