Setting up a Minecraft Server and Fostering an Online Community
How can I create an engaging online community? How can I increase student use of English outside of the classroom? How can I setup a Minecraft world that students can access from anywhere? At a private Japanese university, the English conversation lounge was moved online due to the pandemic. Many students were hesitant to join online. A possible reason was the lack of activities, leaving the sole focus on speaking. The author considered Minecraft as a solution to encourage students to use English outside of the classroom when everything moved online. However, there were several hurdles that needed to be overcome to accommodate a multi-player online community. Shortly after the server was setup, in-person conversations were once again allowed at the university. The author used the Minecraft Server to support an English community both online and in-person. This presentation introduces the challenges of choosing and setting up a server, advice for those who are interested in starting their own server, and a walk-through of the server that the author chose. The Minecraft server afforded new interactions both in-person and online. The author will detail the advantages and disadvantages of the various multi-player setups and how they change depending on the goal of the educator. Specifically, the author will discuss costs, ease of use, network restrictions, and the cross-compatibility and limitations of using Minecraft Realms, Education Edition, Java, Bedrock, or a hybrid server. The author uses a hybrid Java/Bedrock server.