Worried that your kid spends too much time playing video games?
Fret not because contrary to popular belief, video games help kids learn. Games have a potential that teachers can tap for learning. Through video games, kids can develop their math, reading, creativity, and social skills and no other game embodies these benefits more than Minecraft.
How can a game about building blocks improve a child’s education, you ask? To help you understand, here is a look at the different ways how teachers are using Minecraft in school:
How Minecraft Works
For the uninitiated, Minecraft is a three-dimensional sandbox game (played in a first-person POV) that focuses on mining raw materials to craft useful items. The game doesn’t feature specific goals or direction but this degree of freedom allows the player to choose how they would play.
One of the ways that you can enjoy the game is to build structures and objects using blocks that represent various things. This is, in fact, the core mechanic of the game. This grants an avenue of creativity for the players to use and exploit.
While players can move freely, the objects laid out are in a grid format to which the blocks adhere to. The players can also break the blocks, yielding materials that they can use to craft items.
In Survival Mode, players still get the chance to craft but they also must venture out, explore, and fight monsters roaming the land.
How Minecraft Helps in the Classroom
Microsoft fully understands the educational potential of the game and thus released Minecraft Education Edition. This is a free version that connects teachers and students in the game. Ever since the game’s advent, teachers have been finding ways to implement the game as a teaching aid in their lessons.
The following details are some ideas on how you can use Minecraft as a means to teach your students.
Replicate Structures and Dioramas
With the game acting as a perfect avenue for building structures and objects, this becomes an ideal platform for replicating real-life structures and monuments. It is a perfect setup for dioramas where you can do walkthrough tours for your students.
You can also have the students reenact events or conduct stage performances using Minecraft. Whichever you pick for this, check out these seeds for Minecraft Java Edition that you can use for your class.
Use as a Writing Aid and Visualization Tool
As a visual aid for storytelling, Minecraft allows immersion for students. The game is also best used as a tool for students to create stories, helping them flesh out their characters as they go. Even the avenue of world-building can come to play.
Couple a sandbox with a child’s rich imagination and you will see a vast number of possibilities, as they recreate what they have read and learned through the game.
Use to Encourage Cooperation
Video games like Minecraft also work as great extracurricular activities to build camaraderie.
Minecraft in school can also encourage the students to work together and cooperate. By setting up objectives and parameters needed, you can allow students to work together to achieve these goals. This way, you can encourage them to be more cooperative and competitive when needed.
You can group the students together and run a small competition. Present a goal like asking each group has to replicate their school campus using the Minecraft materials. This kind of setup ensures the group members learn to cooperate with each other while maintaining a competitive nature.
Try out Minecraft for Your Class!
By having both learning and fun on the same page, you can encourage students to tap into their creativity with Minecraft in school. So, find a good avenue to use this game as a tool for your lessons and allow it to enrich their learning.
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