For about a six months now Lucas has been playing Minecraft. We’ve got it on the XBox and he’s got the full version on the Mac.

I personally get that it’s cool, but I’m really not able to to get that enthusiastic about it. Christine has fiddled with it more than I have, but I thing that both of us tend to view it as a lower res, more entertaining version of Second Life (thanks be to the gods that I no longer have to pretend that I care about that).

I’ve started to read the variety of articles (journal and popular press) about Minecraft as an educational tool and I need to be reading more. There is also MinecraftEdu that was started by Joel Levin, a teacher out of NYC.

I’m thinking on this for two reasons:

  1. I’m writing this from the Upper Riccarton Library, where Lucas is currently in a Minecraft gaming session as part of their holiday program. They have their own world on a locally installed MinecraftEdu server. It is, frankly, deeply cool.
  2. If the goal of learner engagement is barrier removal and, you know, engagement, we (parents, educators etc) have to look to see where the learners are actually hanging out. I have issues with extending this to social media networks (No, you can’t own my stuff – especially the things I’ve explicitly CC licensed) but the idea of getting Lucas to do homework in Minecraft doesn’t freak me out at all.

So am I talking about a LGMS ((Learning by Gaming Management System)? Or am I just thinking about embedding some of this into classrooms? I dunno yet.. I’ve got to think some more.

Running List of Edu Writing about Minecraft



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