Giving Compass' Take:

• Roanoke County Public Schools incorporated Minecraft in its curriculum across schools in which collaboration and coordination took place to advance this tech in classrooms. 

• Why is this especially significant in a local context for this school district? How can education donors help identify which school districts will benefit the most from new tech?

• Read about how Minecraft can help students who have autism. 

When Roanoke County Public Schools gathered educators for their first training in how to teach with Minecraft: Education Edition (M:EE), “you could hear the rumble in the room,” says Jeff Terry, the district’s director of technology. That was early 2018. Today, his district is among the top ten for M:EE usage worldwide.

While Terry was surprised to hear that stat, he was also excited. He says adding M:EE to the district’s robust technology arsenal is helping students master the oft-cited Four Cs of education—critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

It’s also helping students become opportunity ready in a state where business is finding it tough to fill technology-focused roles. Just last year, former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said the demand for highly skilled workers in the state far outweighed the number of qualified candidates, with “36,000 cyber jobs” needing to be filled.

Roanoke added Minecraft: Education Edition to the district’s Microsoft campus agreement as a pilot project in 2017; now the software has been rolled out to 14,000 students district-wide. Thanks to a strategic approach to PD and support, teacher collaboration has skyrocketed, kindergartners are coding and students are excited about learning.

Read the full article about Minecraft: education edition by Wendy McMahon at EdSurge