Namya Joshi, an active 13-year old student started using a laptop for a school project with the concern of her mother. She soon came across Minecraft – a sandbox video game, that gave her thoughts to explore deep into the field.
She soon found that she could craft her school lessons on it in a fun and interesting way. She felt that we live in a generation of students getting easily distracted in class, that too during certain subjects. “While I was in the sixth grade, I noticed some of the students in my class were disinterested and easily distracted. I thought of doing something on Minecraft that students would enjoy without waiting for the bell to ring,” she recalls.
Namya’s journey with Minecraft
Namya went onto craft “Egyptian civilisation” on Minecraft and showed it to her teacher who used it in her lesson. She found the concepts were understood easily when presented in the form of a visually appealing game. The 13-year-old exhibits knowledge much beyond her years as she explains, “The human mind is designed in such a way that it is attracted to games. So, gamification can be used in education with the help of Minecraft, which makes it easy to discern, grasp, and understand concepts easily.”
She adds, “For example, you are learning Area and Volume in Mathematics. There is a template on Minecraft that can be used to explain the concept better. This way, it gets imprinted on the mind of the student than just through the manual way of writing on the board.”
In a short span of time, Namya received an overwhelming response and soon she was assigned to teach 104 students and staff in her school on how to make lessons interesting to understand. “I understood what teachers go through and how patiently they explain a concept a hundred times without complaining. It was a learning experience as well, which helped me to be kind and empathetic,” Namya says.
Namya’s appreciation grew beyond her circle
Namya began receiving opportunities to educate teachers all over the world over Microsoft Teams. She said that she feels good to share her knowledge and thoughts, that makes her to learn as well.
Her biggest recognition came early this year when she was invited to be part of the Young Innovators’ Summit in New Delhi. She was the youngest participant at the summit and also saw her dream come true when she met Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella. “It was a thrilling experience to share the stage with an inspiring personality like him. He asked me all about how I was using Minecraft for education. I also told him about my goal of “Each one, Teach Ten” – if a person can teach 10 people and they in turn teach others, it will become a chain of teachers and learners. He commended by work and asked me to continue with it,” she says.
During the lock-down period, Namya has trained over 500 teachers and 300+ students. Not only Minecraft, she also masters other programs like Scratch, Cahoot, and Flip-grid, besides being proficient in Photoshop, MS Paint, and coding languages like Python.