Blogger Ernie Cox

Minecraft Programming for Tweens

Has your library ventured into the realm of Minecraft?  Are you looking for new ideas to serve your tween patrons?  I encourage you to consider investing in a Minecraftedu account.  This digital environment offers your tweens and the librarians serving them a wealth of programming options.

Why spend money for an edu account? As a school librarian the edu account gives me control over the Minecraft experiences I offer my students (including the “freeze students” feature). It allows me to custom build what will happen in this space.  If you’re ready to step into the role of digital media mentor this is a prime opportunity to do so.  Tweens will come to Minecraft programming (you will have a waiting list!).  Many of them will bring a wealth of previous experiences. Others will come with little to no knowledge of how to get around. As a librarian using a Minecraftedu account you can offer this wide range of kids a similar enriching experience.

Minecraftedu teacher & librarian control panel (

One of the things I enjoy about this space is the collaborative potential.

The first group expedition is through a tutorial world. The entire class enters this space (using their real names) and begins to explore. We challenge them to help each other navigate through the world using only the text chat  (improving keyboarding skills has never been this fun!). Tweens’ willingness to share their expertise with each other is limitless.

tutorial world Our options for programming also seem boundless. The next adventure for 5th graders will be a building project.  They have researched the architecture of ancient civilizations in social studies and will build Minecraft models of these structures. This is more than a fancy diorama. Tweens will assume the identity of an ancient citizen and provide tours to classmates. Could your public library offer this opportunity in collaboration with local schools?

When we greet new classes in the fall this will become a team building space. Games like capture the flag can make a digital migration. Book clubs could construct a story scape based on a book they have read.  Fan fiction can be acted out in 3D and recorded for sharing.  Tweens are using digital media of all kinds. Their creative potential is at the ready. Librarians can be valuable mentors if we take the leap.

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