In this post, MinecraftEdu Lead Developer Aleksi is writing on how it all got started, mostly from a coding point of view. Aleksi spends his days overseeing the development team at our headquarters in Tampere, Finland.
So, how the whole MinecraftEdu project got started was through an email message. Santeri Koivisto sent a message to the school I was in completing my bachelor studies for IT degree. It was April 2011. I have always been a fan of doing too much instead of getting over where the fence is the most lowest (not sure if this sentence makes sense in english, but it is very common Finnish sentence!). Back before that I had been doing IT projects in my free time as a hobby since I was very young. When I got an individual project at school, I always wanted to do than was required. I get into the flow state and get so much positive energy from doing a good project - always inventing something new down the road and improving as I go. It is addicting.
What a busy week! We’re back from Orlando and our visit to #FETC - here’s a catch up of some great tweets we’ve seen recently.
GamingEdus.com Launches Multi-School MinecraftEdu Server
GamingEdus.com (@GamingEdus) is a group of educators based out of Ontario who maintain a Multi-School Minecraft Server. Among some other great work they do with Minecraft in Education, they have been running the server as a vanilla build for some time, and have recently started a mirror running MinecraftEdu. As an added bonus, the Edu server is also running with qCraft and ComputerCraft installed, two mods that lend themselves well to subject area learning. You’ll have to contact them to get whitelisted for the server, all the information you need can be found here : http://www.gamingedus.org/2014/02/multi-school-minecraftedu-server-launches/
The current print and digital issue of Scientific American has a fantastic article written by Alan Gershenfeld about game based learning and why games are the future of education.
He writes, “not only is Minecraft immersive and creative, but it is an excellent platform for making almost any subject area more engaging.” He also mentioned some of the motivation behind working with Google Creative Labs, CalTech, and Daniel Ratcliffe to develop qCraft.
The issue is on newsstands now, and also in the digital edition.
From the educators and innovators who brought you MinecraftEdu, comes KerbalEdu! Kerbal Space Program is a unique commercial game where you engineer, build and launch the hapless Kerbals into space! Learn more about the Kerbal Space Program at http://kerbalspaceprogram.com/. and KerbalEdu at http://kerbaledu.com
Wired.co.uk did a quick write up about the Kerbal annoucement here.
Also! as an incentive for schools interested in both MinecraftEdu and KerbalEdu, for a limited time schools can receive a 15% discount on KerbalEdu, with a purchase of MinecraftEdu. Go to www.kerbaledu.com for details.
If you’re attending the Florida Education Technology Conference next week in Orlando, Florida, stop by and see us at the E-Line Media booth #756. If you’ve never used or played with MinecraftEdu, or if you’re a Minecraft vet who would like to see some of our new additions to the content library in action, stop on by! Ask us questions, give us some feedback, and get some fun swag! We will have devices set up for you to use and we will also lead guided demos. Our partner E-Line Media will also have some great game based learning products to demonstrate so it should be a fun and valuable experience for all.
We here at TeacherGaming like to keep a sharp eye on twitter. More often than not it’s the network of educators, technology integrators, and even some students that dazzle us the most with new and innovative ways to use MinecraftEdu in the classroom. We would like to start sharing those things that we find in a weekly twitter round up. If you’ve done something really great with MinecraftEdu in the classroom, feel free to tweet us, or hash #minecraftedu.
For our kickoff post, we have four great tweets that put smiles on our faces.
Today we are pleased to announce a partnership with the Digital Historian Project, an ambitious venture whose mission is to use modern technology to bring history to life in new ways. And their flagship undertaking is a perfect fit for MinecraftEdu: Project 1845!
The goal is to build nothing less than a full 1:1 reconstruction of historical Beijing in Minecraft. The team members, led by Davin ‘Botauri’ Taylor, already have the entire Forbidden City constructed and are diligently working away on houses, temples, farms, barracks, and more. MinecraftEdu users can grab the map right now on our brand new World Sharing site.
Here is a lot more background from the official announcement:
What Is Project 1845
Project 1845 is the first phase of the Digital Historian Project. We are creating the first full size virtual reality models from within the game of Minecraft that have the purpose to teach people a lot about a place in the world and a place in time that cannot be done today in the real world. From our main flagship model of the largest city in the world during the mid 18th century, Beijing City. We have lots more planned, from the Aztec capital city before the spanish turned up. The giza plateau as it looked like when the last great pyramid was sealed up. Pompeii before its destruction to Babylon during its golden age plus many more. These models can teach more than history, users can learn geography, town planning, foreign languages, foreign cultures and witness historical events, all from within a first-person perspective.
What is the Digital Historian Project?
The Digital Historian Project (or called DHP for short) is a mammoth undertaking of creating, essentially a 4 Dimensional Internet. Where knowledge is stored, not only in three dimensional environments but also in the fourth dimension of time. Eventually you can learn more than just walking through a model. You can witness historical events of global importance, you can learn skills that easily translate to the real world. have a personal experience of witnessing almost every moment of earth’s history. And earth can be just the beginning, explore the cosmos, to exploring pangea, from within your own home or school and without it costing a fortune. Were striving to create the perfect classroom where there is no classroom. Books and text have their place in the world but the best way to learn wisdom is by doing, experiencing and understanding. This is the aim of the Digital Historian Project.
How we are working with MinecraftEDU
We are releasing parts of our flagship model of “Beijing 1751AD” from inside the MnecraftEDU platform. Allowing teachers and students to use this resource to explore and understand Chinese history, in a way that no person can learn from watching a movie or reading a book. Students can walk around, explore things that interest them and solve problems that cant be put to students to test their skills until now. we have many projects planned and this is only the beginning.
For MinecraftEdu Users,will arrive few days ! After a long time , MinecraftEdu 1.6.4 Build 7 is now live There are many exciting new developments in . A few of the hot features include: Mod Manager, World Templates, Proxy Support... Wow! Below is list of features added into the latest build!
- Online World Templateshere! Be sure to remember that this is a beta feature, so if you encounter any problems or feedback, please do not hesitate to in the Minecraft Teachers Forum threadMinecraftEdu Classroom users are now able to login and share their worlds created with MinecraftEdu
- Improved World Templates Format: We have updated and addedfields that world templates require. By doing this, we hope to help users find a world that will best fit needs. Teaching materials and screenshots a will be downloaded w the world!
- Mod Manager: You can now select which mods @minecraftcpw and he’s awesome Forge Modloader.enabled through MinecraftEdu Launcher for both client and server. download mods from our online mod repository. We are currently working on getting more mods in the repository so there is just the beginning. We are reaching out to many of the more popular mod within the community to secure rights for distribution. What did help a lot in developing this feature was
- Proxy Support: If you use MinecraftEdu behind proxy, great news!ou can now go to your Launcher Settings panel !
And everyone, have a awesome Christmas and merry new year (or vice versa) :)
- Team MinecraftEdu
Our dear educators around the Globe!
Thank you for another extraordinary year. Over 1300 schools joined the MinecraftEdu movement in 2013. It is a huge pleasure for us to see all the interesting things you are doing in the macro and micro communities forming all around the World.
Now it’s time to rest and enjoy our well deserved Christmas holiday. Please note that TeacherGaming HQ will be closed from21st of December until 5th of January. This means we will not handle new orders or other requests. Please keep this in mind when submitting new orders and planning your next year. We will, of course, peek into our inbox during the holiday season to see that urgent problems are solved.
It’s also this time of year that we look ahead to new opportunities and projects. We are very excited about what 2014 will bring. News has already leaked that we will be working with Squad, the makers of Kerbal Space Program to bring the popular physics-based spaceflight game to schools. Full announcement and details coming soon!
Hope you have a relaxing holiday season and see you next year!
With kindest holiday regards
If you are a user of mods, you will need to ensure that you delete or upgrade the mods to the compatible 1.6.4 version otherwise MinecraftEdu will not run.
All the best,
The MCEdu Development Team