Introduction: Starting a MinecraftEdu Server
By the end of this tutorial you will be able to follow the required sequence for launching and running an server for MinecraftEdu. This is a relatively simple process to complete and is required each time your students wish to use MinecraftEdu to demonstrate their understanding of a topic.
The images included in this tutorial feature several helpful icons. Each has its own meaning and will support you while you work through this process for the first time. The icons are as follows (examples provided in image above):
Red Circle - Highlights a button or graphic that has been selected.
Red Arrow - Indicates where to 'click' in order to proceed.
Yellow Arrow - Indicates where to enter text in order to proceed.
Blue Box/Arrow - Highlights an important area or information.
Step 1: Prepare Your Hardware
While you might think that all you need to do is turn on your laptop, it's important to consider using both a mouse and a hardwired network connection when running a MinecraftEdu server.
The mouse will support navigation within MinecraftEdu itself. It is very difficult to move around in the game using a trackpad.
The wired network connection will serve to reduce the load on the wireless network and will make your server run more smoothly which, in turn, provides a better experience for your students.
Step 2: Find and Run Launcher.jar
The exact steps that you will need to complete to find Launcher.jar all depend on where the software has been installed on your computer.
The typical path for finding this file is Finder ---> Applications ---> MinecraftEdu ---> Launcher.jar
Once you have located Launcher.jar, double click on it to run the program. It may take several seconds for the software to run and the MinecraftEdu Launcher to appear . Be patient!
Step 3: Start MinecraftEdu Servertool
You are now looking at the MinecraftEdu Launcher.
Select the large button labeled 'Start MinecraftEdu Servertool.' The MinecraftEdu Laucher will close and a new program window will appear.
Step 4: Create New World
This window is the launch screen of the Servertool. Select 'Create New World' in order to be presented with the options for the new world.
Make sure that 'Generate a Random World' is selected and then click on 'Start Server with New World.'
Note: You may wish to try using a Seed World or creating a Completely Flat World at another time. Also, the World Settings at the bottom of the screen are options that you may wish to consider selecting. This choice will depend on the requirements of your students. I've found, to this point, that structures and/or animals can lead to more distraction than support.
Step 5: Prepare World Settings
Select 'World Settings' from the menu on the right side of the Servertool screen. This set of options allows you to control many different aspects of the game world you have created. From allowing Day/Night cycles to controlling whether or not animals will appear, you have a high level of control over your world.
Tip: If you are unsure what a setting does, hover the cursor over the setting to see a brief summary of the impact a setting has on the world.
Step 6: Prepare Player Settings
Select 'Player Settings' from the menu on the right side of the Servertool screen. This set of options allows you to control the abilities and actions of the students in your game world. It is essential that you become familiar with these tools as you will need them often!
Tip: All of these options are accessible and easier to implement if you join the game world as a Teacher. See Step 10 to learn how to join your new world.
Step 7: Optional: Give Items and Set an Assignment
These two selections are not required for your students to be successful and, like the Player Settings, are more powerful when used from within the game itself (See Step 10 to learn to join the game world).
Give: This allows you to give individuals or groups specific building blocks and tools. This is vital when you want to control what materials the students have access too.
Assignment: Creates an in-game text reminder about the goals and purpose of being within the game world. For example, you can post a reminder of their task for the session and include relevant requirements or criteria.
Step 8: Set or Change Server Teacher Password
Sometimes you may need to set or reset the password that you will use to join the game world as a Teacher (See Step 10 for joining the game world).
Select 'Settings' from the right hand menu and then select 'Change server teacher password.' Type in your desired password and then select 'OK' in order to complete this step.
Step 9: Share Server Address
Your world is now set up and you are ready to share the server address with your students. This address is required for them to be able to join your world.
Tip: Write this address on two or three different places around the room to make sure all students can see it. One small mistake and they won't be able to join.
Step 10: Join Your Students
Select 'Start MinecraftEdu' and then select 'Launch' in order to run the actual game and join your students in your newly created world.
Note: I highly recommend joining the server world in order to monitor the progress of your students. Your presence in the game will reduce distraction and will give your direct access to the game world in order to solve problems that might arise.
Step 11: Choose Your Username
You are now at the first screen of MinecraftEdu. Enter your desired username in the text box, select 'Male' or 'Female,' and select 'Continue' in order to proceed.
Step 12: Connect to Server
On the following screen, select 'Multiplayer' from the list of choices. You will be taken to the 'Play Multiplayer' screen. Select 'Direct Connect.'
On the 'Direct Connect' screen, enter the Server Address in the text box and then select 'Join Server' in order to join the server.
Step 13: Enter As Teacher
In order to play with Teacher Controls, you now need to identify yourself as a teacher by selecting 'I am a Teacher' and entering the teacher password into the text box. Select 'Login as Teacher' in order to join the created world with full teacher controls.
Step 14: Adjust Settings Within Game
In addition to the same World and Player settings available within the Servertool, you also have access to Personal Settings.
Press 'P' on your keyboard to pull up the MinecraftEdu Teacher Menu. Use the icons on the top of the menu to navigate the different windows. Alter any settings as required by needs of the game world and your students. For example, students often want weather effects turned on but quickly change their minds if lighting causes fires in their structures.
For a detailed breakdown of the individual settings, please refer to the following YouTube video:
Using MinecraftEdu - Part 1 - Introduction by Joel Levin (aka MinecraftTeachr)
While this video is a bit dated (he is using an old version of MinecraftEdu), it is filled with useful information about being a teacher in a game world.
Step 15: Other Teacher Tools
Within the Teacher Menu, brought up by pressing 'P' on your keyboard, you have access to a broad range of powerful teacher-only features and tools that allow you to support your students in different ways. For the sake of keeping this tutorial short, these options/tools will not be discussed in detail and you are encouraged to explore the impact of each on your own.
Step 16: Save Map (Saving the Game World)
While you and your students are within the game world, it is vital to make sure you are returning to the Servertool regularly in order to save the map. It is very upsetting for everyone if a game crashes and students lose a lot of their progress.
In order to save the game world, begin by returning to the Servertool. From there, locate the area used to save the map and enter a map name in the text box. Select 'Save Map' and you will shortly receive a confirmation that the save was successful. Select 'OK' and return to the game world.
Step 17: Stop Server
Sadly, there will come a time when you need to leave MinecraftEdu and stop the server. To do so, return to the Servertool, save the map and then select 'Stop Server.' On the pop-up screen that appears, select 'Quit' and the Servertool will shut itself down.