Working together to build Minecraft skills

(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

ImpactED, Digital Circus and the Christchurch Council City (CCC) Libraries Programme Design and Delivery team are embarking on a collaboration to support schools around New Zealand with Minecraft: Education Edition training. 

Under the Microsoft Global Training Partner Programme, Digital Circus and impactED have been allocated funding to support kaiakos’ understanding of what an amazing tool for learning Minecraft EE is.  Initially the two providers were set to tackle this individually but decided that this was an excellent opportunity to showcase positive collaboration.

With each team having different skill sets, they each brought something unique to the project.

“Collaboration is in our DNA, whether it is with our local libraries here in Hawke’s Bay, our teachers, schools or with other PLD providers and commercial partners,” said Ian Kenny, a Director at Digital Circus. “It’s exciting to collaborate with other experts in our field and take any opportunities that will support our communities.

“With the skill sets all 3 teams bring to the party it made sense to collaborate. The team is excited to work together, each with their specific skills, knowledge, and great banter.”

Arnika Macphail, Managing Director of impacted, added: “This has been an amazing project to be part of. From the word go it has been flexible and fluid. What we have now developed is so much better than what we had planned, and we are proud that everyone who has worked on it has had their voices heard and really felt like they are part of the team”

Online training

Digital Circus and impactED are delivering online training sessions during the month of #MinecraftMay, and have developed education-focused supporting documentation for each module. In addition, the CCC Libraries Programme Design and Delivery team has developed online videos as modules. This means that kaiako can train in the live online sessions and/or watch the videos in their own time.

The online sessions and video tutorials cover a range of topics. There’s also a guest appearance from Education Technology expert Gerard MacManus in a Zoom-styled interview with Arnika Macphail to showcase cross-curricular opportunities, using New Zealand-developed resources and Minecraft EE.

And what would a resource like this be without student and teacher voice? The team reached out to educators who have made videos to showcase what they are doing with Minecraft EE. Plus, the awesome 8-year-old Archer Smith has a spotlight session to share his favourite things about the program.

Online sessions include:

  • Basic Skills and Navigation in Minecraft;
  • Setting up Minecraft for a Class;
  • A Guide Through Ngā Motu;
  • Code Builder
  • Extras for Experts Minecraft Circuits
  • Extras for Experts Block Bench

Video sets

Videos are available for kaiako to access to continue learning. For example, in the ‘Setting up Minecraft EE for a class’ online tutorials, supporting videos include:

  • Finding a lesson
  • ·       Settings Classroom Mode
  • ·       Commands
  • ·       Special Blocks
  • ·       Recording Learning
  • ·       Exporting

All the online sessions are a one-hour Teams meeting online, free, and available multiple times over multiple days. You will also get a surprise sneak preview of the New Zealand native world in the Block Bench videos created by the CCC Libraries team.

Pat Street, CCC Libraries Manager for Programmes and Learning, added: “We’re delighted to be involved in this dynamic collaboration showcasing effective ‘partnership and learning in action’ for the benefit of all learners and their communities.”   

Article compiled collaboratively by Digital Circus, impactED and Christchurch City Council Libraries.

To find out more and register visit

Alternatively, contact Arnika Macphail at or Ian Kenny at

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