Writing in Minecraft Education Edition (M:EE) can be done on several different surfaces, most of which can be edited. These chalkboard-like surfaces are much more user-friendly than “engraved” signs in other versions of Minecraft. Welcome to Day 82 of 365 Ideas for Office 365– Minecraft signage.
Signage in typical Minecraft
In most versions of Minecraft, signage consists of precisely that- you can only write on signs. These come in a variety of attractive wood options.
They are typically mounted on a post in the ground, but can also be placed on a wall in a nice frame. If you place them in the ground, they will be angled to face you from whatever direction you are facing the block you place it on. They can be 4 lines long with 14 characters per line.
The biggest drawback of a sign is that it is not editable. Once you place it, you can only read it, or destroy it and replace it with another sign.
Signage in Minecraft:EE
In M:EE, you can use signs, but you can also use slates, posters and boards. These all work the same way, but are different sizes. Like signs, Minecraft:EE signage can face 16 different directions, based on the direction you are facing when you place them. However, it may be my imagination, but I seem to have an easier time getting the editable signage to square up perpendicular to the block they are placed on than the wooden signs.
They all look the same, basically like a chalkboard, but probably their biggest advantage is that they can each be edited after you place them. That means you can place them for students to find and write on. Another huge advantage is that anything written on Minecraft:EE signage can be opened in Immersive Reader, with the full features of all the reading accessibility tools right inside of Minecraft. (I have found that Immersive Reader takes longer to open in Minecraft than it does in any other program.)
All of these options also hold more text than a traditional Minecraft sign. As you can see, the slate maxes out at 6 lines of 13 characters each.
The poster also has 6 lines, but more than twice as long- 29 characters each.
The BOARD is enormous- 15 lines of up to 45 characters, plenty long enough for you to post a question and for students to respond. Of course you can also pair a slate and board- write your question on the slate and allow students to answer at length on the board.
You can also place any of these into a chest, so even if students are playing in survival mode, you can provide students with these writing surfaces to place where they want.
Next time we will look at ways students can share with teachers what they write on these surfaces without teachers needing to go into the Minecraft world and look for them.