New KET PBS LearningMedia Classroom Video Production Course

Thursday, February 4th, 2016 by Jeff Gray, KET

KETPBSLM_classroomvideo1There’s a new KET-built online class for teachers at Kentucky PBS LearningMedia:
LEAD 1171 Classroom Video Production

Course Description:

This introductory course provides teachers with the tools to facilitate student video production across the curriculum and at all levels. Participants will learn about video production techniques, basic equipment needs, production roles, and careers. Throughout the course, fellow teachers and the KET production team will guide and inspire participants to initiate student video projects.

Note: This is a self-paced course accessible for one year after enrollment, and not eligible for graduate credit.

Subject Area: Leadership

Grade Level: Kindergarten-12th

Hours: 3.0

Cost: Free

Powell County Middle Tries Minecraft Educational Gaming at KET

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016 by Jeff Gray, KET

Virginia Carpenter, Aleta McFarland, and their Powell County Middle School 7th-grade students explored MinecraftEdu educational gaming at KET’s Media Lab recently. All of the students attending play the Minecraft game — some on pcs, some on smartphones, some on game consoles, and some on all platforms available.

Minecraft is a popular game for building virtual objects and environments out of blocks of materials gathered and mined within the game itself. It has been used successfully by many enthusiastic teachers worldwide to support the teaching of a variety of subjects, especially STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math).

MinecraftEdu adds teacher control, class facilitation, and project building features to the already popular original version of the game played by millions: teachers can easily create or adapt other teachers’ project world environments for students that restrict them to certain areas with particular resources for accomplishing individual and group tasks; they can move students from place to place in the world, and students can be given building and movement privileges and can be “frozen” if necessary; teacher-built game environments can include in-game instruction signs and links to web content that pops-up in a separate browser window; and much, much more. Part of the newest version of the game is ComputerCraftEdu, a modification that adds tools for creating computer coding projects for students to build and run from within the MinecraftEdu program.

Big news is that MinecraftEdu has been purchased by Microsoft, who will be publishing its own classroom-aimed version of the game during the summer of 2016: Minecraft Education Edition (more on that below).


KET’s introductory workshop in using the MinecraftEdu program gave the visiting students and their teachers an opportunity to try the program out in a classroom/lab setting before purchasing the program as a school resource. Powell County’s middle school students quickly ran through the built-in tutorial world map, designed to acquaint players with the basic game skills of navigation and of mining materials for crafting items required in classroom construction activities.

After the tutorial world map was played, KET’s Jeff Gray selected a teacher-built world map, The Wonderful World of Humanities, designed to supplement the teaching of humanities studies. That was even more fun for the students, who for the workshop explored the vast area that recreates major buildings and features of earlier civilizations including Rome, Greece, Mesopotamia, and more. Students in the teacher-built world can interact with famous characters in each area, and completing in-game quizzes rewards students with special accomplishments such as being able to take off from a tower on a flying dragon to ride around the game world.

Other maps built by teachers to supplement the teaching of a variety of subjects are available for free download from within the game from the MinecraftEdu World Library.


Again, the big development is that MinecraftEdu has been purchased by Microsoft, the owner of the original Minecraft game. Microsoft will offer a new version of the game called Minecraft Education Edition, available by subscription for Kentucky public, private, and homeschools the summer of 2016. Microsoft’s new Minecraft Education Edition version of the game will incorporate many of the teacher facilitator features of the current MinecraftEdu game version and add more of Microsoft’s own design such as individual student portfolios.

Those who have already purchased MinecraftEdu will be able to use the new Minecraft Education Edition software for a year. Microsoft’s current plan is to charge schools subscription rates at $5.00 per student or educator per year.

See more information about the new game for schools in this previous
Minecraft Education Edition blog post.

If you’d like to bring public, private, or homeschool students to KET for a free
KET Media Lab multimedia production workshop and a tour of KET, please contact
Jeff Gray, KET Education Division.


Minecraft Education Edition: A Special New Version for Schools

Thursday, January 21st, 2016 by Jeff Gray, KET

minecrafteducationedition_graphic1_500wMicrosoft, owner of the wildly popular open world Minecraft game — available on pcs, game consoles, smartphones, portable devices, and played by millions worldwide — has acquired the education version of the program, MinecraftEdu. Microsoft will soon incorporate the teacher-designed features of MinecraftEdu and add some new ones of its own to offer a new version of the program for schools:
Minecraft Education Edition.

Due this summer, Minecraft Education Edition promises to really make Minecraft sing as a classroom tool for teachers wishing to exploit the program’s engaging exploration and group building of game structures and environments for classroom activities that support the teaching of subjects across the curriculum. See the Minecraft Education Edition site for more information and some teacher resources to get you started. Microsoft will also be sharing news throughout the week at @playcraftlearn and at the project’s Facebook page.

Our KET Media Lab has been offering free introductory workshops for Kentucky teachers and students in using the MinecraftEdu program.

Seventh-grade students from Walden School, Louisville, collaborating during a KET MediaLab workshop on using MinecraftEdu

We at KET will be making the transition to the new Minecraft Education Edition software as soon as possible. Schools will then be welcome to join us at KET’s Media Lab for an introductory workshop on using the new Minecraft Education Edition software. More to come as things develop.

Comments from teachers who have attended MinecraftEdu workshops at
KET’s Media Lab:

I have started a club for several at risk students. We are using the Minecraft software to teach content to students in an engaging, motivating way.

We plan to purchase the Minecraft EDU to run in our Middle School computer lab!

We will be using this to engage students and see how we can use this program to increase other students involvement in other subjects.

The kids were very engaged and this gave the teachers an opportunity to see the program in action.

I liked that I was able to play the game with guidance and support.

I liked seeing all of the students engaged in the program. Some who have never tried it came out wanting to do the assignment.

I have already sent out information to the STCs in my school district.

The Minecraft class was awesome. The tour showed students what a real studio looks like and how TV stations produce shows. They loved the green screen studio and since we have a green wall in my room, they want to start using that.
Great experience, workshop and studio tour. Thank you!

This was great. I would like to try some of the other workshops. It was more than I could have hoped for.

I liked seeing the interaction and enthusiasm of the students as they were learning. I’m planning on implementing this is the classroom.

If you’d like to bring public, private, or homeschool students to KET for a free KET Media Lab multimedia production workshop and a tour of KET, please contact
Jeff Gray, KET Education Division.


600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951