Virtual Legos: build, design, and create…anything and everything
How I Use It
As a classroom teacher, the possibilities are endless for use in a classroom. History teachers could ask students to build a replica of a Coliseum, or students studying Ancient Egypt could build a replica of the Pyramids and all of the inner chambers. A science class could be tasked with building a three-dimensional model of a cell or designing the next prototype of an electric car. Students in a technology class could design their own computer, and an English class could make a short story come to life by recreating the scenes of a book within the app. Imagine a group of students working collaboratively to build a scale replica of Hogwarts Castle. The challenge with this app, however, is providing the necessary structure for students to follow. It is very easy to spend weeks in the classroom building one structure. Students are so focused on the app that they lose track of time. Classroom teachers must plan carefully the goals of their lesson when using Minecraft Pocket Edition in order to provide clear instructions, boundaries, and time limits.
Game-based learning is becoming more common in the classroom, and Minecraft Pocket Edition is a great tool to get started. As many schools are integrating mobile devices in the classroom (iPads, iPods, Android devices), Minecraft Pocket Edition is a perfect addition to your list of apps.
The premise of the app is simple – the player uses a collection of different kinds of blocks to build anything she can imagine.
Think of this as a virtual set of Legos (where the Legos never get lost). The fact that the game is open-ended and never ends makes it even more compelling to students. Players can move through the landscape and build anything, forever. A student can work independently or invite other students to build in their world (assuming they are sharing the same local wireless network). The ability to collaborate on projects provides a variety of options for classroom teachers looking to bring this into the classroom. The “blocky” graphics are reminiscent of a 1980’s video game. However, it is this simplicity that makes the game even more interesting to students. Kids of any age can build some amazing things.