Teaching the Digital Generation

Pete Brown's ramblings and reflections on teaching and learning in the 21st century.

Minecraft

It is no mystery that students learn best when they are engaged in their learning and Minecraft has become a gaming phenomenon that has building blocks to influence the world of education. Using Minecraft as a teaching tool enables teachers to develop lessons plans and learning objectives that model real word scenarios.

The use of Minecraft is probably no different to any other school utilising the game, where it presents you with an open world dialogued with different activities. The students work in a single world, where they must share resources, collaborate, negotiate and work together. Students are put in a position where they have to live out real world scenarios in a microcosm world – learning to deal with negative and positive behaviours as important aspects to the lesson. Minecraft is a tool which is being used as a way of teaching problem-solving skills, creativity and conflict resolution.

Year 5/6 Students bring History to Life!

Students in year 5 and 6 are using Minecraft for Project Based Learning; investigating and researching historical buildings around the world. In collaboration, students are determining the resources required to design and develop their buildings, the required proportional scale and how to modify the geographical landscape to suit its time period.

colosseumStudents are using the game to learn more than just computer skills as they are focussing also on science, technology, engineering and math explorations. They are strengthening their communication skills, exploring how societies function, and recreating ancient civilizations. Students are also being encouraged to consider the impact of logging on reducing soil productivity, the inverse, Tropification and the impact of planting trees and how it may increase the productivity of soil.

I am looking forward to seeing the end results as their projects come to a completion!

Year 9/10 Students Learn how to Impact an Economy!

Students in Year 9/10 are using minecraft to learn the concepts of Project Management. By doing this, they are recreating the college grounds by determining the Contour/Topographic Maps of the college and developing it from the ground up! They are understanding and learning how project management functions and its economic impact on project deliveries. They are learning skills and capabilities that encompass:

  • The management of TASKS: The stuff we need to do, when, where and how.
  • The management of RESOURCES: The people and things we need to use to create the stuff.
  • The management of EXPECTATIONS: Clearly communicating everything in every way possible to everyone necessary so that everyone knows what is expected…

These are skills important to a growing economy of resource collection and distribution. The microcosm of minecraft enables students to learn and develop these skills in an environment where still tasks and resources change. Project deliverables and scope changes. Constraints change. Everything changes! Including the landscape when TNT is foolishly used. Students learn how to communicate effectively with the project team and all stakeholders. Placed in small functional teams, students learn how good they are are at managing expectations and deadlines. Students learn what it means how these expectations determine the project success and how this helps build on their own reputation.

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