I had the great fortune of attending Minecraft Mentor Meetup during the Games for Change Event in NYC this June.
Enthusiastic Minecraft Mentor cohort included educational training companies, STEM instructional facilitators, and school digital leaders from across various countries/continents – Australia, Israel, UK, India and US.
The purpose of the meetup was to foster connections between mentors, learn from peers, promote creativity, collaboration and project design by putting the mentor minds at work. True to typical Minecraft session formats, the session began with ‘Get-to-know’ followed by ‘Learn & Play’; ‘Prepare to Craft’ and then Design to make a difference.
Led by the most welcoming Minecraft leaders Sara Cornish and Meenoo Rami, the event began with an activity to brush up on our networking skills where we were given a card each as we entered the room with the image of a Minecraft agent or tool that were colour-coded to aide finding a matching partner. This was an ice-breaker activity for ‘getting to know’ other mentors in each group table.
Once familiar with each other, the group was thrown a challenge to ‘Learn & Play’ and ‘Prepare to Craft’ together. Minecraft Mentor Meetup Build Challenge was an opportunity to informally mingle with each other over food and beverages to discuss what we could build in accordance with the given challenge card. It was a great way to explore ideas around the given theme which in our case was to build a Pixel art piece. We all had an opportunity to think and create in the given Minecraft world and learn from each other’s expertise. Personally, for me it was a wonderful learning opportunity as my expertise lies in designing plans rather than creating in Minecraft world and this gave me access to seek advice to improvise on my work from mentors that have had more experience.
The next challenge given to the global mentors was to design a plan that could help create a global impact using Minecraft. Suddenly the room was buzzing and noisy as each of the mentor groups got thinking of a unique way to create an impact. Being a curriculum writer, designing plans comes quickly to me and with the best to brainstorm with we came up with a plan that was a call-to-action towards a more tolerant world. With much going around us, students today need to be more open-minded than ever towards accepting other cultures, religion and respecting diversity.
To cap off the brainstorming session, the floor was opened to all groups to present and share their ideas and plans which brought in perspectives, diverse project ideas covering range of subject areas and age groups. Talking to and hearing fellow mentors helped motivate me even more to learn and gain experience using this framework and even create my own project. Bringing this huge learning back home, my enterprise, De Pedagogics, will soon be hosting a Minecraft Meetup back in India real soon.
Thanks to Minecraft team especially Meenoo Rami and Sara Cornish for bringing the best and brightest mentors together and provided us this dynamic workspace for 3-hours (that ended sooner than expected) to meet, learn, explore and grow.