Minecraft is without question one of the most popular video games in history. The original creator of this open-world game is Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson. But, then later, it was developed and published by Mojang AB. It has captivated children all over the world.
Its popularity continues to grow even beyond adoring gamers well into our schools where it's making a name for itself as an educational tool. Also, there are many minecraft tools available online that help students in achieving their gaming tasks. Here are 8 reasons why Minecraft is gaining fame among kids in the classroom:
1.) Promotes Self-Directed Learning
Minecraft provides opportunities for students to explore self-directed learning. This means that students are able to take initiative and go above and beyond what's expected of them. In Minecraft, players can build virtually anything they feel is relevant to the topic they're learning about – whether it be a volcano model for an explanation of volcanoes or a replica of the Titanic built with materials found on its real-life shipwreck.
2.) Helps in Better Explaining of Concepts
Minecraft provides another tool for teachers to use in order to explain concepts that otherwise wouldn't be as easy to explain without technology. Teacher Andrew Morris explains , "Students enjoy building structures with blocks because it feels more natural than using a graphics editor such as Adobe Photoshop." He goes on further to say, "It's also great for kids who don't have access to high-end graphics cards or laptops."
3.) Increase Emergence
Minecraft is a game that almost anyone can play, but it has the potential to be extremely complex (similar to chess). Thomas Malone writes about how games like Minecraft introduce players to concepts of "non-zero sumness" and "emergence". He says , "The interesting thing about these digital worlds is they are very complicated. You can learn some general concepts, but you cannot figure out all the rules. It's this aspect of emergence in these digital worlds that make them different from traditional board games." This idea of emergence corresponds with what teachers want students to understand through playing Minecraft; A better understanding for how things work and an ability to consider many different factors while making quick decisions.
4.) Promotes Teamwork
Minecraft is a collaborative game – and teamwork is a skill that's taught through the experience. In Minecraft, players learn to work together as they build communities of people from all over the world.
5.) Enables Students to become More Creative
Minecraft provides opportunities for students to showcase their creativity. For many students who are spending several hours on casual video games every day, Minecraft can provide them with an opportunity to focus on something more creative.
6.) Helps Students to Socialize
As issues such as cyber bullying become increasingly important in modern school systems across the globe, teachers find Minecraft as a way to reduce those incidents. Some students tend to play online against other classmates and friends only; however, they aren't allowed to send messages or chat with strangers whom they don't know well. This school year, Minecraft has become an outlet for students to socialize with one another while still remaining safe.
Although Minecraft isn't used in every classroom across America, it should become more widely accepted as time passes by because of how it provides constructive, yet entertaining activities for children all over the world. What do you think about the use of video games in schools? Should Minecraft be used to teach students in a classroom setting? If so, what topics do you think would work best with this type of curriculum?
Share your thoughts below.