Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

here's an idea minecraft is the ultimate educational tool you guys remember minecraft we made this other video about it that one time where we talked about how it's basically gonna save us all but in case you need a refresher minecraft is a computer game that can best be described as first-person Legos with a dash of husbandry a heaping helping of architecture and a pinch of slay the dragon in survival mode you have to gather resources and materials and fight the bad guys some of whom are very sneaky in creative mode you get to ready for Nicolas Cage go know the pixel the sky is the limit you can build whatever you want and then start a multiplayer game and invite all your friends you can import and export 3d models to make structures you can share your creations with your co-workers and pals or your students towards the end of teaching and the finer bits of computer science art history engineering civics math world history and maybe most things say what now before we get to talking about Minecraft specifically let's talk about computer and video games in general as educational tools there is a long history of using pixels to teach kids about stuff for about as long as there been affordable computers that have been educational games to put up logo taught you how to program that turtle in lemonade stand taught you how to build your lemonade Empire Oregon Trail taught you always Ford the river never Ford the river Mavis Beacon reader rabbit Big Brain Academy and the list goes on they're all great games but they all share a common problematic shortcoming what if you don't want to teach typing or reading sure you could use virtual you to teach management or as a paddle ISM to teach economics or roller coaster tycoon to teach roller coastering but these games can't be specialized or made immersive they lack even the basic technology for fluidity or improvisation two things which are paramount in teaching look good if you want the game to be different every year or every class or collaborative or portable or what if your grades good teacher and you teach 10 subjects each with many units and ideas to cover if only there were some way to build a fully customizable networked environment that was both fun and inexpensive aside from being an exceptionally effective way to avoid doing your homework as it turns out minecraft is also an exceptionally effective teaching tool sorry I just totally ruined minecraft for you probability build a random animal dropper physics measure the time it takes a block to fall and then talk about gravity you can build Minecraft versions of famous bits of architecture or sets for Shakespearean plays you can place works of art inside of a Minecraft gallery or use minecraft mathematically ideal blocks to talk about volume and area teach a foreign language within game signs or tell kids they can only communicate with each other on a collaborative task and I don't know what view the possibilities of what you can get into and out of a game which you thought was just for punching trees are endless and kids respond because it's a creative collaborative entertaining environment where they are in control of their own challenges which can be many there's something like a thousand minecraft mods for all kinds of things like computer craft is a mod which lets people write Lua programs inside Minecraft there is even are you ready an official Mojang licensed version of Minecraft for education called minecraft edu it's spearheaded by Joe Levin aka minecraft teacher minecraft edu is – minecraft what the teacher edition is – your history textbook except cooler with 20 installs at over a thousand schools across six continents the number of students currently learning with Minecraft edu alone is at least 20 thousand now am I saying that we're gonna see minecraft or even videogames in general in every classroom probably unlikely setting up this kind of thing requires a certain investment in technology time on the part of the teachers and a certain technical proficiency which I mean we all know the chance of piece of technology will fail is directly proportional to the number of people watching it in operation what should we hope to eventually I say absolutely studies have confidently stated things like data analysis shows that classes used in the game had significantly higher means than classes not using the game sourcing industry and the number of teachers documenting their overwhelmingly positive experience using minecraft in the classroom is huge another source in the description so the question might not be whether or not we use games in schools but rather how far do we go game designer and advocate Jane McGonigal thinks that we should go all the way in her book reality is broken she describes a school which does not use games but is a game she writes every course every activity every assignment every moment of instruction and assessment would be designed by borrowing key mechanics and participation strategies from the most engaging multiplayer games admittedly we're probably pretty far from that point but as video games continue their search for legitimacy as forms of entertainment artworks containers for narrative and now educational tools minecraft use in the classroom is a pretty important step a hugely popular game made for entertainment used by a small but growing number of teachers to show that game based learning is in fact worth its weight in obsidian and who knows maybe someday there will be a Minecraft University what do you guys think our video games the future of learning let us know in the comments and you should mind this block to subscribe good line it up get your mine on I got my eyes on you see what you guys had to say about surveillance and meteors tucumán actually a funny story I know the kid who was in that movie and I bought Josh Harris a loaf of bread once it was a little weird I hope no one prematurely transported their house to the medium out of fear sleeping Jean 47 and scible trail link fun point out that Foucault is a really important addition to the discussion of the panopticon so we'll hang out here for a second so you can check out their comments and if this is something you're Sternin check out some Foucault decor EDM 676 we actually filmed this a couple weeks ago because of some travel and I think if we made it this week Google glass would feature prominently in the rushon of the growing number of cameras might even change the episode entirely soldier Bob MacLeod points out that it was a meteor and not a meteorite and that I got the size wrong so thank you for that correction quixotic 1018 questions what privacy even is in an age where people are constantly sharing their locations and ideas and opinions and yeah I mean it's true there is sort of this fluid idea of privacy but it's also something that you are actively doing as opposed to something that is happening around you or to you but it's a it's an interesting it's an interesting thing our lines hunter talks about Susan valence and Steve man whose work is great now you should google that if this is stuff that you're interested in also we are very excited for the return of development just even though I think Shadowrun is right about more things than they should have been yes that's kind of the idea actually

30 thoughts on “Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

  1. the government hates Minecraft in the classroom because anything that stimulates student creativity and critical thinking is a threat to the survival of capitalism..Marx said that

  2. It's one of the best creations ever.. as good as Lego or Kinects or simple pseudo-electronic logic design.. it's awesome.

  3. I'm an IT teachers and minecraft is a fad at our school. It's like crack. All the kids are into it and they don't even realize how much their learning even without any direction. With direction, they can truly build educational worlds for any subject. Best of all, is if you tell em it's homework. They spend hours researching, writing and building educational activities that others then play to learn. It's nuts man. Sad thing is the teachers who don't yet see it's potential and are stifling students with low grade clerical work day after day 👉🏽😐

  4. You can build computers in minecraft .. Redstone .. its how I learned how to build computer circuits

  5. Zapitalism to teach economics? You have no idea what you're talking about, what a joke. Any open ended sandbox game can potentially be the ultimate educational tool, but Minecraft doesn't have the built in tools to offer anything valid in this regard… for example governmental or financial tools. Sure you could make mods, and there have been some half assed ones, but this is an expensive process.

  6. Thats why i love minecraft its like it explore my mind and my imagination and everytime i play minecraft I GOT SO CREATIVE MY IMAGINATION EXPLOAD not like art

  7. Old video, I know, but I thought I'd comment anyway. Gamification is not the solution to better education. What you can learn in a game like mincraft or a series like Vikings pales in comparison to an an actual informational resource. The purpose of games is always to entertain. While you can learn what diorite is from minecraft, 95% of your actual time is spent on superfluous repititive activities like mining. Yes, games have been proven to improve things like lateral thinking and hand-eye coordination, but only up to 1 hour a day, and not for teaching actual information.

  8. I really don't think minecraft should be in schools, sure the game is kind of accurate when it comes to geology, but unless you're doing social experiments or teaching logical engineering (whatever redstone is), then I see it as a waste of time

  9. Games ARE the future of Education, and once VR becomes totally immersive, so will the educational experience.
    Thanx for the Great idea and for a great video!!

  10. Games only offer tangential learning benefits and provide a place to practice soft skills like spatial reasoning and sometimes logical planning. As far as being a source of knowledge, Minecraft has to be set up or modded to provide that. All it will do is add another layer to the classroom and possibly kill the reason why Minecraft is engaging.

    I play Minecraft a bit too much for what's deemed healthy, but I'd find the idea of playing Minecraft in a class setting to be a horrible boring idea (unless it was me goofing off doing my own thing, like… not learning). Minecraft's fun because you have freedom to do what you please, in a education setting the teacher needs to be able to control your attention (if you think about it we kinda teach kids against their will don't we, for their own good of course).
    Meaning for Minecraft to be an effective tool you need to remove that engaging element. You'd turn Minecraft in to a chore. You'd need things like: A method to restrict camera control and movement, control over mob spawning, player interaction to stop students punching eachother, the teacher needs a built in fun killing switch to turn Minecraft in to School.

    That's not to say the very boiled down idea of minecraft as a simulated space has no merit, but MINECRAFT as it is has very minimal value. TBH something like Garry's mod would be a better learning tool, has programming, better physics than MC, and better means for creating props. Problem with Garry's mod is that it takes a good long time to get proficient with to make effective things. But if you acquired that talent it would be way better and potent then Minecraft as an educational tool, however it still suffers the same problems I mentioned Minecraft having, which was for it to be a good teaching tool you need a "Fun kill" button.

  11. Yes. But if this thing gets into my school, I can confidently say no one will give a shit about learning and just go building giant dicks or something.

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