Article One : Can Minecraft Be Used Effectively As An Educational Tool?

FLINDERS Caroline, Can Minecraft Be Used Effectively As An Educational Tool?, with Simon Brookes as Supervisor, University of Portsmouth, 2014.
Full dissertation is here : Her Dropbox

 

I want to speak about the great study project of Caroline Flinders about Minecraft in Education.

Minecraft is a video game in which players create and break blocks building a virtual world. It’s both a single and multi player game, you juste need an ID and you can build what you want. There are two main modes, Survival and Creative. The first one is more dangerous because they are zombies and other creatures, an health bar which you must be careful and difficulties to collect ressources. The Creative one is more used in Education because you have full ressources and no enemies.

MinecraftEdu is a modification created by teachers for classroom use and officially supported by Mojang, the company behind Minecraft. More than 40 countries use MinecraftEdu. All subjects can be use with MinecraftEdu, like History, Sciences or Art. There are different blocks included in MinecraftEdu and Offline functionality useful for teachers in school with a bad or limited connexion.

 

She focused her research with both qualitative and quantitative data about teachers who were already using Minecraft in their classroom. 35 teachers reply to her. She asks them different questions and she follows some activities with them.

In first part of her work she explains her methodology, but the most important part or her work is the chapter four, with data analysis.

Some datas didn’t surprise me, for exemple at the question « My students are excited to be learning with Minecraft » it’s 30 « Strongly agress » and 5 « agree ». It seems logical.

But at the question « Did you have previous experience playing Minecraft before it was introduced to your classroom » the are 27 of Yes and 8 of No. It’s surprised me because all of french teachers I know they used Minecraft in the classroom, they already played Minecraft before.

We can see that using Minecraft has increased students engagement in the classroom, the are more motivated to be in school, and we can see an improvement of social skills with students using Minecraft.

 

In conclusion, we can say that video games in Education can work well without trouble. Minecraft is definitely a great choose to start because it’s an easy game without the need to play it before using it in the classroom. We can imagine it in different disciplines and without difference between girls and boys. It’s also a great tool to learn citizenship while playing.

 

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Vocabulary :

Citizenship : citoyenneté
Survey : enquête / sondage
Insightful : perspicace
Stigma : stigmatisation / préjugé
whilst / while : tandis que
Constraint : contrainte
Landscape : paysage
Eager : pressé / impatient