Week 8 Blog Post

Video games, both on consuls and computers are probably the facet of technology that I am furthest out of touch with.  I didn’t grow up playing video games, and because by the time I was able to get into video games on my own, at places besides my house, everyone was so much better than me already because I missed out on years of early practice and play, so I quickly lost interest.  Thousands of people are relentlessly enthralled by video games, but it’s a fascination that I was never quite able to relate too.  Because of this deficit, I had to do a bit of extra work researching on what Minecraft is and how it works and is played.

According to Minecraftopia.com the general purpose of the game is to build and create a home for your character.  As the game advances you can create a more elaborate home with more items, while at the same time protecting your home from invaders.  The game Minecraft all on its own already contains many educational benefits, including reading, writing, math and social skills (Minecraft.gamepedia.com).  But Minecraftedu is a different branch of the game the exists specifically for using the game Minecraft for educational purposes.  The game itself is pretty open and flexible. There are no specific commands a player must respond to, no missions or quests (minecraftopia.com).  So users are free to be creative and build.

Because of the nonrestrictive nature of Minecraft there are no internal games, no other things for players to engage in apart from the main objective of the game.  I’m not sure if our task is to design a game that could be a part of the Minecraft world, or to create a game that takes place outside of Minecraft, but you apply results or parts of the game to the game.  Anyways, I here is the game I came up with.

Since the essence of the game is building, I would create a game that requires players to build certain types of structures.  The game would have students practice using perimeter, area and volume.  Each player would have a certain amount of time (e.g., one ‘day’) to create a certain amount of buildings in given dimensions.  If the buildings were completed and correct, players would earn certain materials/tools.  Students could also be given a sum or product, and would need to figure out the dimensions of buildings to build by figuring out factors that multiply up to the given product.  this harder version would be for older students, or students who have demonstrated proficiency with the game.  Not only would this game be fun and engaging for students, as well as rewarding but they would also be able to see where measurement is commonly used in the real world, through construction!

Lots of other educational applications exist for Minecraft, including ratio and proportion and even reading comprehension strategies.  Kids seem to love Minecraft and many educators and some schools are already using Minecraft with their students.  Linked below is a video that shows a school in North Carolina that has been using Minecraft with its students for year.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO_cs1DrbhA

How To Play Minecraft| Minecraftopia. (n.d.). Retrieved July 8, 2015.
Miller, A. (2012, April 13). Ideas for Using Minecraft in the Classroom. Retrieved July 8, 2015.
Minecraft in Education. (n.d.). Retrieved July 8, 2015, from http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Minecraft_in_education
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5 thoughts on “Week 8 Blog Post

  1. Really enjoyed your blog. There are many uses for MineCraft. As I was doing some research a bit ago, I found this link that I wish I had discovered before I posted my blog. Quite a few cool ideas used by a 6th grade Middle School Teacher. http://tl2014.org/2013/05/08/educational-uses-of-minecraft/

    The reason I think MineCraft is so successful as an educational tool is that it isn’t hard to get kids excited to engage with the game and complete challenges and tasks that are fun and challenging. And of course, kids love sharing their creations with others.

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  2. I love your idea for the game inside Minecraft – giving students the task of building with certain restrictions. It helps that a Minecraft day is only ten minutes, so it could be quickly measured. 🙂

    Though I played video games as a child, mostly on the now obsolete super nintendo or nintendo 64, I am not a huge video game person as an adult. When I play games, they are generally the ones on my phone to pass the time, so I can identify with your statement of this. However, what I learned when watching students play and doing my research is that the game seems fairly easy to adapt to and learn. Because of the nonrestrictive nature of the game, it seems that leaves little room for failure – helping students succeed and giving them room to explore, which can be great in the long run.

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  3. Tristan Leiter says:

    I’m not a “gamer” myself unless it’s like a racing game and I only have to push two buttons, games sure have come a long way since Oregon Trail games. I like your idea for a Minecraft game and that it includes math, all I am teaching this year is math for 4th-9th grade so it’s nice to get multiple ideas at varying strengths for my students. For not knowing much about Minecraft I would say you created a game that students would enjoy. It seems to me that a lot of them are enthralled with who can build the coolest house, and then giving them dimensions it would be a contest to see who can build the coolest house within the parameters. There are so many different educational avenues to take to incorporate Minecraft in the classroom, many of which I have no idea about because I don’t play Minecraft well at all, but they are there. I did some research last semester in the Minecraftedu website and it is really neat to see all the different things you can do in the classroom and the students really are excited about it.

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  4. Liked your blog!! I like your game idea of creating specific things to complete a task, and then receive tools to build more things. It is the basic skill of gaming, play to get things to advance up. I played mine craft for this class, didn’t feel anything from it, and I am a gamer. I can see the benefits of the game, but also know there are kids that don’t play that type of game. I agree with your point of the game that there is no other reason to play except build (because we would want to turn off the bad stuff) but sometimes that is what you may need to get a point across.

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  5. We are definitely in the same boat when it comes to video games! I also did not grow up playing videos games so it was always kind of a foreign subject to me. So at first incorporating Minecraft in my classroom kind of sounded daunting since I am very unfamiliar with gaming. However, after doing some research I really see the benefits that it can bring to the room. I loved your idea of having students build various structures to practice their math concepts. It is often so challenging for students to grasp things like area, perimeter and volume from a textbook. Minecraft would be give students the opportunity to practice these skills, but in a way that is more meaningful. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful thoughts!

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