Can a video game really be used to teach children in schools? Absolutely, say Minecraft developer Mojang.
If you are yet to come across Minecraft, the basic principles of the game are simple. Users work to create structures in a 3D environment out of cubes, from a range of different materials. Imagine a virtual Lego kit with near infinite resources and possibilities.
Before you jump to conclusions, the game, which has racked up over 100 million users on various platforms, is as we speak being used in more than 3,000 schools around the world. 200 of which are right here in the UK.
The potential for learning in Minecraft was quickly realised when intricate projects including fully functioning virtual computer hard drives, mega cities, and even working calculators were completed. This showed the world the immense possibilities for collaboration, creativity, mathematics, design and so much more.
We’re not talking a day’s work; some of these projects are on-going and are expected to last years!
This potential didn’t go unnoticed. Creators Mojang released a dedicated version of the game, Minecraft EDU, created by teachers for classroom use. The game has been stripped back and contains a set of powerful yet simple tools to fine tune the experience for learning.
Not just limited to creative uses, Mojang say it is being used in 40 countries in areas ranging from language and Mathematics, to History and Art.
Some argue that it’s about time children in schools had more freedom to exercise creativity in an educational environment.
It looks like this could be a real step in the right direction for what education in the 21st century should look like. If you aren’t easily impressed, we suggest you go check out what some people have managed to make with the game.
Posted January 20, 2015