The Information Block is used to convey long messages, and contextually sensitive hyperlinks that the normal in-game sign cannot hold. The Information Sign, is an ordinary block with no special features, but it is often paired up with the Information Block to draw attention to it so that Students do not miss it.
Editing Text Content
Whenever you place an Information Block (or when you right-click on it after it’s placed), the Text Editing Menu appears. You can click anywhere in the text field and begin typing in that row; the number in the upper-right tells you how many characters you have left in that row. If you need an additional page, simply click the arrow on the right to scroll over. If you want to interact with the Information Block in some other way than reading or editing it, for instance placing a block on top, or using a tool to pick up the block, you must hold shift and right click at the same time.
The buttons along the bottom are from left to right:
- Close the Text Editing Menu
- Copy what is in the text field into your clipboard
- Paste what is in your clipboard into the text field
- Access additional settings for the Information Block.
From additional settings, you can adjust whether or not Students can edit or copy/paste the text in the Information Block (but nothing else) and, what happens if a player steps on the top of the Information Block. Information Blocks are capable of teleporting people short distances if stepped over. In the example below, a player stepping on it will be teleported five blocks east of the Information Block.
The Information Block’s ability to teleport players can be used to convey messages while forcing them down a certain path. In the example below, once a player enters the tunnel and steps on any of the Information Blocks, they will receive a message and then be teleported onto the other side, making it impossible for them to turn around at that point and forcing them to continue down the tunnel.
As seen in the previous example, URLs can be put in Information Blocks, but they can also be clicked on, resulting in the message below. If the user clicks Yes, the URL is opened in their default web browser. This is a great way to include material that would otherwise be hard to display in Minecraft.
This contextual functionality can lead to some very powerful uses.
For example, a Teacher can embed a URL for a Google Form to solicit feedback or link to an assessment. Links can be added for video, further reading or directed research. Depending on the type of URL embedded, metric information can be captured about how many clicks landed on that URL and from what origin they came. The Information Block becomes a robust tool to connect additional curricular support to an educator created world, and also makes for a meaningful addition to support comprehension in Student created worlds.