Summertime Learning: Going to Minecraft Camp

For many kids, summer vacation means camp, and in this digital age it should come as no surprise that this tradition has made its way online. Without the demands of school during the summer, there is plenty of time for some digital play, and if your child is like many others, he or she will want to spend some of that time playing Minecraft. While there is no doubt that the most important thing your child will do this summer is play outside, preferably with other kids, if they are digitally inclined, a great way to engage them is Summer of Minecraft camp. Sponsored by Connected Camps in collaboration with Institute of Play, this online camp can be attended from any place in the world, and its focus goes beyond game play to thinking about the game and learning from it. This Summer of Minecraft program is essentially a four-week membership to a moderated, multiplayer server where kids can connect with both novice and expert players and learn from camp counselors. Summer of Minecraft features many ongoing activities and in-game events led by camp counselors.

Summer of Minecraft helps kids develop 21st century skills like problem solving, collaboration, and digital citizenship. Counselors also guide and teach participants Minecraft-specific skills, such as advanced building techniques, design, and overcoming in-game obstacles. The program offers a variety of structured activities or “challenges” that help participants develop innovative approaches for recreating landmarks, building transportation systems, or constructing Rube Goldberg-style machines.

The summer is also a great time to encourage a child who loves Minecraft to go beyond the game. Parents are encouraged to convince their Minecraft-loving kids to learn coding skills, create Minecraft videos, set up a Minecraft server and learn how to produce Minecraft mods. The Summer of Minecraft program helps kids develop many of these skills. Connected Camps provides a separate Online Coding Camp that teaches kids how to code in-game using the programming language Lua. Participants will also be encouraged to make their own Minecraft “Let’s Plays.”

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Summer of Minecraft Online Kid Camp runs from July 6th, 2015 – August 2nd, 2015. The weekly Online Coding Camp runs from Monday – Sunday, starting July 6th at a rate of $150.

Of course summer is time for all of that traditional outdoor play, and it’s important to make sure your child benefits from it. But remember that their video games can benefit them, too, particularly when they are just part of their summer “Play Diet,” and when they become aware of the skills they are using to navigate the games and how to apply those skills to the real world.

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