Sunday, April 3, 2011

MinecraftTeachr talks about elementary learners

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Minecraft FM interviews Joel Levin, Mindcraft Teachr, about his use of Minecraft with elementary school students. Points to Minecraft In School, a PBWorks wiki, as another resource. Using multi-player server otherwise just playing. Wants the collaborative activities. Using Craftbukkit with plug-ins for managing what they can and can't do.

The press continues with an interview at KQED

Levin’s words, “exactly what is so appealing to me about Minecraft as a teaching tool. It’s so open ended and extensible. I really think of it more as a canvas than a game. I’m able to construct these elaborate experiences, settings, and stories for the kids to move through. Rather than having to shoehorn a lesson around a game, I’m able to think about what I’m trying to teach and then design an entire world around that.”

and another at ArsTechnica.

"l chose Minecraft specifically because it's so open-ended," Levin told Ars. "The game presents you with a huge open world and you can do any of a dozen different preset activities. Or you can go off and create your own content. That alone gives me a ton of freedom to invent content for the kids to engage in. I don't let them just play the game however they want. They must follow a path I lay out for them, which allows me to carry out lesson plans."

One of the elements that Levin requires is that students all work in a Multi-user setting and that the challenges he poses strongly encourage collaboration. Would a multi-user environment help to foster communication and collaboration among ITeam members?

1 comment:

SC Spaeth said...

Math in Minecraft? People are claiming that students can learn traditional subject through work in Minecraft. I tested this idea by Googling for 'Minecraft algebra' and found this interesting series of posts. It illustrates some of the challenges of using Minecraft with students. I hesitate pointing to this series of exchanges because it shows the need for school appropriate norms for discussion.