Yesterday, Northern Ireland’s Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) won two top UK awards for their development and launch of an innovative game based learning resource.
The STEM in Minecraft resource, part of CCEA’s digital skills framework, picked up Best learning game and Excellence in the design of learning content: public and non-profit sector at the 2018 Learning Technology awards.
Commenting on the success, CCEA Chief Executive said:
“I am delighted that we have received this recognition for our work. We have taken the Minecraft computer game and introduced content that encourages exploration of the Viking history and problem solving. This award is recognition of the quality and innovation in the work. It is part of a wide range of work we continue to do in digital skills.”
Impressing the judges with the imaginative adoption of Minecraft, the free resource offers an immersive learning & fun environment in the Viking world, connecting aspects of History with Science & Technology. Primary pupils, playing the role of the Viking, face a series of choices and challenges connected to STEM.
Aligned to the NI Curriculum, STEM in Minecraft provides guidance on how teachers can support their pupils to infuse digital skills alongside vital thinking skills such as problem solving, creativity, strategic leadership and innovation.
This popular free resource, launched successfully in February 2018, is available to all primary schools at www.nicurriculum.org.uk/STEMWorks/minecraft
Learning Technology Awards 2018
- Awards took place on 21 November 2018, in London
- The awards celebrate the very best in learning technologies, and witness 64 gold, silver and bronze awards being given out to worthy winners.
- CCEA was shortlisted for and successfully achieved gold awards in Best learning game and Excellence in the design of learning content: public and non-profit sector
CCEA STEM in Minecraft Resource
The STEM in Minecraft resource, launched in February 2018, provides a range of game‐based active learning opportunities, making connections both within and beyond The World Around Us. Included are a series of STEM in Minecraft in‐game Quests. They are aligned to the curriculum, so that pupils are applying learning through online gaming. Pupils become the Viking protagonist, facing a series of choices and challenges on a journey to mastery. To promote a blended approach, there are a number of STEM enquiries to connect Science and Technology to a topic traditionally viewed as a History‐only one.
The STEM in Minecraft Viking World aims to create an authentic learning sequence in the classroom. The resources include carefully designed Minecraft tasks that allow pupils to experience simulations of how Viking life might have been and aims to elicit a learning and emotional response, particularly empathy with how Viking life might have been.
Engagement and creativity
Most pupils will have had some experience or knowledge of Minecraft. In our pilot phase, we repeated seen classroom experiences of what game designer Jane McGonigal calls ‘blissful productivity’ – staying determined and working on a task even if the goal is challenging.
Skill building and mastery
Using the CCEA STEM in Minecraft resources, pupils can gain mastery in a variety of Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities and a series of Minecraft skills. Goals are short, measurable and challenging. Group sessions allow for collaboration and problem solving. In game characters take pupils on a Viking narrative journey and change the game from digital Lego to a role‐playing game – providing learner autonomy, choice, and purpose when working towards a shared group goal.
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