As part of HEA’s advocating in the interests of home education, its volunteer committee approached Microsoft with a submission to be acknowledged and treated as the bricks and mortar school sector – for its families to be able to buy hardware and software at discounted Education customer prices.
After gaining access to MS Office 365, the next goal was to create and foster a supportive group of Microsoft Minecraft: Education Edition (M:EE) users. When Microsoft bought Minecraft it added to the value of its acquisition by creating an
educational version of this highly popular online game. It took the ‘survival’ aspects out of Minecraft and strengthened its building and creativity. Children already familiar with the game have been energetic adopters of M:EE when asked to use it to solve historical, mathematical and scientific challenges.
As examples, if studying ancient Mesopotamia, the software allows students to faithfully recreate the city, to build a house to scale, using historically accurate and available resources. M:EE also includes real world chemistry and coding projects.
To achieve high rates of adoption, HEA knew M:EE training, designed for member parents, would be vital in lifting the understanding of, and confidence in, using this tool as part of home education curricula.
“For most of us, the idea of Minecraft Education Edition was like learning a new language. Not as intuitive as it is for our kids! The idea of providing online workshops was to take our educator parents from software download through to confident user,” Ruth Easton, Secretary of Home Education Australia, says.