Kids love Minecraft. They love mining for ore, they love collaborating with friends, they love creating Minecraft worlds. How do we take advantage of that intense interest for the purpose of deeper learning in the classroom? Minecraft Global Mentor Stephen Elford, an educator in Australia, joins Tch Talks to discuss student engagement and how that engagement facilitates exciting learning opportunities with Minecraft.
Listen as Stephen explains how to harness student passion for Minecraft in your teaching in this Tch Talks podcast.
Minecraft has altered my perception of the value of games in education and has opened my eyes to the possibilities inherent in leveraging student knowledge and passion when it comes to supporting our teaching.
I’ve been part of the Minecraft Educator community since 2011, and I began writing about my experiences on my blog a short time later as a way to support others on their journey to becoming Minecraft Educators. I hope this podcast and post support you in seeing some of the possibilities of incorporating Minecraft into your classroom.
How Important is Engagement?
As educators, if we don’t have our students working with us, we’re missing out on the opportunity to teach our students in an effective way.
Minecraft is a game first and foremost in students’ minds. Allowing students into this virtual world leaps many engagement barriers and gives us the ability to really push our students to not only learn, but to demonstrate their learning in new ways.
Teachers are storytellers.
And like any storyteller, it’s our ultimate goal to reach our students through our instruction. If we’re lucky, we’ll inspire curiosity and a love of learning that will last a lifetime.
Teacher leaders take their storytelling to the next level by sharing their practice, insights, expertise, questions, challenges, triumphs, and more with a larger audience of colleagues, families, communities, and policymakers within the education ecosystem and in society at large. The goal is to resonate here, too — to connect, impact, influence, inspire — in the hope that they will be able to play a small part in transforming climate, culture, and teaching and learning opportunities in schools. But in order to affect this kind of change, teacher leaders must not only tell stories, they must tell effective stories.
Every teacher has a story to tell; but finding and crafting a compelling, authentic story is a skill that requires attention, effort, and a few great strategies. So, let’s dig in and begin the process of uncovering your stories.
Editor’s Note: Join Sarah and Teaching Channel in our goal to reach One Million Teachers by referring your friends and colleagues while earning more ways to win great prizes!
Dear One Millionth Tcher,
I’ve been thinking about you for a long time. I’ve been wondering if you would show up and what you’d be like if you did. Would you be finishing your first year in the classroom or would you be nearing your last? Would you arrive by happenstance or because someone else led you here? Would you be passionate and confident or feeling alone and misunderstood? Would you be from this side of the globe or from another? No matter how you got here or what shape you’re in, let me tell you what it means to all of us to have you, our one more zero.
It was a Thursday afternoon when I interviewed Sonia. After a long day at school, my mind was busy negotiating what was and was not accomplished. Like most days, I struggled with my work-home balance and feverishly ran home to switch gears, quiet my self-doubt, and prepare for our interview.
Sonia Nieto is a leader, activist, author, and advocate well known for her work in diversity, equity, and social justice in education. Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy, and Culture at the School of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Author of Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education, Sonia has been working in education for nearly 50 years. She taught at the first fully bilingual school in the Northeast and was later recruited to a position in higher education, as a member of the Puerto Rican Studies Department at Brooklyn College. As she grew to love higher education, she worked toward her doctorate in curriculum studies with concentrations in multicultural and bilingual education. She has spent 26 years at the University of Massachusetts Amherst teaching preservice and practicing teachers, and doctoral students.
Science is an amazing thing.
It’s a basic human desire to try to understand the world around us.
Why do we feel compelled to do this? To fulfill our innate curiosities? To leverage this knowledge to improve the quality of our lives? To explore the unknown? For each of us, the answer may be a little different — and that’s the beauty of it.
The questions that advancements in science generate help everything else flourish. Mathematics make sense of our observations and help us with future predictions. Language arts allow us to share our findings and collaborate. Philosophical debates and the fine arts provide a platform for us to both process and express our thoughts, which in turn help us develop an ethically acceptable line in the sand.
Literally and figuratively speaking, science is the catalyst of our existence.
This Earth Day — April 22 — the March for Science will occur in 605 locations around the world.
It’s not only a celebration of science, but also a means of raising awareness and generating dialogue. As such, I‘m proud to say I will be participating in the satellite march this Saturday in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Regardless of whether you’re a “science geek” or not, I’d encourage you to learn more about the event by exploring the official website.
PodcastHow To Combat Fake News
In the latest Tch Talks podcast, we discuss fake news — what it is, its implications for teaching and learning, and how we as educators can help our students discriminate between what’s fake and what’s not. We talk with Janelle Bence, a humanities teacher at New Tech High in Coppell, Texas; Joe Kahne, professor and Chair of the MacArthur Foundation’s Youth and Participatory Politics Network; and Erica Hodgin, Associate Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College.
There are 3.3 million teachers in the United States, which means there are 3.3 million stories that need to be heard. What I’ve been wondering lately is, is it possible for these collective stories to become a critical catalyst to ensuring transformational teaching and learning experiences for students in this country, especially those who are subject to low expectations brought on by their race, nationality, language of origin, or disability?
No one knows teachers like teachers, and no one — in schools — knows students like teachers. This is one of the reasons why when we started ECET2 — Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers — we immediately penned the phrase, “Know Your Story, Share Your Story.”
Tch Talks caught up with Meenoo Rami, Manager at Minecraft Education Edition, to hear more about the ways teachers across the world are unleashing Minecraft for deeper student learning and engagement. Gain insights and discover resources to help you leverage one of the world’s most popular games in your classroom.
This is the first in our five-part podcast series, Teaching and Learning with Minecraft. Stay tuned for episodes that focus more specifically on Engagement, Collaboration, Creativity, and Tangible Learning Outcomes.
Thanks to you, Tch is about to reach an amazing milestone: one million members!
At this very website over the years, you’ve watched your colleagues open their doors, share their practice, take risks, and help us all get better. You’ve added your own thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. You’ve praised, promoted, and proselytized, critiqued, cajoled, and, yes, sometimes cried.
And through it all, you did the very challenging and critical work each day of being a teacher and trying, with the help of the Tch community, to improve your craft. For that, all of us at Tch thank you.
To mark this upcoming milestone, and to show our appreciation, we’re launching our Tch One In A Million Giveaway.