Minecraft Update @ Admin Council
Below is a “numbers” update to be shared at the PLP annual meeting. In addition, I want to share four major changes to the Minecraft landscape in the last 3 months that have a huge impact on the future of this project:
- Education Edition gained backwards compatibility with Windows 7 and 8. Previously only Windows 10 machines could support the software, which limited installation options for many public library computer labs.
- Microsoft announced there will be a feature-length Minecraft movie premiering in March 2022. This is a huge opportunity for libraries that wish to leverage the popularity of the game in their programming and outreach.
- A browser-based version of creative mode was released just a few days ago to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the video game’s creation. This means for the purposes of the cybersecurity workshop designed in this grant project, one would not need to even install software to utilize the lesson plan.
- The cloud gaming ecosystem has come back in full force, with an entirely new set of tech companies entering this space, including Stadia (Google), GeForceNow (NVIDIA), and others.
Writing & Research
- Supporting documentation and research output clocking in at 10,000+ words.
- Attended 3 professional conferences and training events (Internet Librarian 2018, Intentional Gaming Summit, Shaping the Future of Libraries with Instructional Design)
- Attended 3 Minecraft fan events (Minefaire 2019, Minecon 2018 Stream hosted by the Microsoft Store, and a MeetUp.com Minecraft Group)
Surveys, Focus Groups, and UX Testing
- 7 PLP libraries participated in Teen Focus Groups and/or responded to questions in a Librarian-led survey to these groups. We heard from ~100 teens in Phase 1 of the project.
- 9 PLP libraries indicated interest in the program in our initial survey.
- 6 PLP libraries have continued to show interest through Phase 3.
- 8 PLP Librarians within 2 systems have been formally introduced to the course material with an on boarding workshop as of Mid-April.
- 100+ Minefaire attendees tried out the workshop.
- 1 Lesson Plan Guide
- 1 Threat Modeling Worksheet
- 1 PowerPoint Slide Deck
- 1 Textbook Chapter
- 11 Posts in Total
- 1 Self-Paced training Guide for Librarians
- 3 Part Technical Guide for Setting up Minecraft in Library Computer Labs
- 1 Follow-up Tech Post about Chromebooks (Q&A with a PLP Library)
- 3 General “Teaching with Videogames” Blog Posts, including a Conference Recap
- 1 Project Introduction
- 2 General Minecraft News Posts and Updates
- In phase 1 it became really clear that youth understand online privacy concerns, but are less familiar with even general security practices. This validated the idea that threat modeling is a great intro to security skills because the end result is an individualized action plan rather than general knowledge about cybersecurity.
- During phase 2, in response to ongoing conversations with librarians and educators using Minecraft, the scope and range of content for a 1-2 hour workshop designed for library audiences was reduced in order to make it more approachable to a wider range of instructors. Placing emphasis on workshop activity and learning outside of the game is a key feature if a person is less familiar with Minecraft gameplay.
You just read a guest post by Chris Markman, Senior Librarian at Palo Alto City Library in conjunction with PLP’s recently awarded Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, “Cybersecurity for Youth Using Minecraft”. This project is supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the California State Library, and no official endorsement by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the California State Library should be inferred.