Since last October, students at Lansdowne-Costain Public School have had the option to go outside for nutrition break, or go to the school’s social room where they have the opportunity to play cooperative games including the very popular Minecraft. In fact, the demand to play Minecraft has been so great that the school created a Minecraft club which boosts membership of more than 50 students!
Each nutrition break, every day, students from the club use their creativity to build incredible structures in online worlds. Minecraft is a bit like using virtual Lego, and the only limitations are student imaginations. Students use their school board email addresses to log into Minecraft’s education edition, and instantly, they are transported to a virtual world of their choosing. The worlds have various biomes including deserts, winter wonderlands, and jungles. Players create their own shelters and explore the worlds by themselves or in groups. The club has been incredibly successful in helping students work cooperatively together to problem solve and create in the online world they have chosen.
“Students in the club are finding not only an outlet for tech talents, but also a sense of belonging in the welcoming environment created by the support of other interested students,” said Daryl Casey, Principal at Lansdowne-Costain. “It’s a productive and positive space open to anyone who wants to take part, and that’s bringing together students who might not normally find the chance to interact.”
Technology and Well-Being are both key pillars of Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan, and the Minecraft Club provides an overlap of these two concepts, both increasing students knowledge levels and familiarity with technology and coding, while also building an inclusive environment promoting belonging.
The club is also having a positive outcome on Achievement.
“A small group of students worked on an activity in Minecraft where they designed and built a roller coaster, and the leadership and organizational skills that came out of that project had an overall impact on achievement in the classroom as well,” said Casey. “Minecraft is allowing our students to dream, plan and socialize in ways that were never accessible to them before.”