A Canadian organization known as C21 Canada after much research has created a document titled "Shifting Minds (ver 4.0)" which details the seven 21st century essential skills our students will need to reach overall success in their careers and personal lives. These skills conveniently all begin with the letter C. The core 4 C's which have been encouraged for years include Collaboration, Communication, Creativity and Critical Thinking. The Shifting Minds document adds three additional essential skills. Citizenship, Character and Computational Thinking are skills that are equally as powerful yet not present in the core four skills.
Non-Player Characters add a personal touch to teacher directions and support enhancing the communication process further. Communication can be one-way or interactive in MCEE and both skills are essential for citizens of today and tomorrow.
Students can build castles in the sky or an underground network of tunnels. They can live beneath the oceans or in the middle of the desert. Minecraft allows for millions of creative choices to be made each utilizing unique colours and materials and resulting in different outcomes. Creativity is a skill that humans excel at compared to robots and therefore careers involving this skill are ideal targets for students.
Every trip into Minecraftia presents students with unique problems that need to be solved in timely fashions. The Minecraft melodic music balances the frantic need to complete creations before sundown or worse... the end of class! In MCEE if students can imagine a problem or challenge they alone or in teams can solve it too!
Failure is often the first step in the road to Minecraftian success stories and students assess each critical choice they (and others) make with infinite redo opportunities. Minecraft Education Edition is the perfect tool to strengthen and quicken students' critical thinking skills.
All of these aspects that can be addressed with Minecraft game based learning. A discussion on how students should treat other Minecraftians and their belongings can easily translate to or from traditional (Non-digital) society. Establish a Minecraftian government. Create laws of the land and sea. Determine how disputes are settled or if and how voting will be a method of decision making? Claim or alter land based on debate and joint decisions. Great citizenship is the building block of great countries and Minecraftia offers the best training ground to support citizenship and digital citizenship skills for students.
Students can spend hours building complex circuits only to find out one piece has caused the result to happen differently or not at all. This then requires they examine their "code" or sequence to find the error which is eventually repaired. Computational thinking is involved in puzzle solutions, maze navigation and coding software. Microsoft's Minecraft Education Edition with Redstone allows students everywhere to strengthen this skill in many ways.
I have been developing an introductory resource to Minecraft in the classroom at www.SCREENAGER.ca with hope that it can be used to further encourage schools and districts to add the service for their students!