Using Minecraft in your school’s admission process.

Do your students like to play Minecraft? Have they asked you if they can put a Minecraft server on your network? (Have you let them?)

I don’t know about you, but every time I walk into our Middle School Tech Center during recess I see students wall-to-wall with the majority of them playing Minecraft?  They are playing on their own, with others and in all sorts of ways.

It is amazing to see the structures they build, the worlds they design, but it wasn’t until I saw what they were able to do with the inspiration from outside the window that got me thinking about how the school might be ale to use this interactive world as an Admissions tool.

For the past year or so there has been a lot of construction going on outside the windows of our Tech Center as we constructed a new dining call and common room.  This had the attention of many of the students and when finally complete it inspired them to build the space in Minecraft.

As you can see the space had many interactive parts (including a working fireplace) and does an amazing job of replicating the space in a digital environment.  The ability to interact with the space, to walk around, to turn things on and off, to truly explore the space is what got me thinking about the use of Minecraft in Admissions.

Given the changing nature of an inquiry and how potential families can find out so much about our school before we even get them in the door, wouldn’t it be great to get the in the door before they even leave their house?

I often read about or have had conversations with people in both our Admissions office and other offices about building virtual tours, giving people the opportunity to explore the school and see what it is about.  Minecraft can provide a real niche way of reaching a number of students and giving them a wholly interactive virtual tour.

Minecraft may not appeal to everyone and it will require work to build and make available, but if you have motivated students who are willing to take the time to build something on their own, like above, it’s it worth exploring?

By reaching out to prospective students and give them an opportunity to “play” within the walls of the school, to make a game out of their visit is a win-win.  Why not think about hiding an “Easter Egg” somewhere in the environment and award those student who find it with a special prize when they come in for an actual visit.

Bring gamification to the admissions process.  Imagine a potential student/family physically walking around your school for the first time and feeling like they’ve already been there… because they have through Minecraft.

Take connecting with a prospective student digital and give them something to play with.

 

 

 

 

About William Stites

Currently the Director of Technology for Montclair Kimberley Academy, "Blogger in Chief" for edSocialMedia.com, husband and father to two crazy kids who make me smile everyday.
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  • Love the idea of a virtual tour that kids will engage with. I’m reminded of a project that @daniellau6 did with her seventh grade class last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=greQuoDCAYQ

    • This is awesome and exactly what I am getting at.  Involve students in the process can really connect students to the school… not only prospective students, but those in the school as well. REALLY COOL!!!

  • Miko

    I’m a teacher at Da Vinci Innovation Academy in Hawthorne CA, and I have been developing and using Minecraft in the classroom all year. Take a look at my blog to see the potential of this powerful tool! http://www.craft-academy.com