I was super lucky to get to attend the SXSWEdu convention this week, and my co-pilots (does this make sense if we are all piloting Minecraft together?) and I made sure to attend the MinecraftEdu session hosted by Joel Levin (who started the whole MinecraftEdu thing) and Stephen Elford (an Australian teacher who started with Minecraft early on).
Although I have pretty much mastered gameplay and the MinecraftEdu teacher tools, I still came away with some good information and insights:
1. Whenever you get a group of people together who are interested in learning/playing Minecraft, inevitably there are a bunch of them who have never played. This seems to be true for both kids and adults.
2. Adults are just as noisy when playing Minecraft as kids are. Maybe even more so.
3. Minecraft can be used with pretty much any age level, and within almost any subject area.
4. Even the pros only use Minecraft a little bit during the year. Teachers are still responsible for teaching tons of content, and we can't get it ALL done in Minecraft. Stephen said he only uses it maybe 10 hours total for an entire school year. That's really not that much.
5. Joel made a Hunger Games-based world, and it's really cool. I'll need to play it more to get a better idea of the mechanics.
6. The World of Humanities map is amazing. It uses an NPC mod to make characters that you can interact with. I'll need to take a look at both of these some more.
It was great to meet these Minecraft role models!