Microsoft announces 2021 Minecraft challenge

Microsoft Pty Ltd

Friday, 23 July, 2021

Microsoft announces 2021 Minecraft challenge

The 2021 Minecraft Education Challenge, Heal Country: Side by Side has been announced by Microsoft.

The challenge encourages students to explore local Indigenous knowledge, language and culture, and is linked to this year’s NAIDOC theme.

By using Minecraft: Education Edition to build a present-day representation of their local Country and their vision of the future, students can share their ideas about healing and caring for the land using traditional knowledge and build important digital skills.

The initiative is supported by Microsoft, Telstra Foundation, National Library of Australia, and the National NAIDOC Committee.

Indigital, which played a big part in designing the 2021 Challenge, is Australia’s first Indigenous edutech company leveraging digital technology to accelerate learning, promote understanding and build skills that create a pathway for Indigenous people into the digital economy.

“2021 NAIDOC theme resonates so strongly with me — it’s critical for current and future generations that we protect Country, our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction,” said Indigital founder and CEO Mikaela Jade.

“For me, this challenge is incredibly significant as it inspires young Indigenous students to connect to Country, their community, and their culture,” said Jane Mackarell, senior executive at Microsoft Australia.

“By engaging with Minecraft: Education Edition and game-based learning through a cultural lens, students are taught critical thinking skills, introduced to new digital skills, and empowered to improve their literacy, particularly in areas where English may not be their first language. The challenge also provides an opportunity for students to engage with inspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander role models like Mikaela and the Indigital team who are showing what is possible and helping students imagine their future.

“I learned so much from the entries last year and cannot wait to see how schools respond to this year’s challenge and the hugely important theme of NAIDOC week that recognises Country is inherent to our identity and sustains our lives in every aspect — spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally.”

Schools can now apply to be part of the 2021 Challenge – Heal Country: Side by Side. To register your school for the challenge, visit: https://indigitalschools.com/minecraft-challenge/. Registration is open until 30 July.

Image courtesy of Microsoft.

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