Excavating with the Exceptional: Minecraft in Gifted Education

Presented by: Muireann O'Sullivan & Stephen Howell

This session will explore the capacity for Minecraft Education Edition as a tool in the mixed-ability classroom, focusing specifically on the facilitation of achievement of potential among gifted students. This session will also examine Minecraft’s potential to act as an aid for learning in a sensory way; kinaesthetically, visually and logically, particularly for those gifted students who require more stimulating challenges and opportunities to have a greater influence over the form taken by their learning environment. Finally, this session will examine some possibilities for practical teaching methodologies and assessment, illustrating its application for students whose educational experiences differ from the mainstream.

Presenter Biography:

Muireann O’Sullivan is a primary, second, and third level educator with a B.Ed from The Institute of Education, St. Patrick’s Campus DCU, and an M.Phil from Trinity College Dublin; she is currently undertaking a PhD in Inclusive Design and Creative Technology Innovation at SMARTLab, UCD. She has been working with gifted students for the last decade, designing and implementing courses for students from primary to third level.

Stephen Howell (sthowell@microsoft.com, @saorog) is the Academic Program Manager for Microsoft Ireland. Long ago he was a teacher and then a lecturer before joining Microsoft. In his spare time he is a PhD Candidate at SMARTLab, UCD.