After spending a rather sizeable amount of time this weekend sitting around playing Minecraft PE, I have decided to finally write a blog post sharing my experiences on integrating this game into the classroom setting.
I am so positive in saying that if you ask any kid about Minecraft at my school, their eyes will open up wide and you probably won’t be able to get out of a conversation with them about it. It’s all the rage right now, and other developers have released similar sandbox styled games.
I have been fortunate enough to speak about Minecraft at TeachMeets and ICT Educator workshops and I have noticed that so many teachers want to include Minecraft into their GBL repertoire however are not sure where to begin let alone the benefits of playing it.
Everyday I try to think of a way I can meaningfully integrate the game into my teaching and learning experiences. Watching my students engaged in Minecraft is fascinating. Their enthusiasm and motivation to finish a task increases exponentially. They team build, problem-solve, collaborate, communicate and above all, their creativity soars through the roof.
This year, my tech-savvy Year 4’s have been fortunate enough to take part in several Minecraft challenges. My favourite being “Reflect on this year’s learning”. At first I went through their iPads wondering what on Earth they were creating, I didn’t understand anything (apart from the odd Pentecost flame) it was until they spoke about their creations did my jaw drop:
- A minecart going back and forth between bricks to represent our BounceBack program
- Netherrack-headed people (complete with fire) to illustrate the Twelve Apostles on Pentecost
- Giant skipping ropes for Jump Rope for Heart
- Tall Ships in the ocean depicting Sydney Cove in 1788
- Forests of Truffula Tree’s from the Lorax
- Recreation of the nine ecosystems we studied during our Biodiversity unit,
- and not to mention all the effigies of characters we have been introduced to during our Shared Text program.
I am amazed at the things my students have created with Minecraft and how it has intrinsically motivated every single child in my class. We have looked at everything from building places of worship in HSIE to creating graphs and charts in Mathematics. The possibilities (just like game) are endless.
Watch what my kids have to say about Minecraft here:
Hope to see you building soon!