Welcome to "The Beacon: Insights from the Microsoft Showcase Schools Global Advisory Board," a blog series dedicated to exploring the real-world benefits of Microsoft Education. In our first edition, the Global Advisory Board, along with educator Paul Edge, Deputy Headteacher at Ribblesdale School in the UK delve into the transformative power of Minecraft Education in the classroom.

The potential of Minecraft Education for teaching and learning is endless. Students everywhere love Minecraft, with many creating and exploring virtual worlds on a regular basis outside of school with their friends. Harnessing this level of enthusiasm in the classroom has a positive impact, leading to high levels of student engagement and learning across the whole school curriculum.

Explore the wide range of resources and off-the-shelf lessons for educators that make it easy to start your Minecraft Education journey today.

Engaging and interactive for all ages

Minecraft Education can capture the attention of students of all age groups and keep them engaged in the learning process, helping build critical skills in an inclusive, fun environment. Some of the aspects it provides are to:

  • Prepare students for the digital future by developing computational thinking skills with in-game coding and comprehensive computer science curriculum.
  • Drive meaningful learning across the curriculum with standards-based content and immersive, imaginative worlds.
  • Build social-emotional and important life skills like empathy and digital citizenship.

Additionally, Minecraft Education encourages collaboration, a crucial skill for thriving in school and the future workplace. Students work together to solve problems, whether they’re exploring pyramids of ancient Egypt, writing code to build a castle, or designing a more sustainable city. Virtual collaboration within Minecraft Education can extend the learning environment beyond the traditional walled classroom and school day, building classroom community and helping students stay connected.

A high school teacher looks over the shoulder of a student working on a laptop.

Ribblesdale High School, a Microsoft Showcase School, uses Microsoft Education solutions to engage students in the classroom.

Join us as we share the story of how one educator uses Minecraft Education to accelerate learning and keep students engaged in the classroom.

Sparking the creative process

As a Microsoft Showcase School, Ribblesdale High School has integrated the use of Minecraft Education across the curriculum, in areas such as English, History, Geography, and Religious Education. Year 7 students in English have been using Minecraft Education to represent their creative writing scenes even before putting “pen to paper.”

Two high school students sitting at a table in school, working on their laptops.

Two students working on laptops at Ribblesdale High School, where Minecraft Education has been integrated across the curriculum.

Abi Hewson, an educator and leader within the department, highlights that it can be hard for students to get started with creative writing assignments. To help students feel more comfortable with the creative writing process, Abi started using Minecraft Education in the classroom.

“Some students really struggle on getting started with creative writing work. Being able to build a world in Minecraft, before having to put it into words, really helps to get their creative juices flowing!” - Abi Hewson, Department Leader and Educator at Ribblesdale School, UK

Initially Abi had little personal experience in using Minecraft Education, however this was soon overcome with support from her students and the Minecraft Teacher Academy learning pathway from the Microsoft Learn Educator Center. It gave Abi confidence in getting up to speed with the basics, plus it provided a range of tips on classroom management and readiness.

Teach with Minecraft Education and find your community

Luckily, there are a range of resources to support educators in making the first steps to integrate Minecraft Education into teaching and learning in the classroom. Explore these resources designed to help you learn how to teach with Minecraft Education and help you become more confident enhancing learning by moving into the virtual world.

  • Join a free instructor-led, online professional learning that takes place over 4 one-hour sessions starting on July 25.
  • Take the on-demand Minecraft Teacher Academy learning path from the Microsoft Learn Educator Center to learn on your own.
  • Join the Minecraft Teachers Lounge community to meet and learn from passionate educators, gain access to new lessons and teaching resources, and find upcoming events.
  • Save time with ready-made starter kits that include lesson plans, downloadable worlds, and tutorials in core school subjects.

Minecraft Education engages students across subjects while promoting creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving within and beyond the classroom. Begin your Minecraft Education journey or bolster your expertise today!

Coming up next month from The Beacon: Insights from the Global Showcase School Advisory Board: See how one school boosts learning with Learning Accelerators in Microsoft 365 Education.

Logo. Lighthouse on a blue background with the words Showcase Schools Global Advisory Board.