A lunch time Multi-School Minecrafter messes with Quantum Physics using the qCraft mod.

When we first started the Multi-School Minecraft server three years ago, MinecraftEDU  was merely a twinkle in the eye of its creator Joel Levin (aka Minecraftteachr). So, we hacked together a single server designed for many schools using vanilla Minecraft and a host of plugins.

Since that time, the MinecraftEDU mod has evolved into an amazing tool for educators, allowing teachers to get a whole class of students playing Minecraft on one server at a low cost and giving them access to a bunch of very cool mods (more on those below.)

It also lets teachers set up a server in their school quickly and without having to deal with school board firewalls.

That is all awesome, but it’s not how we’re using it at GamingEdus.

MinecraftEDU +  GamingEdus = Global Digital Commons

The Teleport Block gets you around the Multi-School MinecraftEDU server.
The Teleport Block gets you around the Multi-School MinecraftEDU server.

Hosting your own server at your school is a fun and fascinating experience for both students and teachers. But where I see Minecraft really shining is in its potential to connect students from other schools in other parts of the city, province or even world. I’ve written before about how our Multi-School server  can act as a digital commons, bringing students together to work and play with each other or along side of each other.

This idea of a Minecraft digital commons for schools, led us to launch the Multi-School Minecraft server running vanilla Minecraft.  And now, we’re doing the same thing with MinecraftEDU.

We’ve created a mirror of our original Multi-School Minecraft server, but the mirror server is running MinecraftEDU. The two servers will run parallel to each other and each will develop differently, all depending on what the kids build.  And each will run slightly differently.

For example, the teleport portals won’t work on the EDU server. But that’s okay, because we will use the Teleport Block that comes with EDU. But that’s only the beginning.

Lunchtime Programmers & Quantum Physicists

A big step forward for MinecraftEDU was getting it to run Minecraft Mods, special programs that change how Minecraft works.

Two mods, we’re running are: ComputerCraft and qCraft. Both these mods can really spark some amazing inquiry-based learning in your students.

ComputerCraft puts programmable computers into the game, allowing players to learn to code in Lua. Yeh, it’s awesome:

qCraft was developed by Google and teaches players the basics of quantum physics using Minecraft blocks. This video explains it all:

We’ll have much more to share about our experiences with these mods in the coming weeks.

Want to Play with Us?

If you are interested in checking out the Multi-School MinecraftEDU server with your students, just fill out a whitelist request form and we’ll let you know all you need to get started.

What about you? Have you played with ComputerCraft or qCraft with your students? What mods do you think the Multi-School MinecraftEDU server needs?

Let us know in the comments below!