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Canvas Network builds Minecraft knowledge with MOOCs

02 Sep 2014

Teachers can now get their Minecraft skills up to speed with two MOOCs from Instructure’s Canvas Network.

The two Minecraft MOOCs aim to help teachers leverage gamification best practices in the classroom, with free registration available worldwide.

Jason Schmidt, an instructional technologist for Bennington Public Schools is teaching the four-week MinecraftEdu MOOC.

"Even young kids have gotten very adept at Minecraft, so it can be quite intimidating for teachers. If I can help get teachers over that hump, imagine how delighted students will be to have a learning environment tailored to their interests for a change."

A new Minecraft app has also been launched to complement the MOOCs. The app enables teachers to link Minecraft accounts to Canvas to automatically sync in-game actions with grades and assignments in Canvas.

The Canvas Network, powered by the Canvas learning management system, offers open, online courses taught by educators everywhere. It enables teachers, students and institutions worldwide to connect, and undertake learning for personal growth, professional development and academic inquiry.

The Minecraft MOOCs join a suite of 15 new MOOCs for teachers, parents and students. Courses for teachers include ‘Teachers without Borders: Educating Girls’, and ‘Tinker, Make and Learn’.

Student options include ‘NASA Space Center Houston’s “Mars: The Next Frontier”’, and ‘The Great Depression to the War on Terror’.

"MOOCs have the power to tear down walls and bring our brightest contemporaries together," Melissa Loble, senior director of Canvas Network at Instructure, says. "Through Minecraft and other engaging forums, we want to help teachers and students come together to advance education everywhere.”

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