Minecraft Education Studio: Shaping the future with game-based learning

The Minecraft Education Studio located in the Institute of Education at Dublin City University (DCU) had featured as a Microsoft  Customer Story.

At Dublin City University (DCU), the B.Ed four-year primary school teaching degree course—Institute of Education—has an annual intake of approximately 420 students, and prepares more than 50 percent of Ireland’s primary school teachers. Most students are recent graduates of secondary school, where their own education experience consists of exam-focused, rote learning. According to Deirdre Butler, Digital Learning at the Institute and CASTeL member,  the program has been developed by “unpicking” their experience and challenging them to think differently.  “We have to challenge student teachers on what learning is because the skills required today for young people are completely different from what was required before. The pace of change has accelerated exponentially, and we have to prepare children to live and thrive in the complex connected world of the twenty-first century,” Butler explains. Butler has been exploring the role of game learning in pedagogy for more than 20 years. She was impressed by the gaming environment of Minecraft: Education Edition, and how it facilitates development of interdisciplinary skills that are difficult to teach. “I am trying to change the values, beliefs, and assumptions of my student teachers, because they come from one world, and are trying to prepare children for the future, in another world,” she says. “Minecraft gave me a vehicle to do it.”

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