CUE 2014: Teaching with Minecraft

By Phill Powell

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CUE crowds were excited to attend DMA’s Minecraft session.

Educators face new challenges in the 21st Century – like what are the best ways to inspire students with today’s hottest technology?

That’s the question before some 6,000 educators gathering in Palm Springs, California this weekend.

The “CUE” in “CUE Conference” stands for “Computer-Using Educators,” which makes it a perfect fit for Digital Media Academy, and that’s why DMA is once again here.

But DMA is doing a lot more than just attending the show. For each of the show’s three days, DMA is sponsoring a full schedule of hands-on seminars for attendees to enjoy and learn from.

Day One: Getting Crafty About Using Minecraft
Yesterday was Day One, and DMA instructors started the show bright and early Thursday morning with an in-depth course on the wildly popular game Minecraft™, and how to use it in the classroom most effectively. The teachers were full of questions about Minecraft™, even those teachers who had played Minecraft™ before.

Luckily, the course was guided by two DMA experts on Minecraft™. Both Jordan Hart and Erik Danford have been working in-depth with Minecraft™ over the past couple of years developing curriculum. With their guidance, teachers from across the nation attending CUE 2014 suddenly found themselves playing Minecraft™ for the first time.

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Educators at CUE 2014 were excited to learn how easy it is to revolutionize classroom lesson plans with Minecraft™.

Powerful Classroom Tool
Soon the teachers began thinking about how to make such a useful educational tool and game work with their curriculum. Some even began to draft lesson plans using Minecraft™.

The three-hour course went by in a blur, but not before Jordan offered a quick demonstration of Minecraft™ in a VR (virtual reality) environment using the Oculus Rift headset.

DMA: The Place for Minecraft
Digital Media Academy tech camps are the place this summer for kids and teens who get into Minecraft™ in a big way, and who want to take their game to the next level by picking up advanced modding techniques.

For kids age 8 to 12, DMA’s Adventures in 3D Game Design with Minecraft gives kids a chance to act in different roles on a game development team: programmer, game designer, architect or artist. Or kids can also enjoy Java Programming for Minecraft Modding.

Teens age 12 to 17 can go behind Minecraft’s game-making process through 3D Game Design with Minecraft or get a two-week adventure in Minecraft™ through DMA’s Academy for Minecraft Modding & Game Design. And for a great combination, try Minecraft Modding with Java Programming & Forge, which offers an incredible intro to computer programming.