Minecraft is a sandbox indie game originally created by Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson and later developed and published by Mojang. The creative and building aspects of Minecraft allow players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. Other activities in the game include exploration, gathering resources, crafting and combat. Gameplay in its commercial release has two principal modes: survival, which requires players to acquire resources and maintain their health and hunger; and creative, where players have an unlimited supply of resources, the ability to fly, and no health or hunger. Minecraft is being used to teach more than just computer skills. It easily lends itself to science, technology, engineering and maths explorations. But beyond that, language teachers are strengthening communication skills, civics teachers are exploring how societies function, and history teachers are having their students recreate ancient civilizations. It is a wonderful extension tool to expand and push problem solving and engage the higher order thinking skills as students plan, develop and build their learning projects. Information sourced Minecraft Wikipedia
“Need more convincing that Minecraft can be a powerful tool for learning? Check out this fun video from PBS Idea Channel’s Mike Rugnetta, who specifically (and very quickly) lists a number of ways the video game can and has been used to learn everything from physics to history.” Mind/Shift.org
Here are some links to excellent Minecraft resources and builds:
Joe Levin (Minecraft Edu developer and teacher) talks about using Minecraft in his classroom:
These are renders of our Minecraft city. We’ve been working on it off and on for 19 months now with just 2 people. We’re inspired by great artists from Van Gogh to Mondriaan, and architects like Mies van der Rohe and Rietveld. There are many references to art, science, music and movies, all over the city.