Technical: My first question was this: How much technical know-how did I need to run a server, could I run it off of my computer, and how much lag (skipping and degradation of play quality) would there be? Turns out it was relatively easy to set up (installation to first play through), and once it was set up, “running the server” could be distilled down into a 5-step cheat sheet that anyone could follow, regardless of technical acumen.
Age-appropriateness: Most of what I’ve read about MinecraftEdu is targeted towards ES or MS students, but I had 9th and 10th graders, so I was curious as to how that would go and whether they would enjoy the platform and remain engaged. In the end, they enjoyed themselves and were engaged throughout, but a lot of that was on me as a teacher to create age-appropriate challenges for them.Educational value: Ultimately, I wanted to use this to teach coding concepts to the underclassmen, and I wanted to make sure that it was effective. The map we used, the Land of Turtles, did a good job of introducing our students to basic coding and loops (For and While Loops) through a series of in-game challenges. Summation: MinecraftEdu is a platform on which you can build a wide variety of lessons. Its efficacy is dependent on the maps you choose, and whether or not you can use the available resources in a way that is challenging and appropriate to the age your working with and the subject you are teaching.