I played minecraft with my younger brother back when I was in grade 10/11 and it was free. It was a great lot if fun. Sometimes we worked together to build giant rock castle and complicated mining tunnels. Sometimes we played separately but our infrastructure coincided so that our minecart railways lead from one house to another. Occasionally we battled it out: creating networks of hidden homes and blowing up one another hideout and steal each others things. It was great sibling bonding time but it didn’t have much in the way of educational value.
I recently read an article by Jim Pike that suggested that minecraft could be used for math purposes and it got me to thinking about the game again. Perhaps there is educational value. Math for one. The whole world is made of of 1:1 blocks. Surely there is a math lesson just waiting to happen? Perhaps the health bar can be used. As a class, we could research how much force a person could withstand when dropped. Then as a class calculate the force involved and whether a real person could survive falls that characters survive on the game. Or we could calculate how much space must be in a avatar’s pockets. We could look at how many slots there are and how many items fit into each slot, what the average space is for each idea and then calculate the total space. We could talk about English lessons with creating a setting for a story. Students could study the feudal system or “Lord of the Flies” by playing out their own version.
I plan for on opening my old account and playing around the game for a bit to see if I can come up with any lesson plan ideas that would involve Minecraft. Since the game require at least a little explanation, exploration and set up, I think it would be best if the proposed lesson plan ideas where wither longer lessons (45-90 min) or were stretched over several lessons.
Also, I have a Chromebook as my computer of choice which means I have to instal Ubuntu if I want to play Minecraft on it. Therefore I’ll have it on my phone and keep it to that, so there might be expansions for the computer game that I don’t mention and that’s why.
If anyone has there own ideas for ways to involve minecraft in the classroom please leave a comment and let me know!