Learning to use the camera, portfolio and book

In this lesson students will learn to use 3 important tools in Minecraft Education Edition that will help them capture, record and publish details of their virtual journeys.

To complete this lesson students will need to:

  1. Login
  2. Create their own world using any of the templates available
  3. Set the game mode to creative and peaceful
  4. Add a camera, portfolio and book & quill to their hot bar
  5. Follow the steps in the rest of this lesson

Taking Photos

There are 2 types of photos that you can take with the camera. The first is from your point-of-view – this means you capture what you can see from your perspective. In the image below I’m taking a photo of Mr. Pixel at the photography school in Brewerton:

To take a photo from your point-of-view follow these steps:

  1. Hold the camera (select it in your hot bar)
  2. Face the area you want to photograph
  3. Right-click and hold – you will see the black frame appear like in the picture above. Frame your photo – this means move your mouse so that your photo contains all the things you want to capture.
  4. Release the button to take the photo – this automatically adds the picture to your portfolio.

The second type of photo you can take is commonly known as a ‘selfie’ as it includes yourself in the picture. To do this you’ll need slightly different steps:

  1. Hold the camera and place it where you want to take the photo from (see picture above)
  2. Get into position (don’t worry the camera will automatically turn to face you)
  3. Right-click the camera. You’ll see it start to flash. In about 5 seconds you’ll see a puff of smoke to indicate the photo has been taken and it is automatically added to your portfolio. This is what cameras in the old days used to be like.

Viewing your photos

To open your portfolio and browse all your photos, you hold it then right-click. Just be careful not to point at something that you can interact with like Mr. Pixel. This is what my portfolio looks like (above). Adding captions is important as sometimes you forget where you took the photo or at least I do – maybe I’m more forgetful than you, but it’s a good idea. Click the arrows on the left or right to turn the page. Press the arrow in the top-right corner to close or press [Esc]. The rubbish bin at the bottom of each page deletes the photo, be careful – there is no undo button.

Creating a book

To open a book you hold it and right-click. In the image above I’ve already added a picture and a caption. The captions in your portfolio aren’t added in your book automatically. To create your first page you click the pencil icon at the bottom of the page which reveals 4 or 5 buttons (see below).

The buttons allow you to add more pages, add a photo, delete a page or move a page (left, right or either). Each page can either contain a photo with a caption or text only. You should experiment with each button to make sure you know how they work.

When you have finished your book you click the ‘Sign’ button, add a title and then click ‘Sign and Close’. This converts the book and quill into a book which cannot be changed, but can be stored, given to others or exported (downloaded) to your computer or tablet.

Exporting your book

A book that nobody else sees is ok and you should keep a journal to record important details of your life (online and offline). However, a book that you can give to another person or many other people has the potential to influence others.

This is what the finished book looks like in your hot bar. When you right-click the book it opens up like any other book in Minecraft except that you can also export the book (see below). When you export the book it downloads as a PDF which can be emailed, printed or viewed on any kind of computer, tablet or phone.

For those students working in Brewerton these tools are your way of capturing your ‘life’ in this virtual world. The welcome droid will give you cameras (32), a portfolio and a book (and quill). You should take photos of your townhouse as it’s being built, your mines and farms. Use the book like a journal to record your progress, any problems you’ve run into and how you will solve them.

You can export both the portfolio (which contains your photos) and the book (PDF of whatever photos and text you add). These will become evidence of your progress and learning journey. You should practice doing this as this will be something you will need to do to provide evidence of what you’ve done and learnt.

Your turn!

Using the examples above it’s now your turn to create a book, export a PDF and then email it to me. You should practice using the 3 tools in a world you create. If you wanted to you could use one of the cool templates like Inspiration Island, Fantastic Mr. Fox or any of the others in the Minecraft library. The book you create should have at least 3 pictures and 1 page of writing. A few sentences will be enough, but write more if you want to.



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