Microsoft has teamed up with RTEJr to launch a new digital skills competition for primary schools.
The competition challenges students across the island of Ireland to use Minecraft: Education Edition to help shape Ireland's sustainable future. The software offers a game-based learning platform to deliver lessons that promote creativity, collaboration and problem-solving.
As part of the scheme, schools in the Republic will be sent a unique code to allow them to register for a Minecraft Education Edition account; schools in Northern Ireland wishing to take part can use their existing accounts.
“At Microsoft, we believe in the power of technology to inspire young people, ignite their imaginations and help them to see the world in a variety of new ways. Our Dream Space experience is one of the ways in which we make this possible,” said James O’Connor, vice-president of Microsoft International Operations.
“This inclusive competition will help ensure that young people across the country can experience how technology can shape their world and how the skills they develop can reshape Ireland’s future. I know the Dream Space team have an exciting series coming up which will introduce students to the amazing world of Minecraft: Education Edition and guide teachers on how to introduce this educational tool into the classroom.”
A series of six weekly lessons will be made available online at rte.ie/learn, with fun challenges linked to the curriculum that teach students how to use Minecraft: Education Edition. The lessons will cover subjects from English and maths to science, geography and more. Teachers will also be supported with accompanying learning resources.
The final episode on November 11th will also reveal the details of the competition.
The schools will go head to head in the competition, with the final set for April next year.
"This competition will really challenge our school kids and give them a platform to amaze us," said Suzanne Kelly, group head of children's and young peoples' content. "It's very exciting and it's never been done before here in Ireland."