Minecraft Education Edition: A glimpse at the future of teaching [For an Assignment!]
Overall, if the game can be utilized properly, which varies in difficulty according to who the students are, their grade-level, and class size, then everything else is great. So long as the teacher learns how to use the game to its best advantage, Minecraft Education Edition provides a plethora of tools that anyone can use, whether it be for a Language class, English, History, Math, or Science. The game can utilize immersive visuals to teach historical or political events. It can be played in other languages, with the option to toggle between them with ease, to teach those languages. It can teach coding, math, and technical skills, and even has the option to learn chemistry with actual elements and chemicals.
Overall, from a pedagogical perspective, the game embodies the 4C's, SAMR, and the TPACK Framework. It redefines lessons, and reinforces creativity and encourages creation, and it perpetuates Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity.
How I Use It
Utilizing Minecraft Education Edition, just like any game, is a difficult task primarily due to the ability to keep students on track. Ironically, teaching using a game often requires similar knowledge and skills as when designing a game, particularly when it comes to objectives, goals, and predicting and guiding player/student behavior. What I mean by this, is when using Minecraft to teach, students might get distracted, or focus too much on the game and too little on what they are actually learning. Good game designers "trick" their players into "wasting their time," by actively engaging them, and distracting them from the idea that their time is being "wasted." What this means, is a good game engages its players by diverting focus from monotonous tasks, and instead recontextualizes them in a way that makes them enjoyable. This is precisely what a good teacher needs to do as well, especially when using a game to teach. It is essential to predict how students will behave, and utilize that assumption of behavior to design an experience that creates a better learning environment.