#diffimooc Week 2: Minecraft

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.

References:

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:

http://www.pearltrees.com/ak_gryga/minecraft-resources/id11723929

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One thought on “#diffimooc Week 2: Minecraft

  1. Differentiation and reaching all kids is something that could be made so much easier with the integration of Minecraft in the classroom (or at least it seems so from what I’ve read, not from what I have tried). With kids spending so many hours on electronics, they know the ins and outs of technology by a really young age. You would think districts would want you teaching kids what they know and how they are going to be expected to learn in the future. We aren’t a paper and pencil culture anymore. Students need to start using and exploring with technology at earlier and earlier ages. This may also keep some of them interested in what’s going on in the classroom and make them want to stay in school as well as try a little bit harder in their classes. It seems like anyone in charge in the district or the school board would understand that.

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