The introduction of a weekly VR Beat Sabre competition as a lunchtime enrichment activity sparked interest and excitement from staff and students to explore digital possibilities to enhance TLA. Learning Technology Coach, Kate Whyles began by delivering a series of sessions on the foundations of computer programming through code.org. in collaboration with Learning Facilitator Daniel Jordan.
Students were particularly interested in Minecraft-themed challenges. The basic problem-solving coding skills that were developed positively impacted the approach to learning, the concentration levels of learners, and general engagement.
They explored game-based learning scenarios further to embed good digital practice into their lessons and provide their learners with digital capabilities. As a result, this has led to the installation of Minecraft for Education.
Sessions occur weekly within the Learning Resource Centre, where learners are invited to complete problem-solving challenges within Minecraft worlds, focusing on English and Maths skills, teamwork and collaboration. During lunch, mobile devices allow learners to complete a monthly Minecraft challenge on a purpose-built collaborative world, which has proved extremely popular. Sessions are also being conducted through VR.
The delivery has attracted interest from the global Minecraft for Education community which is regularly updated with information about the college’s practice.
I believe digital skills are essential to life and must be taught at college to enable our learners to live successfully in this modern world. Code.org and Minecraft sessions are preparing our learners for the future.Kate Whyles — Learning Technology Coach