Teaching children through gaming on MinecraftBy TeacherGaming
Organisation URL: teachergaming.com
MinecraftEdu is a special edition of the world’s biggest computer game. It is expressly designed to help teachers inspire students, in subjects from history and art to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and languages.
In the region of 50m people play the original Minecraft game, spending tens of millions of hours joining forces to build elaborate structures, from housing estates to whole countries, using digital ladders and pickaxes. It is the top paid app for iPhone and second top for iPad.
MinecraftEdu has the same gameplay and software as the original, but adapts it with bespoke features so teachers can easily tailor it to classroom needs. There are student management tools so teachers can determine where children can go and build, a library of peer-created lessons and activities, plus building tools so teachers can quickly insert their own content.
New York City teacher Joel Levin got the idea to build the bespoke game after seeing his own five year old daughter build literacy while she was playing. The version, sanctioned by, but independent from, Minecraft’s parent company Mojang, was created by TeacherGaming, a group of teachers and programmers devoted to making educational games. The classroom applications are limitless: you can take students on virtual expeditions to famous historic sites, like ancient Rome or Babylon, test theories of gravity, study programming, even quantum physics, build literacy, logic and analytical thinking, as you play in a gaming environment that most children are already familiar with and often fanatical about.
4,000 schools in 40 countries across the US, Europe and Australia are already using the education version as an aid to teaching.
Image courtesy of MinecraftEdu
Last updated: 17th of September, 2014