I got the opportunity to try Minecraft today. My younger cousin had sort of explained the game to me but I had never played it myself or seen it played. I had no idea Minecraft could be used in the classroom for educational purposes until today. Today we had a teacher, Heidi, come in with a group of students who run the Minecraft server at their school. They helped us set up educational Minecraft and explained some of the different ways Minecraft can be adopted into the classroom. Minecraft education is a video game that can be controlled by the teacher. The goal of the game is to survive. To do that you need to build things, farm, mine for resources, hunt and gather food. The teacher can open different worlds where there are different restrictions on the players or different challenges to conquer. For example you might unleash a monster on the game that is called famine or disease and your class has to work to stay alive.
Your entire class is in the same world together so they can work as a team to build farms, designate spaces to live just like what was done in ancient civilizations. As a future humanities/history teacher it was a unique way to look at ancient civilizations. You can limit the size of area they can access and then ask them to build a thriving society. You could set the parameters to match that of an ancient civilization and have them attempt to survive and thrive. It was a great reminder not to get stuck in the traditional books and test routines but to look at other means of teaching the content. By changing history from some non-relatable topic to a video game that is popular for that age group the content does not seem so boring or distant for some students. My ultimate goal as a teacher is to inspire students to learn and to love learning. By finding ways to motivate and encourage learning through different styles of teaching I hope I can do that. Minecraft is just one tool I can use to help me achieve my goal.
Taken from: https://www.twitch.tv/minecraft