MinecraftEdu in primary education―a future technology
By Lisa Fazio
(sourced 15/12/ 2012 http://asia.gamespot.com/images/6400549/1/?feature=1&caption=Minecraft%2527s
What is Minecraft?
Minecraft is a software program developed by Swedish developer Markus Persson and released to the public in 2009 as a video game. This independently developed video game using java programming language and referred to as a 'sandbox indie game'.
Players of Minecraft use it to create virtual structures and worlds using blocks. These blocks come in an array of materials including; stone, iron, brick, timber, and in various shapes and colours. The structures and worlds which are created can be manipulated by the user to be de-constructed and creatively reengineered (source http://minecraftedu.com/wiki/index.php?title=What_is_Minecraft%3F
In the first iteration of Minecraft users built structures to 'protect against nocturnal monsters'. The game has now changed to include more features and applications to enable unlimited creativity to form imaginative virtual environments. For example, players have established, virtual worlds where they explore fantasy worlds with their online friends such as, watching the sunrise over a glassy ocean in a new world (source http://minecraftedu.com/wiki/index.php?title=What_is_Minecraft%3F
(image 13/01/2013 http://www.nikdaum.com/news/10minecraft40big.jpg)
The following You Tube video demonstrates how Minecraft enables players to create and work together to create visual works-of-art.
In 2012 Minecraft is developed and published by the Swedish company, Mojang. The success and user base of Minecraft is vast. It has five awards from the 2011 Game Developers Conference; the Innovation
Award, Best Downloadable Game Award and the Best Debut Game Award from the Game Developers
Choice Awards. In addition the Audience Award, the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, from the
Independent Games Festival in 2011; and in 2012, Minecraft received the Golden Joystick Award in Best
Downloadable Game. As at December 13, 2012, it has sold 17.5 million copies across all platforms
(source 15/ 12/2012 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft).
Minecraft has three different application routes for users:
1 Survival: here users gather resources, explore, survive and make decisions for combat
2 Creative: solve problems using imagination with unlimited blocks for use
3 'Hardcore' survival: comprising a higher degree of difficulty compared to survival
Users can play both survival and creative in multi-player mode.
Minecraft in education
Minecraft is in the classroom as a learning resource. This is because teachers, as games players of
Minecraft, see the benefits it has to a student's learning process. It is in use by students to make virtual structures out of the unlimited design features using the creative mode. In this mode there is no combat, and learners use blocks of all shapes, designs, colours and sizes to complete learning projects in a virtual environment. Learning is a mastery focus which uses the learner's imagination to solve problems which they can then visualise.
If there is a need for learner's to solve problems based on survival scenarios, this is available using the survival mode. For example; there is a plaque of locusts swarming to a farmers harvest. Learners can create problem-solving strategies to save the harvest from the approaching locust using mathematics, science and then in a virtual world see the outcomes of their research, hypothesis etc and makes changes within the safety of the virtual environment (Source 15/12/2012 http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2011/03/legos-for-the-digital-age-students-build-imaginary-worlds/). The following is an example of a Minecraft virtual world in action: