Friday, 19 September 2014

Dare To Dream: Imagine A Free National Minecraft Schools Server

MinecraftEdu is a fantastic tool that allows teachers to manage and use Minecraft for learning with relative ease. The problem is they are closed systems only accessible on the school network. Yet most of the young students I know have been playing on multiplayer servers with mostly teenagers and adults, not a safe environment. Also teachers have little opportunity to collaborate and use the power of Minecraft outside the school system. Imagine a free national server with shared wondrous learning worlds, managed plugins and just for NZ teachers and students? Well no one can stop us from dreaming...

Why a National Server? Currently, many schools host their own servers restricted internally, only available at school. Teachers don’t have time to learn to manage servers and coding, and create learning worlds.
Allow free access from home allows teachers to create flipped learning & students home study.
Give teachers free teaching worlds: Teachers free access to the portal and their own “world” for teaching.  
Provide  teacher support to manage plugins, worlds and translate learning objectives into Minecraft
Collaboration with other schools and students at any time (self direct learning).
Reduced maintenance costs and expertise.  The Minecraft software is continually updated, requiring more server updates than other software. There is a wide range of modifications and options which require specialist expertise, which many school ICT responsibilities or teachers do not have the time to learn and maintain.
Improved safe access controls.  Easy configuration of ‘Creative’ mode, safe and non-bullying features.
Greater access to options and modification. Numerous mods and plugins are available to change aspects of the world are available for Minecraft that can be managed on behalf of teachers.

Linkages to educational resources and advice for teachers. Many resources and resources worlds with Minecraft can be provided so teachers can teach and show use good models and exemplars of Minecraft; without having to know the game themselves.

As a teacher, how would you use it?