Sunday, March 2, 2014

March is Minecraft Month

This weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the Central Valley CUE conference in Fresno. While I was there I took full advantage of John Miller's two-hour Minecraft workshop. John is a middle school teacher from King City who runs Minecrafter Camp with two other Central Coast educators. Let's just say that when I left his workshop not only did I know a whole lot more about Minecraft, but my mind was officially blown. I had no idea how popular Minecraft or all of the creative ways educators are using it for learning and just frankly good ol' exploring-with-blocks creative fun.

Just a few examples to give you a taste...

I provide you this information because just a few hours ago I welcomed 25 of our students into the Minecraft Mentor program (we had 50 apply).  These individuals will assist of all of us at three upcoming Minecraft EDU workshops. A few students and Joe Cook (along with my support, but really I'm a learner this time) will be leading the sessions while the rest will be working as 1:1 coaches. That way if you find yourself in a hole or completely confused by the crafting table (both happened to me the first time I played) there will be someone there to help you out. Should you choose to use Minecraft in your classoom your Minecraft Mentor might also be able to be a student assistant for that lesson.

Below are brief descriptions for each of the sessions. 

Workshop #1: Surviving the Night - Introduction to Minecraft
Date: Tuesday, March 11th
Time: 3:30-5pm
Have you heard of Minecraft, but aren’t completely sure what it is? Join us for an afternoon of discovery and gameplay with your own personal student mentor. We will spend the workshop learning Minecraft terminology, navigation in the virtual world, and surviving your first night. All you need to bring is an open mind and a willingness to play.

Workshop #2: Creative Mode - Building Worlds in Minecraft
Date: Tuesday, March 25th
Time: 3:30-5pm
You’ve learned the basics of Minecraft by surviving your first night. Now we’ll examine what you can build in this virtual world. Join us as we discover the possibilities for using Minecraft to create anything you dream from virtual cells to back drops for movies, books, and other adventures. Your personal student mentor will be there, so all you need to bring is a little creativity and imagination.

Workshop #3: Minecraft in the Classroom
Date: Tuesday, April 1st
Time: 3:30-5pm
After exploring both Survival and Creative modes of Minecraft, in this workshop we’ll brainstorm ideas for bringing Minecraft into the classroom. We will start off the conversation by examining examples from other schools, but use the afternoon as a conversation for identifying possible upcoming projects.

While each session has a series of outcomes that focus on one aspect of the game, our over arching goals for the three days are to play, explore, have fun, and learn more about Minecraft. If you accomplish these items I promise it will be time well-spent. 

Currently, we have about 18 teachers signed up. If you are interested in joining us we have space for about 10 more people. Just click here to fill out the online RSVP form.



  1. I can't wait to see how this turns into Minecraft obsessions among the teachers! It's going to bring a whole new level of creativity and pizzazz to our school!

  2. Tracy,

    I completely agree. I'm excited to see the students play an active role as well. Maybe teachers and students will work together on future Minecraft-related units. I could see some cool collaboration opportunities.


  3. I lead Minecraft workshops myself and I STILL want to take all three of these classes with your folks!

  4. And would you like to come visit as my HS students teach one another in Minecraft? Or maybe you should come visit when we build our Andrew Henry houses for each other.

    1. Diane,

      That would be awesome to see! When are they doing it? Could we visit virtually perhaps via Hangouts?