Week 8 Emerging Technology: What Minecraft Game Could You Create That Would Help Students Learn?
I think that you can do so much with Minecraft to help students learn. The article “Minecraft in Education” points out that Minecraft can have huge educational benefits for children; it can teach numerous subjects with and without adult involvement. It can be faster than traditional methods because students are more motivated and get more practice. They can learn math, writing, and reading from Minecraft. There are limitless activities that you can do with Minecraft to help students learn. I describe a few of these below. I then report on the results of an interview I conducted with my nephew about Minecraft.
If I were to create a lesson from Minecraft I would use the example from The Giver lesson plan. Our students can read Two Old Women and I can apply the same lessons that they did in The GiverCraft. Students can work together to create the best shelter. They can do math with it by counting how many blocks they have to use. They can practice writing by putting down the thoughts that the two old ladies were having when they were left behind. I could have kids create a map or scavenger hunt. They could compete with each other to see who can find the most treasures that were hidden. It can also help with social skills. Kids can communicate with each other in Minecraft. The article also explains how they can work together to build, explore, and learn as they develop social skills, especially teamwork.
As a geography teacher, I can have students create real life buildings in Minecraft. Many already-created structures can be imported into the game so students can explore them (Miller, 2012). They then can learn more about that structure and create a presentation on it. Students can also learn about survival when you put the game in survival mode. I think this would go great with a unit on Two Old Women. Students would have to go in and get wood to make planks to create a house to survive in. Once it gets dark, the monsters come out and they can kill you. Students would also have to learn how to make tools and to get food. They would learn about the basics of survival and what it takes to stay alive.
I also found a neat unit on hunter/gatherers that would relate to my unit of Two Old women. So the kids would be looking at tools. First they would have a picture of an old tool that was used long ago, next they would get a tool that they used in their Minecraft world and talk about how it connects to their world today. See example from http://minecraft-biddle.blogspot.com.
I interviewed my nephew, who is 6 years old.
Question 1: Where did you learn to play Minecraft? Who taught you to play?
I learned how to play it on iPhone, iPad and then Kindle. No one. I taught myself how to play.
Question 2: What do you like best about Minecraft? I like making volcanoes.
Question 3: Was it hard to learn how to play? No
Question 4: What was the hardest thing you learned on Minecraft? Making a castle.
Question 5: Being a new Minecraft learner, what are some things that you think I should know about Minecraft before getting started. How to move.
Question 7: Do you still p lay Minecraft? Yes
So when I first was introduced to Minecraft I went to my cousin’s place, since my niece and nephew knew of this game. I had the game on my computer. I asked them to help me out. They never played on a computer so the controls were hard for them. When I tried to play on their Kindle, I didn’t know the controls either. I asked my nephew if I could play on his iPad. I didn’t know the controls and he was not a patient teacher. He said let me show you and I watched how easily he moved around. I told him I was very impressed with him and hoped one day I can play as good as him.
Digging for Truth – Minecraft Blog. (2015). Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://minecraft-biddle.blogspot.com
Minecraft In Education. (2015). Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Minecraft_in_education
Miller, A. (2012). Ideas for Using Minecraft in the Classroom. Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/minecraft-in-classroom-andrew-miller
Unit Plan. (2015). Retrieved June 29, 2015, from http://www.givercraft.com/unit-plan.html