Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Virtual Minecraft Camps for Elementary and Middle School Students: June 2020

Update June 2, 2020: has updated information about both these upcoming virtual Minecraft camps for students.

Five years ago, our youngest daughter (then age 11) participated in a virtual, summer Minecraft camp through “Connected Camps,” an outstanding organization based in California. She had a great experience, and we recorded a 20 minute podcast reflection together afterwards to share some of the things she observed and learned as a “virtual Minecraft camper.” I’ve been using MinecraftEDU / Minecraft Education Edition with students since 2013, but since Rachel’s positive experiences in a virtual Minecraft summer camp in 2015 I’ve been wanting to lead one myself.

This summer, in part due to our COVID-19 requirements to “shelter in place” and “learn at home,” I’m leading two virtual Minecraft camps for both elementary and middle school students in June. Each camp lasts four days, and we’ll be online together for two hours per day, from 10am to noon (Central Time). Older students at our school have volunteered to serve as “camp moderators,” helping me both design daily challenges and activities, and insure everyone follows the rules and has a good experience. Camps are:

  • Elementary Edition: June 15 – 18, 2020 (open to all rising 3rd, 4th and 5th graders)
  • Middle School Edition: June 22-25, 2020 (open to all rising 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th graders)

We’re using Minecraft Education Edition (@playcraftlearn) for the elementary camp, and Minecraft Java Edition for the middle school camp. More details are available on this page of my school computer class website, as well as in the following 3 minute video screencast I recorded today.

Please share this virtual Minecraft Camp opportunity with students and families you know who might be interested! Participation and registration is open to current Casady students as well as non-Casady students who are in the appropriate rising grades. Because of the global nature of the Internet, participating students do not even need to live in Oklahoma! More details about technical / computer requirements for students are included on the registration site, but the basics are each student must have:

  1. A MacOS or Windows10 computer capable of running Minecraft Education Edition (elementary level) or Minecraft Java Edition (middle school level).
  2. A home high speed Internet connection
  3. Middle School Camp participants must purchase their own copy of Minecraft Java Edition. Elementary campers will be provided with a login account for Minecraft Education Edition as part of their registration fee.

I’m looking forward to LOTS of learning as we prepare for and facilitate these virtual Minecraft summer camp experiences. I can’t help but think of the book and movie “Ready Player One.” Minecraft is not nearly as sophisticated and high-resolution as the virtual world portrayed in that novel and film, but it DOES offer mind-bending opportunities for virtual collaboration, co-creation, and discovery. This also reminds me of my favorite William Gibson quotation:

The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.

William Gibson – Wikiquote., Accessed 28 May 2020.
Virtual Minecraft Camps: June 2020 by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr
Virtual Minecraft Camps: June 2020” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer