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ACT Education welcomes 2017 staff

The 2017 school term will see 270 new teachers and staff commence work within the ACT public school system.

ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry officially welcomed the latest cohort at Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning.

She said ACT students were in safe hands.

“We want to make sure ACT families and children have the best possible and the highest quality educators that we can find,” Ms Berry said.

“This event today is about giving them a warm welcome into our community. Whether they have moved here from interstate, another school or another job, and provide them with all the support that we can in this new role.”

Fairfax Media reported the 270 new staff entering the ACT Education directorate in teaching, support roles and positions was lower than the intake of 350 the previous year.

Minecraft character

Games for teaching: Minecraft Education Edition arrives

The latest development in the ongoing trend to combine the fun of video games with teaching has arrived, with Microsoft announcing the launch of Minecraft: Education Edition.

A popular game among children and young people, Minecraft is a popular game that takes a ‘sandbox’ approach – allowing the user a large amount of agency in manipulating the environment around them.

The game has already proven useful in teaching students complex concepts, such as how to code, but the new education-specific edition comes with a number of features to allow teachers enahcned ability to focus on outcomes with their students.

Not only are there a range of lesson plans that arrive with Minecraft: Education Edition, but it also comes with an application dubbed ‘Classroom Mode’, which provides educators with a birds-eye view of the world in which their students are operating. These features are designed to help teachers monitor and mentor their students.

Students are able to document and save images of their work as they progress in their lessons, with functionality available to allow pair and group work as required.

Distributed under license, Minecraft: Education Edition will cost between US$1 and US$5 per user per year, depending on the licensing agreement available to the given school.

Microsoft has created a product-specific website for the new version of the game.

As an educator, what is your opinion on introducing video games as a vehicle for lessons at K-12 schools? Email our editor to share your thoughts.