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Esports Spotlight: The Hidden Treasure in Pirate Cove

In June, Immersive Minds released a suite of Minecraft: Education Edition Esports resources in partnership with Microsoft, including Minecraft worlds, lessons and supporting documents for educators. The first of their kind, these Make & Model worlds take the familiar format of Minecraft build battles and shapes them into competitive, collaborative and organized games, where teams battle against each other to create their build against the clock.

The learning opportunities here are incredible, as the success of the team depends not only on the ability of individuals to think creatively, and apply their skills in planning, building and crafting, but also upon their capability to make decisions as part of a team, to respond and adapt to changes dynamically, and to communicate these fast-faced decisions to their team mates. These kind of learning activities present opportunities for students to develop skills across STEM, Social and Emotional Learning and 21st Century Learning.

In Pirate Cove, one of seven different settings for the Make and Model build battles, all of this learning takes place in a beautifully realized tropical island - an inspirational backdrop for the Make and Model challenge. Of course, not all of the student creations are pirate-themed, but to date, many of them have been including pirates, treasure, parrots, sea monsters, ships, sharks, flags and more.

Images from Make & Model esports challenges in Curro Schools, South Africa, including pirates, parrots and ships.

We asked our colleague and educator Stephane Cloatre to comment on some of the learning potential in the Pirate Cove Make and Model Esports World:

"For me these resources give students the opportunity to learn about creative and collaborative processes. Because they are working in teams, it’s not enough for one person to have a good idea. They have to learn how to communicate that idea to their peers, listen carefully to others and find ways to agree on which idea they will create. This is where they learn the art of negotiation."

"I am most excited about inviting some of my students to observe this collaboration in action. To have them take notes on how teams communicated with each other, how they made decisions quickly, how they resolved a discussion when they didn’t agree – ultimately we’re asking ‘what are the behaviours, attitudes and actions of successful teams’? Reflecting on these questions, and observing how teams evolve and improve their collaborative and creative processes will create transformative opportunities for students to learn and grow."

There are so many different ways to use these worlds for learning. We’ll continue our Spotlight series on the Make & Model worlds over the next few weeks, exploring their potential for contributing to learning across STEM, SEL and 21st Century Learning. In the meantime, check out our short instructional video below for how to get started with Pirate Cove or watch it here.

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