As educators look to engage students in new ways, enhance motivation, and keep learners connected during remote learning, one area that continues to grow in popularity is esports. Esports participation has skyrocketed in recent years, making it a popular choice for energizing learning in ways that support inclusivity for every student. The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), which has esports clubs in elementary schools across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, has published research indicating that students who participate in esports make significant gains in social-emotional learning through positive mentoring and student leadership.
We’re excited to announce the launch of seven new Minecraft: Education Edition esports worlds with accompanying lesson plans and an educator framework created by Immersive Minds. In these “Make and Model” worlds, educators and students will have the opportunity to work together to compete, create, solve problems, and collaborate in fun head-to-head challenges. The esports lesson-pack for Minecraft: Education Edition includes seven maker worlds where students can take part in build battles and export their work to 3D printers, along with an Esports Educator Framework, your guide to scholastic esports with Minecraft: Education Edition.
With varied settings from pirate ships to space to a magical garden, the “Make and Model” worlds promote organized and collaborative play as students team up to compete against the clock and build epic creations. To win, students must delegate jobs, communicate, evaluate their progress, and make quick strategic decisions. For example, the Pirate Cove lesson is set in an immersive pirate-themed Minecraft world where students develop creativity, decision-making, communication, and collaboration skills during team-based Minecraft build battles—a common gaming format in Minecraft, where competitors battle it out against the clock to construct a given object, person, or item. Students also practice visualization and 3D thinking, which are associated with success in STEM learning and careers.
The Esports Educator Framework provides teachers with in-depth insights into esports in education. This resource has been compiled by Immersive Minds from diverse research into game-based learning and esports, discussions, and interviews with educators and researchers. These experts include Karl Ogland from Yrkesinstitutet Prakticum, who introduced esports into education in Finland, and James O’Hagen, Director of Digital and Virtual Learning from the Racine Unified School District in Wisconsin, USA. The framework supports educators who want to use Minecraft: Education Edition with step-by-step playbooks and instructions for setup and gameplay for each lesson.
Check out the seven new lessons and worlds:
- Pirate Cove: Enter an immersive pirate-themed world to take part in build competitions on the high seas.
- Space Race: Students visit another world as they compete in build battles set against the backdrop of space.
- Gold Rush: Students travel back in time to a 19th-century Gold Rush town to compete in team-based builds in the Old West.
- Busy Bees: Shrink your students down to the size of a bee, then set them loose in an enormous back yard for the battle of the buzz.
- Binary Builders: Enter a gigantic computer where students compete in build battles amid a jungle of circuitry.
- Splat Racers: A surreal fantasy racecourse is the setting for competitive builds. Set your students’ creativity free as they dream up fantastic imagery!
- 3D Print: Students take their places inside giant 3D printers, then compete in build battles.
We’re excited to see how teachers engage students with competitive and collaborative play in Minecraft: Education Edition!
You can download the Esports Educator Guide here. If you’re looking for more information about esports in education, take this free course on the Microsoft Educator Center to learn how these activities can help build a school to career pipeline.
To get started with esports for Minecraft: Education Edition, visit aka.ms/minecraft-esports.