Microsoft launches innovative educational game, Minecraft: Education Edition, at Brescia House School

Grade 1 schoolgirls of Brescia House School work with Minecraft: Education Edition.

 

Finally reaching South African shores, Microsoft launched Minecraft: Education Edition, an open-world game which promotes creativity, collaboration and problem-solving, at Brescia House School.

The launch was hosted by Stephen Reid, Minecraft ambassador and creative consultant in education.

Since the game’s global release last year, it has reached more than 75 000 children by providing educators with a fun, engaging foundation to create, explore and encourage learning in classrooms around the globe.

Schoolgirls teach guests how Minecraft: Education Edition works.

The game was built with the assistance of more than 50 000 schoolchildren and educators who participated in the company’s early access programme and provided valuable feedback to help fine-tune the experience across a diverse set of learning environments.

Over the past 20 years, Reid has worked to bring technology to the classroom and has spent the past decade focusing on game-based learning – with six of these years focused on the development of Minecraft as a tool for curriculum learning.

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“The key to harnessing technology as an effective tool for teaching and learning is in recognising its place in everyday lives of our young people,” said Reid. “The tools they embrace and enjoy using are not the tools we tend to deploy in our school systems readily.” He added that it was a three-step process for him.

“I find something that works in engaging and enthusing the children I’m working with. I learn how to use it myself and apply what I’ve learned to my curriculum teaching.

Stephen Reid, Minecraft ambassador and creative consultant at the launch of Minecraft: Education Edition in South Africa.

“This means I can meet children in their own world, using the tools they use and bring the learning to them in a fun and effective way. “Technology should not be viewed as a standalone tool but as a powerful part of any teacher’s toolkit, complementary to traditional tools.”

Angela Schaerer, teacher engagement leader for Microsoft South Africa said, “Technology is increasingly making headway in the classroom, with textbooks, battered notebooks and worn-down pencils giving way to e-readers, tablets, laptops and a multitude of software and digital tools that are completely changing the way that students learn.”

What is your opinion on using new technology and software applications in the classroom? Let us know on Whatsapp 079 439 5345.

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Chronicle Reporter

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