We are on a two week break and I am spending some of this time trying to connect two things in my mind. We have an opportunity to run Minecraft in our school next term. We are also running many Inquiry units that all have as the foundation the concepts of Innovation and Change. These children will be applying a design brief to create products. I know I can come up with a connection.
I have started dabbling with Minecraft by -
- listening to the EdTech Crew’s Podcast – Exploring Minecraft and crafting discoveries with Joel Levin (Minecraft Teacher) and Dean Groom
- listening to EdGamers podcast – Sending our kids to the mines- again with Joel Levin
- Viewing blogs and Wikis- including Minecraft Teacher , Heidi Siwak’s My Life as a non-gamer and Minecraft Wiki
- Consulting a Teenage Minecraft player
- consult some of my local experts – students at my school who are very keen users already
- and eventually playing it myself
So far, I have learnt that Minecraft is
- open ended problem solving
- suitable for 5 year olds but still enjoyed by teenagers and adults
- a game that generates a random world that is virtually infinite
- a game that has a ‘retro’ look – think Lego blocks
- a game where you need to define your own ‘purpose’
- has challenges when the sun goes down and the monsters come out
- able to be modified to classroom situation (eg you can turn off the monsters). This is, in fact, the recommended option when running your own server for educational purposes.
- a game that has control scheme similar to many other games
- supported by numerous online guides – Wiki’s, You Tube tutorials
- still being developed
I will admit that a while ago I was quite sceptical about the place of gaming in school, but I am getting more and more convinced that it is a great way to engage students and incorporate many useful skills.
More to come ….
PS Since the first part of this post, I keep looking further and finding more resources …
PPS and then due to the wonders of Twitter I listened in to an episode of EdTechTalk – lots more talk about Minecraft
One major resource I found from this interview was
Anyone else already been where I hope to travel ??