Minecraft in the Classroom

Video games being used as educational tools in the classroom has been an oft-discussed topic, and it’s great to see when they are used effectively in real life situations.

For example, the classrooms of Hank Lanipher and Amy Yount, two social studies teachers at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School in Washington.  They use Minecraft as a tool for learning the architecture of various cities in history, but also as a way to gain life lessons and interact with their classmates.

The teachers used Minecraft to allow students to get a “first hand” look at an ancient Roman city, assigning them each a home to build and a plot of land.  Playing in the game’s Creative mode, the students had unlimited resources to build with, but ran into interesting problem solving situations when they requested materials that Minecraft did not have in it.  The exercises introduced students to floor plans, architecture, and group interactivity.

The school reached out to TeacherGaming for the Minecraft experience. The company’s co-founder has experience with using Minecraft with young students, using it with classrooms as early as second grade to teach about proper online behavior and social interactions. The goal was to get students to work together on large, collaborative projects and learn proper online etiquette. In today’s social and highly online world, these lessons can’t come too early.

As soon as TeacherGaming started doing this for their students, schools and teachers from around the world became interested. Even outside of the direct classroom, many teachers like Brian Eastman, a math teacher at Lanier Middle School in Fairfax, are starting after-school Minecraft clubs.  Using Minecraft, teachers and institutions are able to stress the importance of cooperation over competition, and foster the social skills and interactions of kids of all ages, as well as use it as a unique learning tool for things such as social studies and math.

To read the full article, visit <a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/minecraft-spawns-classroom-lessons/2013/03/14/717aed66-87b8-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_story.html”>The Washington Post.</a>