Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. The people over at Connected Camps reach out to our staff and requested that we publish a post about their program in exchange for compensation. I am required to disclose that, but rather than sneak the disclosure in at the end in a tiny font I wanted to declare it right up front along with the promise that I believe in this program and would not have published anything if I didn’t.
Minecraft is a game that has taken the world by storm in recent years. There is hardly a grade school aged kid who hasn’t at least heard of it. The best part of the Minecraft craze is that it is more than just a simple video game. It is a game with a huge amount of potential for learning and expression of creativity. Sadly, a lot of parents can’t tap this potential because they aren’t savvy enough to use the game correctly.
That, my friends, is where Connected Camps comes in. They are an organization that, in concert with The Institute of Play, has launched a virtual summer camp to help teach kids (and their parents) how to play Minecraft and to make the most out of the experience.
What exactly is a virtual summer camp you may ask? Good question. Connected Camps runs a program that is available for students to connect with around the clock to complete challenges and meet objectives on private servers run by the camp itself. In essence, they don’t “go” anywhere in the real world. They, instead, sign into a Minecraft server and participate in directed play.
The program itself runs for four weeks and is module based. It includes lessons on things like:
Problem solving and design
Minecraft is a game built around a logical framework. Everything is built one block at a time. This forced players to use critical thinking skills and develop their problem solving ability in order to complete game objectives.
The camp adds an additional layer with their own challenges in order to enhance the experience!
Advanced building techniques
Minecraft is tough, but a lot of kids figure out very quickly how to built a hut and mine for diamonds. The camp will help teach them some of the advanced tools that they will be able to use in the game (many of which are logic puzzles in themselves).
Some of the tools available in the game have been used by some enterprising players to make a working calculator so the tools are definitely impressive.
Online and web literacy
Completing these challenges follow some of the same methods used to complete online courses at colleges across the country. This camp will force kids (and in some cases parents) to learn how to communicate online and inhabit an online space.
Collaboration and community organizing
Many of the challenges built into the curriculum require teamwork. Completion of the different exercises will teach kids how to work within a group and how to help organize people at different skill levels and at different locations.
This is a skill that will become more and more useful as our workplaces embrace telecommuting.
A huge portion of our lives is experienced digitally right now and this is only growing. As a result, it is important for us to teach our children how to participate in the online world in a positive way.
Having young children participate in an online game under the watchful eye of camp counselors and other controls will help set a good example for players. This will, hopefully, carry over into other aspects.
All of these things are great. The learning possibilities are limitless, but don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at the video below and see testimonials from campers and parents! Then make sure you sign up at www.connectedcamps.com.
When you do sign up make sure you use the coupon code EFG30 for 30% off your the price of enrollment! That’s a HUGE deal!