Minecraft is based on creativity and imagination, what better way to get students to explore, collaborate, build and learn. In an Edutopia video Using Minecraft as an Educational Tool Joel Levin describes Minecraft as open ended, allows collaboration, students are able to work at their own pace and it’s proven that kids enjoy playing. All of those components sum up differentiated instruction (DI). The possibilities are limitless as to how educators can, will, and already do use MinecraftEdu.
Dan Bloom, a 9th grade Science teacher from New York, used MinecraftEdu to create a world where students could explore a cell while using chemical tools to break through DNA. Students had to figure out which chemicals were necessary to dissolve the components of the cell. He created a student handout that served as a guide to focus student exploration. The questions in the handout were used to assess student understanding (Bloom, 2013). According to Miller (2012), MinecraftEdu can be used to explore buildings, practice ratio and proportion, learn about survival, and reading comprehension.
Part of differentiated instruction is understanding student interests, many students are interested in playing Minecraft, so what better way to engage students in their learning than by using MinecraftEdu. Another aspect of DI is inquiry-based learning, MinecraftEdu can be used for students to explore and create things in worlds based on concepts they are learning about in the classroom. In a DI classroom students are collaborating and cooperating while learning together. MinecraftEdu is a perfect platform to engage collaboration, having students build things together or share with each other how to manipulate items in the game.
Bloom, D. (2013, December 10). The minecraft cell: biology meets game-based learning. Edutopia.org. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/minecraft-cell-biology-meets-gbl-dan-bloom
Edutopia. (2013, December 10). Using minecraft as an educational tool. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1421914688&x-yt-cl=84503534&v=SSimHPmZ0hA
Miller, A. (2012, April 13). Ideas for using minecraft in the classroom. Edutopia.org. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/minecraft-in-classroom-andrew-miller
More Minecraft Resources that can be found in my Pearltress collection: