The open ended sandbox environment is wonderful for creating a multitude of learning opportunities.
Community Review for MinecraftEdu
In my game design and development class, we leverage the open ended sandbox format as a clean slate for designing games within the minecraft world. Students are so excited as they are intrinsically motivated by the fact that they already play and love minecraft. The students who are not familiar grow to love it based on the use in class.
How I Use It
I teach video game design and development. Last year, I began to incorporate minecraft as one of our units. My goal was to develop a truly student driven project so the assignment is essentially, "Create a game within minecraft". Students create a game plan to pitch their game idea. I provide feedback generally in terms of asking questions for further clarification. Once the student and I are satisfied with the document and feel that the rules, mechanics, game idea, etc. are set, they can begin development on their game. For most projects I limit group size to avoid the issue of students not pulling their weight. For this project, I allow groups of any size. This has not been an issue and because they can all build and work simultaneously it really works great as a group project. I'm very excited about the project and the kids are even more excited than I am :)