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:
- 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.
- 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