In an effort to get all kids creating, collaborating and learning to code, Connected Camps, a new benefit corporation, is partnering with Institute of Play, a nonprofit organization, in offering a low-cost, four-week online Minecraft camp.
The “Summer of Minecraft” camp will begin July 6.
Campers, ages 9-13, will be taught everything from the basics of building to coding skills in a safe multiplayer environment. Participants can login from home and build and share their in-game creations through weekly challenges. The camp features live broadcasts, online discussion with campers and experts, and collaborative design jam events where participants create community-driven projects.
Summer of Minecraft challenges, livestreams and forums are free for anybody to take part, and parents can run their own local “pop-up camps.” Participants can register to play in the Connected Camps server for a fee, and sign up for advanced coding instruction. In addition, parents can sign up for their own parent camp to learn more about fostering learning through Minecraft.
The camps will be staffed by trained camp counselors who are Minecraft experts, ensuring an online experience that is safe, fun and productive.
“Minecraft has tremendous potential to engage kids in becoming creators and designers if given the right support and guidance from peers, parents, and educators. Connected Camps is designed to provide that support by building a learning community around the game,” said Katie Salen Tekinbaş, a designer who specializes in games-based learning, director of research and design at Institute of Play and a Connected Camps co-founder.
“Minecraft is more than a game, it’s an environment that can teach problem solving, programming and social skills. It’s like LEGO, in a social, virtual world,” added Tara Tiger Brown, a technologist, entrepreneur, co-founder of Connected Camps and co-founder of Los Angeles Makerspace.
“I’ve never seen anything like the Minecraft phenomenon,” said learning scientist and Connected Camps co-founder Mimi Ito, who has been researching games-based learning for more than two decades. “For the first time, we have an opportunity to connect play and learning through a massively successful commercial title that is loved by kids, parents, and educators alike.”
In addition to the virtual camp experience that anybody, anywhere can connect to, Summer of Minecraft will support local camp experiences and a teen camp counselor network in Los Angeles, in partnership with the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, Los Angeles Public Library and Los Angeles Makerspace. Community based programming is supported in part through a gift from Microsoft Research.
To register for the camp or for more information, visit connectedcamps.com.
Connected Camps and Institute of Play are members of the Connected Learning Alliance, which supports the expansion and influence of a network of educators, experts and youth-serving organizations mobilizing new technology in the service of equity, access and opportunity for all young people.
About Connected Camps
Launched this month, Connected Camps is a benefit corporation providing connected learning experiences that foster creativity, problem solving, collaboration and interest-driven learning. By leveraging the power of open networks and partnering with community-based organizations, Connected Camps is committed to delivering the highest quality online learning experiences to young people in all walks of life.
About Institute of Play
Institute of Play is a not-for-profit design studio that pioneers new models of learning and engagement. At the core of the experiences the Institute creates are games, play and the principles that underlie them. Using these principles, the Institute has created successful institutions, games, programs, events, digital platforms and products. Its first project was the design and launch of the innovative New York City public school, Quest to Learn.
Mimi Ko Cruz