Party-endyear-2012I’ll be yammering on about Minecraft a lot this October at the upcoming ECOO 2013 conference, in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Last year’s ECOO Minecraft Madness was a lot of fun and this year promises to be bigger, better and blockier than ever before.


I’m participating in three sessions about Minecraft in schools, from Thursday Oct. 23rd to Friday Oct. 25th. Each one is different, but each will give teachers a chance to dive into Minecraft and play the game for themselves.

Here’s a quick rundown of each event.

Minds on Minecraft – Wednesday Oct 23rd, 8:30 – 3:30 pm

As part of the Minds on Media day, teachers will have a chance to play Minecraft for themselves on the GamingEdus Professional Play server. I’ll be there to guide new players through the basics and talk about how they can tie Minecraft’s open-ended sandbox format to just about any area of the curriculum. Get more details from the Minds on Media wiki.

BIT Minecraft LAN Party – Thursday Oct 24th 8:30 – 10:30 pm

This year, we’re taking the ECOO party into Minecraft! On Thursday night, everyone is invited to play on the GamingEdus server during the first ever, BIT Minecraft LAN Party. We’ll have accounts to loan out, tours and tutorials for new players and a PvP tournament for those thirsting for glory on the battlefield. All are welcome to play or just watch the blocky madness unfold.

Connecting the Blocks: Minecraft and the Curriculum, Friday, Oct 25th, 1:00pm – 1:45pm

On Friday, we get serious with our talk Connecting the Blocks: Linking Minecraft with the Ontario Curriculum, about how myself, and my GamingEdu colleagues, have used Minecraft with our students to cover Language, Science, Media and more. Teachers will leave with a clear idea of how the game can be used in the classroom to engage learners and teach the curriculum.

Moar Minecraft at ECOO

This year, there’ll be lots of Minecraft at ECOO. I’m eager to check out Dave Parkes’ talk: Tablets, Minecraft and Lord of the Flies, about using the game in conjuction with a novel study of William Golding’s book.

Also, Zoe Branigan-Pipe will be talking about her amazing project to using Minecraft to rethink urban planning in Hamilton: Redevelopment of an Urban Landscape –> Geography, Math and Minecraft: An Inquiry Driven Project

Join Us IRL or Virtually!

If you’re coming to ECOO this year IRL (In Real Life), please drop by and join in the building and learning. If you can’t make it to Ontario, you can still join us for the LAN party on Thursday night. Email us at: gamingedus (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll give you all the details.

Can’t make it during ECOO but still curious? Visit us at and we’ll have you building with your students in no time.