Minecraft in class

I got this link via a paper.li link on my Twitter feed. I have used Minecraft in class but only with individual students who could show me they knew what they are doing and only if they told me exactly what they intended to do. Nothing grand. I have had older students take me on virtual tours of their home in Minecraft but they have done it all in French and the younger students have built homes and labelled them in French. The video is right. These students find Minecraft very relevant and then they are right in the moment with their learning. Joel Levin has started Minecraft EDU and so now we are starting to get classroom resources relevant to Minecraft thanks to his skill and enthusiasm. It’s an interesting change in classroom delivery and probably indicates how 21st century education and teachers will look. Now we have teachers who are expert game players. We  have teachers who can really see the educational possibility for games. It would apply to other expert software as well. These teachers can now market themselves and their skills because they are way ahead of the pack and are totally different in their approach. Within that group will be the educational influencers because they will not only be experts in the educational use of the software , they will be able to translate that into viable classroom practice. Joel Levin can do what he does because he can build his classroom materials block by block in Minecraft. He can set up the scenarios and then use those in class. So considerable patience is one of the new requisites of classroom teaching. To use complex software well you have to know it, you have to explore it bit by bit and you have to understand exactly how it all connects. You can’t just look, understand and then deliver content. We will then have teachers who cannot deliver complex content like this. Will that create a learning divide or will it create students who have totally different approaches and skills sets? Will that matter? In the video they discuss how the graphics are blocks and so not realistic as such. That seems to be the appeal to the students who love Minecraft. They love creating things one block at a time and then turning that into something quite creative. The students who have shown me what they can do are very enthusiastic but can also articulate well the purposes and outcomes of what they are doing. They really like showing me and explaining. This is the new learning . Students are partners in education but the teacher still has to decide and work upon the educational outcomes. Interesting times.

2 Responses

  1. Cathy, I like this post. In particular, your attempt to predict futuristic teaching trends. Games is surely one trend in education. I say loudly: bravo

    • When I saw that video I thought – yes, that really does change the education landscape. Gaming will become a part of it I am sure because they can completely absorb the learner and develop some good levels of complex thinking and social interaction/collaboration. It will be interesting.

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