Minecraft in Schools

MINECRAFT IN SCHOOLSA pupil playing minecraft

1/17/2013

Minecraft in Schools
Minecraft within Curriculum for Excellence
Game-based learning is still little understood and underutilized within the Scottish Educational system. Minecraft is a sandbox game similar to Lego that allows the user to create a world using blocks. Minecraft is being used in America and around the world to enhance pupils learning[i]. This study will aim to show that Minecraft corresponds to many of the learning outcomes within the Scottish national performance framework Curriculum for Excellence[ii] (CfE). 

Introduction

Many commentators may find the idea of game based learning interesting but ultimately just a fad, a passing fancy. In today’s world with harsh budgetary constraints and a full work load educators may shy away from the idea that we could use a computer game to aid the learning process. However, it may be necessary for the aforementioned disbelief to be suspended, we are in a new era technologically and people seem at a loss as to how to effectively use the new Web2 technologies in education. The world which our children will grow into will be, and already is, saturated with technologies. Consider how you bought your Christmas presents this year? Many will have made use of online retailers to buy goods and yet the process to do so requires one to be highly computer/information literate; in that you logged on, searched, compared prices, read and wrote reviews.  Becoming informed consumers and citizens is considered a high priority for the Scottish education system[iii].

Children spend much of their time playing computer games in a game world. A world where they can meet their friends and play cooperatively to meet goals .The trend in social gaming seems only to be increasing. We have a pupil/user base that prior, during and after the school day are involved in gaming and in a gaming world. There would seem to be some scope to suggest that it is the time for some educational lessons to be moved into this area so as to generate additional interest in the school curriculum.

 

Minecraft is a sandbox game, which means it is an empty landscape that can be shaped to almost any purpose the user sees fit. There are examples of its use in education in America[iv]. Appendix 1 offers a chance to examine how it could be used in an educational context. This study will aim to show some of the advantages of game based learning, via a non-exhaustive review of the available concepts within freely available literature online and then will move onto how Minecraft ties into many of the curriculum areas identified within the Scottish Educational framework ‘Curriculum for Excellence’.

 

Game-based learning

It may be easy to disregard computer games as an educational resource but please consider the pilots that flew your airplane on holiday; they learned to fly in a flight simulator, a game. This process is known as ‘spatial simulation’ and could have implications for how children learn, in that, what you learn in the game world you take into the real world. Some establishments use the game ‘Second Life’ to run simulations of dangerous environments for military, security, health and disaster preparedness training and orientation[v]. There is then scope to suggest that if an educational game existed the children using it would learn in game and apply it in the real world ‘play as a mode of experience does not end with the cession of game[vi]’. Kelsey Sheely raises the excellent points that kids are isolated in reading books but we never question it[vii]. So why do we devalue computer games that have a large social element and give the children relevant ICT skills and new literacies for the 21st century?

There is also the idea that video games present a new type of literacy and that print literacy is not enough for the 21st Century[viii]. This is supported by others who suggest that there are now image and screen literacies[ix]. Playing the new generation of online games allows children to develop typing skills, reading skills, ICT skills, finding information on the internet and using complex modification (mods) and patches to fix or improve gameplay. The new generation of online games requires and induces a large set of skills, possibly changing the way our children learn.

Chris Dede highlights that there are new ‘neo-millennium learning styles[x]’. As students have evolved, knowing something is now not as important as knowing where to find something. Dede highlights that there are three complimentary interfaces that will shape how people learn. Firstly, the world to desktop interface[xi], secondly, multiuser virtual environments (MUVE’s) and thirdly, wireless devices. We have already become used to world to desktop interfaces, wireless devices are entering the mainstream (Apple iphones), is it now time to consider virtual learning environments?

Children do not see computers as technology they see it as an everyday occurrence[xii] .This has possibly had an effect on what types of learning styles the children might use. Let us say Jack wants to play a game where he is a wizard. For a little while Jack ‘transforms’ into a wizard, he forgets about the real world for a while and gets on with the business of doing wizardly quests, Lisa Dawdley highlights that this Situational embodiment leads to personal development, in that playing a different person allows for personal reflection . The idea of an online profile or avatar is not so strange to us adults as consider your Facebook identity, you probably have your best photo displayed and your Nintendo Wii has a profile that represents you.

The concept of transformational play within a story line is an affect that is happening to children every day in their games world. Having a consequential role impacts strongly upon children[xiii]. As a process, could not a group of educators adopt the idea of Jack’s avatar in a new educational game which is that of a researcher, scientist or archeologist and then funnel the child’s imagination into completing educationally pertinent ‘quests’? This could be a strong force in teaching. The good thing about computer games is when children lose it is no big deal, in computer games losing is the fastest way to learn[xiv].

Moore calls upon the magic circle of play highlighting that games have always existed, he asks us to consider that games normally take place in a space, like a tennis court. However, mobile tech has changed this blurring the lines between the real and the game, a ‘gamification’ of culture[xv].  Modern culture is permeated by games, it has a large impact in our children’s lives and yet educational establishments have little impact into these worlds.

Game based learning is a part of our social historical heritage. Roman board games have been found on Hadrian’s Wall leading to the idea that games are at the very least an important past time. At the videogame equivalent of the Booker prize, Gamecity 2012, games are described as a significant part of who we are as human beings[xvi].  Children learn by playing imaginative games as they grow up, Cops and Robbers or doctors and nurses. Since about 1982 our children have grown up with computer games as a part of their life. In the past 20 years games have evolved to such an extent that children can spend a lot of their free time in the game world and only come to visit the real world to eat and drink. Children are on before, after and during school (due to mobile technologies).  Video games are where these children are living[xvii]. If this is the culture of the day, where our children have an online profile or an avatar and they play with their friends in these virtual worlds, this is their street corner; should not our education system try to engage these kids in a language they understand? i.e in a virtual game space? So far the millions of children exposed to these games are being led by game producers and profit driven companies.

Minecraft, a popular multiplayer online game has produced an educational version. We can speculate how it could be used in a classroom setting to recreate a Historical monument or event.  The Battle of Bannockburn offers one such chance[xviii]. The teacher could take a group of pupils and build the topographical features of the battle field and recreate the castle bridges and even the battle itself using Minecraft. This ties into many curricular areas as seen later. The group would decide on rules its members would obey, which links into citizenship outcomes. As a group and using avatars pupils would make use of communal peer to peer learning and have the opportunities for personal reflection via situational play. Talking to each other and logging on and making use of the online forums to learn has closely aligned with literacy and wider ICT outcomes for the 21st C. Designing the building makes use of numerical skills and the pupils have an opportunity to use colours  appropriately tying in closely to many Art outcomes. Minecraft is giving educators a ready made platform to experiment with and make the curriculum a more interesting place, in a more understandable format for today’s pupils. Perhaps the best way to convince educators might be to examine how a game like Minecraft could tie easily into their curriculum areas?

Minecraft in Schools

Curricular links

1. Health and Wellbeing

Minecraft can meet the needs of the health and wellbeing of pupils.  The health and wellbeing outcomes consider the emotional and social experiences of pupil, not just the physical. Broadly these are independent living, practicing cooperative learning, becoming involved in your community and learning to engender ‘a climate of respect and trust[xix]’. Highlighting, that breaking down barriers between people can equate to a friendlier ethos within a school. Ultimately, being exposed to different social and environmental factors contributes positively to the values of a child[xx] . Minecraft would elicit a positive effect in the areas identified in that it offers a microcosm of society at work. Before the series of Minecraft lessons the pupils would need to agree upon a set of good conduct rules, tying into ideas of cooperative learning and touching upon citizenship outcomes. It is a rich social environment, which lesson to lesson will engender a sense of community through a shared goal to complete a task. This would hopefully increase the cooperation between participants and create a micro society/club like community. Arguably Minecraft relates directly to this curriculum area in that it ‘uses a variety of approaches including active cooperation, peer learning and the effective use of technology[xxi]

Examples

Experience and Outcomes Curriculum code Minecraft example
I care and show Respect for myself and others. HWB 0-05a/HWB 4-05a Societies in Minecraft agree upon their own rules collaboratively policing themselves.
As I explore the rights to Which I and others are entitled. I show respect for the rights of others HWB 0-09a/HWB 4-09a As Above.
I am able to exercise rights appropriately
And accept the responsibilities that go with them.
As above As above.
I value the opportunities i am given to make friends and be part of a group in a range of situations. HWB 0-14a/ HWB 4-14a Being part of a Minecraft community.
I can help to encourage learning and
Confidence in others
HWB 0-11a/ HWB 4-11a To participate in peer to peer learning.
I can show ways of getting help in Unsafe situations. HWB 0-42a/HWB 2-24a  Running through emergency situations in Minecraft.

 

 

2. Literacy

Literacy is identified as a key curriculum area that helps to ‘unlock access to the wider curriculum[xxii]’. CfE identifies listening, talking and reading competencies as key areas of literacy and branching into ‘interpersonal and team working skills which are important in life and the world of work[xxiii]’. It highlights the need for pupils to be able to ‘communicate effectively both face to face and in writing through an increasing rage of media[xxiv]’. These areas all come together in Minecraft. Interpersonal and team skills are developed in that classroom activities take place in groups. You have to listen to instructions from teachers and your peers, you get to talk via written text with the class and the wider Minecraft community. Being able to type and then read a response ties in closely to producing texts and reading for enjoyment, the use of such media is also directly related to society and the new emerging Web 2 technologies, in that texting and reading/writing in an electronic environment will mirror what will be expected in the real world in the 21st century. A unique feature of Minecraft is that pupils will have to research solutions from the ‘mod’ community posts (other users leave posts on how to complete tasks or create items). It could be argued that Minecraft has strong links to nearly all the major divisions and subdivisions within literacy.

 

 

 

Examples

Experience and Outcomes Curriculum code Minecraft example
As I listen and talk in different situations, I am learning to take turns and am developing my awareness of when to talk and when to listen. LIT 0-02a/2-02a Learning to use the chat interface. Talking in groups or typing to each other.
I listen or watch for useful or interesting information and I use this to make choices or learn new things. LIT 0-04a Learning how to use Minecraft via internet forums by talking to people.
Within real and imaginary situations, I share experiences and feelings, ideas and information in a way that communicates my message. LIT 0-09a or LIT 0-26a Talking to people in Minecraft or on a quest in Minecraft.
I use signs, books or other texts to find useful or interesting information and i use this to plan, make choices or learn new things. LIT 0-14a Researching how to play Minecraft.
I can write independently use appropriate punctuation and order and link my sentences in a way that makes sense. LIT 1-22a Typing responses in Minecraft.
I can convey information, describe events, explain processes or combine ideas in different ways. LIT 2-28a Writing a journal of your adventures in Minecraft.

 

3. Numeracy

Mathematics equips us with the skills to analyse and interpret information, this is ever more important within the information rich environments in our ever changing society. CfE highlights Mathematics permeability in society ‘to face the challenges of the 21st century, each young person needs to have confidence in using mathematical skills and Scotland needs both specialist mathematicians and a highly numerate population[xxv]’. Indicating that pupils within Scottish education then have to be able to use maths in a way that reflects societies modern needs. Minecraft will make use of proportion, adding and subtracting and calculating areas. It would help teachers of mathematics in that it meets the aim of ‘a skillful mix of approaches including using technology in appropriate and effective ways[xxvi]

Examples

Experience and Outcomes Curriculum code Minecraft example
I am developing a sense of size and amount by observing, using and communicating with others about things in the world around me. MNU 0-01a Building to scale in Minecraft.
I use practical materials and can count on and back to help me understand addition and subtraction, recording my ideas in different ways. MNU 0-03a Minecraft counting of blocks in a created object. Lengths multiplied by breadth to calculate area. Write a Minecraft journal.
I can continue to recall number facts quickly and use them accurately when making calculations. MNU 3-03b Using times tables to calculate area.
I can show how quantities that are related can be increased or decreased proportionately and apply this to solve problems. MNU 3-08a Make the base of a castle and recalculate its size for a rebuild, working out the number of blocks needed beforehand.
Using simple time periods I can work out how long a journey will take. MNU 3-10a Calculating the time it will take to work between places.
I can estimate the area of a shape by counting squares or other methods. MNU 1-11b Calculating the areas of shapes.

4. Religious and Moral Education

RME enables children and young people to explore the world’s religions[xxvii].Exploring other peoples religions helps to foster a greater understanding of other peoples beliefs and helps to develop independent ideas. Minecraft has an application here in that religious symbols and temples can be built[xxviii] aiding ICT aims making ‘appropriate and imaginative use of technology[xxix]’. Minecraft makes use of collaborative learning and will urge children to communicate and learn from each other.

Examples

Experience and Outcomes Curriculum code Minecraft example
As I explore Christian images I am becoming familiar with some beliefs Christian people have about god. RME 0-01a We could create churches, symbols or visit some historical recreated shrine[xxx].
As I play and learn I am developing my understanding of what is fair and unfair and the importance of caring for, sharing and co-operating with others. RME 0-05a Building the items above together as a community.

5. Expressive Arts

Art plays a role in people’s sense of self or personal, social and cultural identity. It is about being creative and expressive[xxxi]. Pupils become successful learners through finding imaginative solutions to problems. They become confident individuals by successful participation. Through deepening the insight of cultural identity they become responsible citizen and effective contributors by working cooperatively again making use of ‘appropriate and effective use of technology’[xxxii].

Examples

Experience and Outcomes Curriculum code Minecraft example
I have used the skills I have developed in the expressive arts to contribute to a public presentation. EXA 3-01a The community sees the end result of what we create. If we host it on YouTube it could be used to promote the school.
I have the opportunity to choose and explore a range of media and technology to create images and objects discovering their effect on suitability for specific tasks. EXA 1-02a Using Minecraft to create a model of the Battle of Bannockburn.
Through observing and recording, I can create material that shows accuracy of representation. EXA 3-04a Accurate models of  scale buildings.
Working on my own and with others. I use my curiosity and imagination to solve design problems. EXA 0-06a Collaboratively of above.
I use drama to explore real and imaginary situations helping me to understand my world EXA 0-14a Recreate scenes from history. Role play in English plays. Exploring via quests.

 

6. Technologies

Cfe highlights that Scotland has a history of excellence within the technological field. The aims of technologies are to develop creativity and produce innovative designers of the future. The acquisition of ICT skills could well be regarded as essential to general life skills in the 21st Century. Pupils will come to understand the use of new Web2 technologies and understand the benefits it can have in their lives. Helping pupils to have interconnected lives and becoming informed consumers, confident in the use of technologies and understanding how it impacts on culture[xxxiii]. Due to Minecraft being a computer game it closely identifies with many technologies outcomes in that pupils will need to become proficient in the use of computers to become users. Providing transferable ICT skills that can be used in the real world. Cfe highlights that a well-designed technologies lesson would encourage a capacity to work with others, planning skills, innovation, using software and interacting with others and searching for information within a learning context. All outcomes that accurately coincides with the learning objectives within the Minecraft lesson in Appendix 1

Examples

Experience and Outcomes Curriculum code Minecraft example
I explore and experiment with features and functions of computer technology and I can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in a different context. TCH 1-04a General use of Minecraft builds up ICT skills; logging in, using the internet, typing.
I enhance my learning by applying my ICT skills in different contexts across the curriculum. TCH 3-04a Using Minecraft to complete activities in history.
I am developing my knowledge and use of safe and acceptable conduct as I use different tech to interact and share experience ideas and info with others. TCH 1-08a Following community rules, knowing how to browse safely, being polite.
I am developing problem solving skills, navigation and coordination skills as I play and learn with electronic games. TCH 0-09a/1-09a General  use of minecraft and solving quests
I can use drawing techniques manually or electronically to represent objects or ideas. TCH 2-15a Creating buildings in Minecraft.
I can work with others to generate discuss, develop imaginative ideas to create a product of the future. TCH 1-01b Being part of the pilot scheme.

 

7. Social studies

Cfe highlights how social studies should help deepen the understanding of historical, social, geographic, economic and political change in your local area[xxxiv]. It also raises the issue that it is difficult to sustain interest and enthusiasm[xxxv] Minecraft meets many of the goals and approaches to teaching of social subject and many of the developmental skills identified in this curriculum area. For approaches to learning it offers opportunities for experiments and play, collaborative learning and the appropriate and effective use of technology. For skills it pertains to describing and recording, developing problem solving skills, interacting with others and developing and using maps in a variety of contexts. Specifically, being part of a Minecraft community involves making decisions and agreeing upon rules, which directly links to modern studies outcomes. It is possible to create events and locations, like a castle or a battle and could easily be used to produce the local historical landscape or topographical features needed for geography lessons.

Examples

Experience and Outcomes Curriculum code Minecraft example
I can make a personal link to the past by exploring items or images. SOC 0-02a We can build battlefields. Tutorials show the pyramid of Giza in Minecraft[xxxvi]
I can use evidence to recreate the story of a place or individual of local historical interest. SOC 1-03a We can build Stirling Castle, Alloa tower or recreate an Iron age settlement.
I explored how people lived in the past recreating a historical setting. SOC 1-04a As above
I can describe and recreate the character of my local environment by exploring the factors in the landscape. SOC 1-07a Easily recreate the topographical features of Clackmannanshire.
Through activities in my local area, I have developed my mental map and sense of place. I can create and use maps of the area SOC 1-14a Recreate any topographical area.
I can discuss the rights and responsibilities and discuss those relevant to me. SOC 1-17a Learning community rules by being part of a community
I have participated in decision making and have considered the different options available in order to make decisions. SOC 1-18a Making rules in a Minecraft community.

 

Conclusions

A deeper more thorough study is required to examine the literature on new learning styles and how virtual worlds can be made to work in an educational setting. The available literature highlights a new generation of learners, possibly with new learning styles or at least new expectations shaped from taking part in roleplaying games. A solution would be to explore these new virtual worlds to see how they could be used in education. One of these worlds, Minecraft, can be shown to correspond too many of the learning outcomes within the Scottish Curriculum Framework ‘Curriculum for Excellence’. Highlighting, that it could be used as an educational aid.  The next step is up to educators. We are in the second decade of the 21st Century it would be entirely normal to have virtual worlds to dip into for educational game based learning. What would be abnormal is disregarding the high tech present and the ultra-high technology future that awaits us.

Ian keane

Librarian

Alloa Academy


[iii] Cfe, Technologies, p1

[v] Helmer, p20

[vi] Moore, p378, quoting Huizinga. Johan

[vii] Sheely, p1

[viii] Gee, p22

[ix] Brown, p11

[x] Dede, p1

[xi] ibid, p8

[xii] Oblinger, p40

[xiii] Barab et al, p525

[xiv] Oblinger, p40

[xv] Moore, p377

[xvi] Gamecity 2012, 16mins 1 second.

[xvii] Sheely, p1

[xviii] Another example is where a science teacher took his class into an animal cell to explore its function http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBUesxvMw74

[xix]Cfe, Health and Wellbeing,p1

[xx]Ibid, p2

[xxi] ibid, p4

[xxii] Cfe, Literacy across learning, p1

[xxiii] ibid

[xxiv] ibid

[xxv] CfE, Numeracy across learning, p1

[xxvi] Cfe, ibid, p3

[xxvii] Cfe, Religious and moral education, p1

[xxix] Cfe, Religious and Moral education, p3

[xxx] A minecraft example see Appendix 1 or Ref28

[xxxi] Cfe, Expressive Arts, p1

[xxxii] Ibid, p2

[xxxiii] Cfe, Technologies, p1

[xxxiv] Cfe, Social Studies,p1

[xxxv] Ibid

[xxxvi] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WXMMbDawkA

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Barab, S, A. et al. (2010). Transformational Play Using Games to Position Person, Content, and Context. EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER. 39 (7). Pp 525-536. URL

http://edr.sagepub.com/content/39/7/525.full.pdf+html  (7/1/2013)

Brown, J, S. (2001).  GROWING UP DIGITAL: How the Web Changes Work, Education, and the Ways People Learn. USDLA  Journal. 16 (2). URL: http://www.usdla.org/html/journal/FEB02_Issue/article01.html  (7/1/2013)

Castronova, E. (2005). Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games. University of Chicago. URL: https://7chan.org/lit/src/Synthetic_Worlds.pdf

Dawley, L and Dede, C. (undated). Situated Learning in  Virtual Worlds and Immersive Simulations . In J.M. Spector,  M.D Merrill, J. Elen, & M.J. Bishop (Eds.), The Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology (4th ed.).  New York: Springer URL: http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic1116077.files/Virtual%20Worlds_Dawley_Dede.pdf  (7/1/2013)

Dede, C. (2005). ‘Planning for Neo millennium learning styles: Shifts in students’ learning style will prompt a shift to active construction of knowledge through mediated immersion’. EDUCAUSE . Quarterly number 1. URL: http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/planning-neomillennial-learning-styles (7/1/2013)

Gamecity 2012, ‘Whats the point of Video Games?’ http://prize.gamecity.org/2012/whats-the-point-of-videogames/  (7/1/2013)

Gee, J, P. (2003). ‘Semiotic Domains: Is Playing Video Games a Waste of Time?’. In Ed.  What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy.  Macmillian.

Helmer, J.  ( 2007). Second Life and Virtual Worlds. Learning Light. Availible URL: http://www.norfolkelearningforum.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/virtual-worlds_ll_oct_2007.pdf  (7/1/2013)

Moore, C. (2011). The Magic Circle and the Mobility of Play. The International Journal of New Media Technology, 17(4), pp373-387. (Sage). URL: http://con.sagepub.com/content/17/4/373.full.pdf+html  (7/1/2013)

Oblinger, D. (2003). Boomers Gen Xers Millenials; Understanding the New Students. EDUCAUSE. URL: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0342.pdf  (7/1/2013)

Sheely, K. (2011). ‘Today’s Lesson Plan: Angry Birds, Simcity and Minecraft’. US News Digital Weekly. 3(44), p15. URL: http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/67224884/todays-lesson-plan-angry-birds-simcity-minecraft (13/1/2013)

 

Websites

http://minecraftteacher.tumblr.com/

http://minecraftmuseum.net

http://minecraftedu.com/

Appendix 1

 

Minecraft lesson overview: The Battle of BannockBurn 1314.

Lesson 1: Involves selecting the group and giving a Minecraft induction. The creation of Rules and behaviour and the creation of avatars.Lesson 1curricular links: links into active citizenship outcomes expressed as learning outcomes and health and wellbeing from working as a group. The situational development from using avatars allows pupils to have personal reflection.SOC 1-17aSOC 1-18aHWB 0-05a/HWB 4-05aHWB 0-09a/HWB 4-09a

HWB 0-14a/ HWB 4-14a

The Pupils also need to be able to read, listen and use ICT skills to log into the game world.

LIT 0-02a/2-02a

TCH 3-04a

TCH 0-09a/1-09a

 

Lesson 2-5: pupils research the various aspects of the battle, accounts, topographies, castles, trees, rivers etc. Pupils split into groups and create these locations on the world map. Pupils have to choose appropriate scales, colours, and placement on maps. Possibly write a Minecraft journal.Lessons 2-5 curricular links: links into many of the outcomes within using ICT and literacies. It also involves some art or graphic design outcomes to pick the correct colours. Understanding maps and coordinates will also play a part tying into geography. There are many historical outcomes from researching books and online.LIT 0-04a, LIT 0-14a, LIT 0-09a or Lit 0-26aLIT 1-22a, LIT 2-28a, MNU 0-01aMNU 0-03a, MNU 1-11b, EXA 1-02a, EXA 3-04aEXA 0-06a , TCH 1-04a TCH 3-04a,TCH 1-08a

TCH 0-09a/1-09a,TCH 2-15a,TCH 1-01b, SOC 0-02a

SOC 1-03a, SOC 1-04a, SOC 1-07a, SOC 1-14a

 

Lesson 6: Getting the pupils to assess each other’s work  and offer constructive criticism. Then aim for empathy towards people of the pastLesson 6 curricular links: Pupils assess each other’s work and compare the battlefield map to what is known. Then the teacher generates the English army from the Minecraft inventory and the pupils can try enacting the battle or get to experience combat on some level.EXA 0-14aHWB 0-11a/ HWB 4-11a

In total a Minecraft set of lessons for the Battle of Bannockburn could use up to 33 different Curriculum links.

About ikeane2013

Librarian Alloa Academy Wants to be more like Gandalf when he grows up.
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27 Responses to Minecraft in Schools

  1. Linda says:

    This is a fantastic blog post Ian! Loving the curricular links too to tie everything together.

    • ikeane2013 says:

      Thank you kindly. I am trying to convince my school to take it up and so sent this in our local intra web. The pupils in my school want this and i promised them id do my best to convince the teachers.

      • Linda says:

        I know of a company ‘A Higher Place’ which could possibly help you get it into school as they run their own server – teachers can practise crafting etc and children can be given their own ‘area’ if you’re interested?
        http://www.ahigherplace.co.uk or @AHigherPlaceLtd on Twitter

      • ikeane2013 says:

        Thank you for the link! I think i saw something similar on one of the Minecraft teacher websites. The truth is I am still trying to convince the teachers. My next step is to make a Methodology for implementation and an outline of a small scale study to in an attempt to measure qualitative and quanatative indicators. i.e did the kids get smarter using Minecraft? was it more fun?

  2. Linda says:

    Sounds great Ian! Might be worth dropping Stephen an email anyway as he’s had lots of experience in implementing games-based learning in schools and trying to get educators onside in order for this to happen! It can feel like an uphill struggle for us all sometimes! How were you planning on measuring the effectiveness and impact?
    Oh and get on Twitter if you’re not already! It’s the best CPD you will ever experience and can receive support from like-minded individuals all over the world!

    • ikeane2013 says:

      Im still here! working on the research methodology we(the world) could use when making studies into how Minecraft could be shown to raise attainment. If we could all use the same or similar approaches then the studies could be compared. I am looking into other studies, starting with LEARNING STRATEGIES IN PLAY DURING BASIC TRAINING FOR MEDAL OF HONOR AND CALL OF DUTY VIDEO GAMES by Yadi Ziaeehezarjeribi. Erics one above also mentions research strategies. Its a bit of a slog i would hope to have a draft by Easter or before.

      http://www.indiana.edu/~drbob/ZiaeeDissertation_Final.pdf

  3. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I
    thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a
    famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

  4. There’s certainly a great deal to know about this issue. I love all the points you’ve made.

  5. Pingback: Minecraft in Schools | ikeane007 | Gaming and Education Hughes | Scoop.it

  6. Much to think about, thanks! My students use Minecraft in two different classes/environments. In one they select self-directed goals/challenges and many have chosen Minecraft challenges. In the other, more teacher directed in comparison, all the students are exploring Minecraft. My thoughts related to that class are here, http://balancedtech.wikispaces.com/Thinking+Space+-+Minecraft

  7. Reblogged this on Classroom Aid and commented:
    A fantastic blog post with the curricular and research links to tie everything together.

  8. Pingback: Minecraft in Schools | 21 century Learning Commons | Scoop.it

  9. Pingback: Minecraft in Schools | Minecraft in the classroom | Scoop.it

  10. So glad I found this blog post. As others have commented, I also like how you have linked curriculum learning objectives with minecraft goals. I’m trying to push this in my school too and am having a hard time convincing teachers that playing computer games in the classroom can be educationally rewarding. Thanks Ian. I may be in touch! The following link may be useful to you and others. It’s for a group trying to promote game based learning. It’s pretty new and they are just establishing themselves, but it looks like it has great potential: http://www.playfullearning.com/

    • ikeane2013 says:

      Dear Kieron,
      Was it hard to find? i can maybe change the meta tags so its easier to find. Id be happy to send you a word version so you could group mail it to the teachers in your school like i did. I certainly know what it feels like to be a voice in the wind, Dont underestimate Pupil power it might be worth emailing the pupils via a questionnaire your councils communications dept might have an inhouse system to help with this, or you could use Survey Monkey. Once you have evidence of Pupils wanting this resource, added with how it clearly hits curriculum objective (cut and paste what you need). There is no argument against it. Having 3-4 teachers that have fire in their bellies helps to. Sorry for ranting but one thing i forgot to do was mention Redstone and science and how it could potentially save lots of money on Science Dept resources, always a good idea to mention the budget savings of such a thing.

      Drop my name in somewhere too lol

  11. Cody says:

    in your introduction 2nd paragraph you said (Children spend much of their time playing computer games in a game world.) I am 13 living in Cedar Rapids Iowa and if I could play Minecraft in school it would be amazing my friends play more and kids that play more only know game so combine game with school and you learn lots

  12. Cody says:

    I really want Minecraft in my school :)

    • ikeane2013 says:

      Dear Cody,
      I haven’t reviewed my post in a while but it is great that you are so enthusiastic about Minecraft. If there is a teacher who likes Minecraft ask them to read this to get an idea of how it might tie into lessons.

      Thank you

      Ian

  13. This is a very useful post! You must have spent a lot of time putting it together. With your permission, I would love to repost this information on our MinecraftEDUforums.org. I would give you full credit as well as link back to this page. Or even better, you could post it yourself on our forums. :)

    Either way, really appreciate the post. Have it bookmarked.

  14. Katie says:

    Hi Ian,

    I am just about to start my final year of my degree in early childhoods studies and found your article really interesting. I am currently planning my dissertation and I am hoping to look at the use of minecraft in education. Do you have any links to full research articles of the use of minecraft? How has you study progressed? and would you know where I could find schools that currently use minecraft so I could contact them.

    many thanks

    Katie

    • ikeane2013 says:

      Hi Katie,
      I moved into Public Libraries, i couldnt pursue it any longer. There are some schools in Falkirk that are trying it and i was speaking with a guy from out in Glasgow who is also participating. If you could get in touch with me at my new email ikeane@clacks.gov.uk, ill forward their contact details along.

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