One of the great things I learned this year at the ECOO 2014 Conference is the power of Minecraft. I never really understood the importance of this game and its potential to unleash creativity and innovation.
I took in two workshops on the topic and learned a few things:
- Minecraft is like an unlimited amount of lego – unlimited amount of math manipulatives at your disposal.
- you can purchase Minecraftedu – downloaded to each computer. I haven’t figured out the importance of the server yet, working on it!
- There is a tutorial for use – sign me up for this!!
- Servers on-line – if students have an ip address they can join other worlds and other people. Then you can join other servers – have to be mindful of servers you join. This is why having a school server sounds like the way to go.
- You can create an ip only accessible to the students in your class.
- Regular Minecraft ips will not work with Minecraftedu – so it sounds like edu is certainly the way to go
- Really need to use a laptop for this – will not work on chromebooks. Ipad apps also not as effective. So – I need to get my hands on a few more regular laptops – not the way we are going right now at our school! This will help us with Arduino as well – it doesn’t work on chromebooks either
- Fraps Video – make your creation into a movie. This is a great resource so we can share what are students are making!
- Amazing collaborative tool – encouraging high-level thinking because they are working together.
- Great tool for collaboration for real life problems.
When I came back from the conference, I started asking our students about what they do with Minecraft. I asked some students to write about what they could learn from the game. The hope is that our own school board will get its own server so we can offer the game to students safely for free.
Here is one response, unedited from one of our grade 6 students – I couldn’t say it any better!
Let’s see what the students can do!
To Whom It May Concern:
I think that Minecraft Is a good game for learning about architecture. From playing minecraft I myself have learned that I am good at building. For example, I have built this structure.
My second reason for having Minecraft is that there is something called Redstone. Redstone is a material that is used for a lot of stuff like this
the red dust thats Redstone and the torch- looking thing is going to make the light light up. The redstone helped me learn about electricity.
Minecraft is also a game about responsibility. When playing Minecraft you also have take care of the animals. Here are my two favorite animals: a dog and we all know dogs are man’s best friend, and a cat who is very purrsuasive.
So as you can see Minecraft is a good game for our school.
how are students using Minecraft in your school?