I have to start this with WOW! I had no idea that there was a game like this that is designed for education. I really don’t know where to start. While reading the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute Blog about using Minecraft with the book The Giver it gave me a lot of ideas. Givercraft.com has the lesson plan for use in the The Giver, and Lord of the Flies.
MinecraftEdu has a simple setup system for classrooms where the world is already built and stored in the cloud. $20 a month activation fee is a fee I would be willing to pay. I think the program would be good for all students, it would give them a chance to interact with others, have an objective, and use their imagination to create what they read. I can also see it as a math tool, give them an objective and let them run with it.
In an article by Quinten Plummer in TECHNEWSWORLD, Microsoft wants to find ways to assist the pioneering teachers who have taught pupils through the sandbox construction game Minecraft (Plummer, 2015). The company wants to stay true to the game but incorporate it in education. In a statement from Microsoft they state they want to “shift from meeting kids on couches to engaging them in classrooms — where, even today, many kids receive their only serving of computer and desktop Internet usage, he noted. This initiative could cultivate coders and innovators from households that have no computer hardware or Internet access” (Plummer, 2015).
In an Article from Tablets for Schools they describe the game as “Virtual Legos”. Arryn Groom, a homeschooling parent, uses Minecraft as a tool to engage her kids across a range of subjects: “You have different options, different subjects (such as) The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. You watch videos, take quizzes, do building….” (Web blog, 2013). This website leads me back to MinecraftEdu, as a first stop. The site lists a few ways to use the game such as, reading comprehension, math, and history as a basis of constructing for understanding.
I found a video on You Tube, part one through eight that shows a computer teacher using it in his class of 2nd graders and it was very informative. The video links are under Teaching Minecraft, and then another set under using Mincraft all by MinecraftTeachr. I found the videos fascinating. The following video was recorded for a symposium where teachers were introduced to game based learning.
I had no idea there were WIKIs on the game to help you formulate how to build using math, and had no idea that you could shut off the bad things that can happen, and have a simple safe environment. As a gamer myself, I have only played, sorry to say, violent killing games. As an adult, it is an outlet for me, and considering when I was in the military; PlayStation was at its infancy, and Nintendo was king. There were no blogs, there wasn’t even a real internet yet so I have to continually remind myself this is all new.
If I were going to create a Mincraft game for learning, I would use it in literature like the Giver game. I would have kids create a world like the book and update it weekly with the story line. This would allow places, people, and events to come to life for the reader. I think it would be engaging for the kids to be able to play the story with friends. I think for the kids that have a hard time understanding the text, it would be easier to visualize it in a game and it would make the learning realistic. The other side is, kids have to learn the keyboard and the function of the keys and mouse.
When I seen it played and played a little myself, It was easy to manipulate and simple to use. I like the use in literature, more so than any other yet. I think with time, I will come to love it with math and history.
Gamepedia. (n.d.). Retrieved July 4, 2015 from the Gamepedia Wiki: http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Minecraft_in_education
Graham, L. (2015). Givercraft: #SurvivalCraft 2015 Retrieved from http://www.givercraft.com
|Joel and Pat Chat about Games Based Learning [Video file]. Retrieved from
MVLRI (January 26, 2015). Simply Engaging and Utterly Consuming: #Givercraft 2014:
Michigan Virtual Learning research Institute Blog. [Web log comment] Retrieved from
Plummer, Q. (July 5, 2015). Microsoft Anchors Minecraft Strategy to Education. Retrieved
Tablets for Schools (2014). Teachers! Learn How to Use Minecraft as an Educational Game
[Web blog comment]. Retrieved from http://tabletsforschools.org.uk