Who would have thought that we’d be amongst a time where video games are used as a popular learning tool. Previously a teachers nemesis, now a beneficial comrade, you’d better rub away the cynic from your eyes, because schools across the nation are rife with the new Minecraft: Education Edition.
What is Minecraft?
Minecraft just so happens to be the second most popular selling video game of ALL TIME. Now that is a momentous achievement in itself, but for it to be used effectively in education, that is truly revolutionary.
In this pixelated world, you have the ability to ‘mine’ different items, which is basically you (the user) harvesting a collection of materials that are part of the worlds core, or sometimes hidden in chests, in order to build and create as you please. Now, having been a Minecraft user for quite some time, I can understand how it will be very beneficial for those establishments that decide to utilise it.
How will the Education Edition benefit its users?
Primarily, Minecraft is engaging. As you get a feel for things and discover how each function works, you’re unable to take your eyes off the game. It keeps you focused on your objectives, whether that may be building the eiffel tower (Once you’ve become an expert) or slaughtering a pixelated chicken, it requires your complete concentration.
One of Minecraft: Education Edition’s many positive factors is that you can create own ‘lesson plan’, where you implement your own objective in a world that you create yourself. Now aside from the fundamental learning objectives, Minecraft strongly assists with developing problem solving, collaboration and teamwork skills, abilities that are strongly sought after in the modern workplace.
Each lesson plan can be tailored to whatever you want your outcome to be. In game, you also have a camera, which allows the user to capture photographs of their creations for evidential purposes. Before I quite understood the lesson plans, my naivety led me to believe that surely the only educational sectors that can use this game effectively are construction and art and design. Construction, is the main focus of the game, as you have to build to achieve anything and art and design is paramount as it explores your creativity in how you build such items.
However, I was very wrong. Minecraft: Education Edition can be used across an array of subjects. I’ve seen lesson plans where you can explore the interior of an eyeball, with different parts of the interior labelled with a little signpost informing you of the name of this particular part and its function. There are also lesson plans where you can explore a shakespeare themed world, and amongst this world, the user can talk to different characters who can help you solve a plot or even explain a chapter of the book.
This implicit learning takes the focus off your stereotypical blackboard learning, making it far more compelling for both pupils and teachers. To be quite honest, the usefulness of this game is limitless and it will most definitely keep people engaged. There is no doubt that digital learning and Minecraft: Education Edition in particular will be infused globally across organisations and educational institutions.
Currently boasting over two million users with this number ascending rapidly as each day passes, the popularity of this wonderful learning tool is explicit. Don’t hesitate, join the revolution!