Virtual Adventures In Arts/Humanities & Other Learning
I believe someday in the future teachers will be able to let students learn through exploring virtual worlds that are loaded with educational content like Social Studies,
History. etc. These virtual worlds will reflect the content standards that the students need to learn in those subjects. Teachers are creating virtual worlds now to teach with using Minecraft EDU which allows the teacher to create worlds that students can explore hands on and learn through exploration. It was talked about last week on Science Friday on NPR. http://sciencefriday.com/segment/07/17/2015/can-videogames-be-used-as-teaching-tools.htm
It is something I think will become increasingly more advanced in the future. Students will be able to learn all types of subjects in virtual worlds where they can interact with each other in an environment dictated by the teacher to reinforce content that they have been taught. The applications of this are endless.
I could have worked with them all summer long due to the huge interest. I found other worlds where the students could learn computer coding and other content areas as well. The students completed tasks not for a grade since they didn’t receive one. They wanted to keep on exploring and creating in this virtual world.
Teachers can also create their own content to teach in the virtual worlds.
I found that time seemed to fly by quickly because the students were deeply immersed and actively engaged in learning in this hands on virtual environment. It was easy to find Kentucky Core Content
Standards in CITIS to plug into what the students were doing.
It can be found here on the KET Student Video Page http://svp.ket.org/uploads/media/minecraftedus-wonderful-world-ofhumanities-21st-c
As is the nature of sandbox games, players can roam free, choosing objectives as they go. Because Minecraft has such open possibilities and potential, the teacher can choose how he or she wants to use it. Just as the student has the ability to be creative, the teacher has the same. That can be overwhelming, but luckily, there is a tool for using Minecraft created by teachers for teachers. MinecraftEdu provides a custom mod , basically a customized modification of the game, that helps facilitate organization and focus for teachers to use Minecraft effectively. In addition, Joel
Levin, the founder of MinecraftEdu, provides ideas and updates at The Minecraft
1) Explore Real Life Buildings
There are many already-created structures that you can import into the game and have students explore. From the Roman
Coliseum to the Globe Theatre, they can wander through and literally see three-dimensional replications of buildings that are no longer there. You might have students identify aspects of a theater, or use it as a tool for presentations. If you really want to go nuts, have students create these models themselves.
2) Practice Ratio and Proportion
Minecraft allows students to build whatever they want, so use the opportunity to have them create scale models when you need a practice unit about measurements and proportions. The building of scale models might integrate social studies content to allow for cross-curricular connections. Coupled with in-class lessons and activities,
Minecraft can help students apply the knowledge they have learned in technological and playful ways.
3) Learn about Survival
You can contextualize the concept of survival for students by having them play the survival mode, which demands players take into account resources, hunger, tools and more as they build and expand their world. Students have to explore in order to collect resources, and they have to process what they find, such as smelting ore to create metal. Doing this in the game can give students a basic understanding of how things work, and help them analyze the different components of survival and settlement.
4) Visualization and Reading Comprehension
One of the best ways to improve how students display their reading comprehension is asking them to create a visualization. They could reconstruct various settings from the text, and even recreate scenes and plot events. They could also use these recreations to give a presentation or make predictions on what might happen next, and then physically create those predictions in Minecraft.
As you consider using Minecraft in the classroom, make sure to have specific objectives in mind for implementation.
Teachers do need to pay for it, but MinecraftEdu has opportunities to pay less , as well as a variety of editions. You might consider using Donorschoose.org
to help back your project financially. Remember that you can have students collaborate in multiplayer mode or do independent practice in single player mode. I'm excited to see the creativity that teachers will bring to using this game in the classroom. I'm sure many of you have more creative ideas. How do you already use Minecraft in the classroom? How might you use it in the future in new and innovative ways?
So why teach using Minecraft?
Many of our current teaching and learning tools were developed a long time ago and belong in an age past. Look at the infographic below and ask the question,
"which tools are we still using, and when where they developed?" Using Minecraft is part of a strategy that seeks to keep teaching and learning tools current. Test: which major piece of technology is this infographic missing?
Minecraft is simply an environment, a digital, virtual Lego set. Many of the elements above very easily fit into this style
of student learning. However the teacher remains the architect and creator of learning experiences and the degree to which quality teaching is evident in the student's learning is still determined by the
teacher, not the tool.
1. Teacher tools from MinecraftEDU are invaluable. They form an important part of classroom management practices.
2. Students love to collaborate. When asked about their collaboration experience
100% of the class voted it as their preferred mode of operation. 3. Students will often extend tasks, adding their own creativity to personalise their end result.
4. Minecraft caters for a diverse range of students, allowing them to excel, regardless of personal strengths or weaknesses.
5. I can have high expectations from students and be surprised by the outcomes because Minecraft is student centered and open-ended.
6. Students who come to a lesson using Minecraft as their tool, came with anticipation and excitement, this seemed to translate into participation in group discussion, before we moved to the computers, a dramatic contrast to their usual participation levels.
7. Creating resources, activities and maps for the students is fun and gives me the opportunity to explore my own creative ideas.
8. Students are very motivated to complete tasks when rewarded with items in Minecraft (who wouldn't want a diamond breastplate!) Students, who were typically off task, were able to demonstrate their understanding of the topic.
Does Minecraft allow opportunity for teachers to draw upon the Quality Teaching Framework?
• This is where you go to look for worlds that other teachers and students have made that can be downloaded and ran on school servers.
• Lesson Ideas and Support
• Edutopia - Ideas for Using Minecraft in
• Educade - Minecraft in a Humanities Classroom
• Educade - Getting Started with MinecraftEdu
• Minecraft in Education Google+ Community
• Minecraft In School Wiki
• TESOL Builders
• Primary Minecraft
• Teaching with Minecraft - Middle School Math
• Real World Examples
• Teaching with MinecraftEDU
• GamingEdus Multi-School MinecraftEdu Server
• Institute of Play’s Design Art Code Camp
• Crafting an educational
• Lessons Learned from Open Minecraft Lab
• Digging for Truth
• Massively Minecraft - A Minecraft Guild for Kids
• Morrowcraft Wiki
• Joel Levin - The Minecraft Teacher
• Bob Kahn - Middle School Minecraft
• André Chercka - Digital Game Based Learning
• Marianne Malmstrom - Knowclue’s Wiki
• Stephen Elford - Math, Science, Pedagogy, and
• Rick Moffat - Temple University Minecraft
• Colin Gallagher - Minechat Podcast
• Steve Rowley - GFS Gaming
• Sara Richards - Lioncrafting