I’m a huge proponent of game-based learning. I remember vividly waiting all week for computer class in school, where we’d line up and march down to the dark lab filled with Apple 2E’s to enter commands and receive text-based. As painful as that sounds, even the limited amount of early “games” made learning so much more interesting. So while I was still somewhat surprised to read that Minecraft, a game my husband plays here at home on the weekends, is the latest trend in game-based learning in classrooms, I kind of wasn’t. The game is delightfully old-school and simple, but wildly expansive and customizable for both teachers and students alike. Not only that, it’s multi-player, so you can play and collaborate with others (check out this video to learn more). There is even a company (appropriately named MinecraftEdu) that now offers prebuilt modifications and lessons for teachers as well as in-service training and world building tools.
So does it live up to the hype of being the ultimate educational tool? I think the value still lies in how the tool is used, but I’m excited to see how its use expands and grows in the classroom.
Have you or someone you know used Minecraft in the classroom? Let us know!