- More than 10,000 students have experimented with innovative teaching strategies.
- 200 teachers were trained in the use of Minecraft Education Edition.
- To date, 30 games have been produced in their first version and there are 20 more that are under construction and development.
The Peruvian University of Applied Sciences (UPC) has incorporated the use of Minecraft Education Edition to enhance the learning and digital skills of university students, reaching more than 10,000 students. In this way, classrooms, games and activities have been included in the Microsoft platform, which favor creativity, collaboration and problem solving.
Minecraft Education Edition, which is part of the Microsoft educational ecosystem, is an educational version of the renowned Minecraft video game. The game has been adapted for pedagogical use with additional features and tools that allow students and teachers to create, explore and learn together in a virtual open world environment, thus being an innovative and creative tool for online teaching and learning in the digital age.
“Minecraft is a tool that promotes many skills such as computational thinking, development and programming. For this reason, the transversality in the incorporation of Minecraft within the UPC is observed, which promotes freedom, creativity, collaboration and the appropriation of experiences by students individually and according to their interests”, indicates Natalia Jaramillo , Director of Education Microsoft Andean South.
In its constant search to transform education, to adapt to the new needs of its students and to encourage creativity, the UPC decided to use Minecraft as an experimental platform. The students recreated the university facilities, while the professors created their own classrooms and carried out class activities within the platform.
During the pandemic, the use of the tool increased and students, who until then used Minecraft solely for gaming, discovered that they could express themselves creatively there, too. They began to make documentaries, created stories, built models, and carried out architectural works, among other academic projects.
“Today we have the campus completely recreated in Minecraft, where students have made proposals for change and innovation at the university. In addition, during Design Week, Minecraft has also been adopted as the main creation space”, mentions Jorge Bossio, director of Digital Learning and Educational Innovation at the UPC.
From exploration to virtual development
To begin with, it was explored on the platform, but its use for learning was quickly consolidated. “The UPC has a space called ‘Club Apptitud’ where technologies are introduced to challenge students through challenge-based learning. In addition, we have created the Design Thinking space within Minecraft. So far we have been able to visualize the potential of the tool in solving problems and it has allowed us to discover several talents”, affirms Silvana Balarezo, manager of the Digital Learning Experience of the UPC.
Among the notable results it is mentioned that, at the UPC there are approximately 30 games that have completed their first version and there are 20 more that continue to be developed. Minecraft Education Edition has impacted 10,000 students with pedagogical strategies, already has 200 teachers trained in the tool, and is integrated into everyday learning at the UPC, which holds around 4 to 5 workshops per year.
For more information about the different activities carried out at UPC using Minecraft, you can go to: https://innovacioneducativa.upc.edu.pe/tag/minecraft/.
The UPC has an academic management model called “UPC Freedom”, which allows its students the possibility and freedom to choose the modality of study of their degree and of each course throughout their university life. In this way, young people from all over Peru will be able to decide if they want to study at a distance or in a blended way under the same academic quality that characterizes the house of studies.