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  • Writer's pictureThe BZ Team

MINECRAFT MIRACLES CONTINUE!

You may remember our newsletter updating you on the progress of our school's huge collaborative project Cosmic-AI, which is all about gamification, coding, problem-solving, creativity and Minecraft! OUr team leader, Ms Barton, our computing wizz, is here with some amazing news!



1. Dear Ms Barton, thank you for your time. Our school newsletter has been reporting about the progress of Bright Horizons' joint Erasmus project regarding Minecraft in education. Could you just tell us a bit about how it is going so far, at what stage is the entire project and how happy you are with it?


It is a 2-year project which will complete in July 2024. It is going well, in the final stages of the work packages. Some successes including: creating a handbook all about AI and coding in education and through Minecraft education edition; creating lesson plans and a teacher resource pack to encourage them to use Minecraft education with their pupils; the creation of 5 original new game worlds from each of 5 nations; implementing the use of Minecraft in lessons at Bright Horizons and seeing the learning benefits. 





2. We hear that you and a team of teachers have travelled to a working seminar abroad recently. What was that all about and which steps were taken there?


In February, 3 teachers from Bright Horizons went to Riga for a training and game piloting for two days. It was very successful and we made good use of the games, going through the game based learning tasks, including coding tasks, multiple choice quiz and the exploration that each game has to offer. We each gave our feedback as we tested and made suggestions for improvements. The game developer lead this part of the training and made lots of changes to the source code for the games to make them better. 





3. There was also an online seminar held on internet safety by you. What was discussed and which tips could you give us all about internet safety?


I planned and led the webinar on online safety, it was for parents and we discussed their children's online presence, the dangers,  issues around the digital footprint of the children, time spent interacting with others on multiplayer games.  The tips provided for parents were about controlling the settings on i-pads and mobile phones, having conversations with their children about the dangers posed by adults with malicious intent pretending to be younger on profiles, to get access to children. 


4. Our pupils have been actively participating in various computing competitions this year. Could you share with us some of their challenges, results and perhaps announce an ongoing competition?


In January, Lewis Hart won the monthly build competition for Minecraft with the theme, "Community in an Extreme Environment". Currently, we are promoting the Bebras competition about computational thinking, this will be solving puzzles of differing levels of difficulty in a given time frame. The tasks are using logic, pattern recognition, problem solving and thinking skills. More information can be found at bebras.org .





5. Overall, how content are you with how the project is progressing, why is it important, and most importantly - how can we all help make it even better?


The whole project is the most interesting thing I have been involved in professionally in my 24 year career in education, so I am very pleased with the accomplishments of Bright Horizons and the partners in all the tasks we have done but mostly creating original game based play for Minecraft. Seeing the motivation for the pupils of immersive game based learning has been really important for me. Seeing pupils benefit from independence, creativity, better problem solving and thinking skills. 

You can see the resources and more about the project on the website: ai-cosmic.eu . Please follow the Facebook page.


Thank you to our Bright Horizons community for supporting this amazing step forward in using digital tools in and for education in a fun and productive way! We are learning, changing the world of education and having fun!




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