Frustrating and Level Ups can Really Add Up
Sandbox does appease to the Minecraft crowd of students. The ability to design and create is a definite bonus and for some students it was a valid learning experience. I wouldn't use this as a teaching tool and would have a hard time justifying it as a learning opportunity. However, I would encourage certain students to explore the game outside of school and have them show me their results.
How I Use It
Sandbox is a pixelated world builder that enables students to create a world in a literal sandbox. Students use thirty elements ranging from such dirt, sand, water, and mud to design a mini-ecosystem. Other tools are offered to allow students that ability to construct electrical circuits, heaters, and coolers. The sun and weather can be manipulated allowing students to understand how the weather and climate impact their element choices. I experimented with students using Sandbox as a way to connect science to their writing. The game was easy for a few students to maneuver; most became extremely frustrated and didn't want to continue.