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Minecraft as an educational tool

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Kevin Karner

on 20 December 2014

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Transcript of Minecraft as an educational tool

Analysis of Minecraft I
according to the model of David Buckingham
Is Minecraft useful for teaching?
Analysis of Minecraft II
according to the model of David Buckingham
Thank you!
Critical Media Analysis
Minecraft as an educational tool?
Graphics and Sounds
Construction of the
game characters
Verbal language
Relationship between the
Minecraft world and the
real world
Only featured to a small extend
Main character unable to produce sounds
Interaction only in game external context
Protagonist never communicates autonomously
Codes and conventions
To a huge part self-explanatory
Teachers need prior knowledge to host a Minecraft classroom and prepare lessons
Commercial structure
Markus "Notch" Persson
Space and time
Jens Bergenstein
Authorship of
Relationship between Minecraft and other media
Rather realistical parallel world
Everything is made up of blocks
All objects fit into a cuboid
Ludic dimension
Technology and Software
Surviving and building a virtual existential base as sole purpose of survival mode
Ability of flying and possibility to use every block available in the game in creative mode
Pleasure of play
Enjoyable but challenging
Very personal small goals
What is Minecraft?
Type: open world sandbox game
Inventor: Markus "Notch" Persson
Publisher: Mojang
Different social groups
Vast majority of players are white and male
Main character is also a caucasian man
Modding allows personalisation in Minecraft
Possibility of changing sex or skin tone in Edu
Minecraft as an Educational tool
Fan culture
Survival Mode
Modding as essential part of the game and is not considered cheating
Positive feedback
Even console versions greatly anticipated
Option of playing the game before its actual release to integrate opinions of gamers
Voices of dissent
Aimless and never-ending course of the game
Small but significant inconstancies regarding scientific applicability
Animals are able to make sounds
Online presentation (group 7)
Creative Mode
(original video link)
Special Features
Teacher hosts online game
only the Teacher has complete control over world

where teachers share their lessons, created worlds and experience using Minecraft
purchase only as qualified educational institution and non-profit organization
41 $ Server Software
14 $ per Student
(optional) 20 $ per month server cost
Total: 391 $
Date: 2009
Minecraft Edu teacher: Michael Harvey
Technology teacher at Falmouth Elementary School
MinecraftEdu featured Educator November 2014
usage of Minecraft "
everything from digital citizenship to reinforcement of mathematical concepts
One of Harvey's favourite features of MinecraftEdu
“ I soon realized that while many students got right to work, a few had no idea where to begin. As it turned out, the problem was that not all students had the required background knowledge to understand how farming works in Minecraft. My solution was to add a farming tutorial area to the map complete with NPCs (non-playable characters) that teach students step-by-step how to ready farmland, plant seeds, and harvest wheat.”
"For example, there is a great map available called the Water Challenge which requires students to collectively find a way to build a thriving farm with a highly limited water source."
“It is hardly surprising that I have many students frequently ask when the next Minecraft lesson will be. My classes know not to expect it every week; they truly see it as something special. Kids who play the game at home have been surprisingly humble and as accommodating as you could hope when it comes to helping classmates who are less familiar with the mechanics of the game.”
“Aside from being an exceptionally effective way to avoid doing your homework, as it turns out Minecraft is also an exceptionally effective teaching tool […] Probability? Build a
random animal dropper
. Physics? Measure the time it takes a Block to fall and then talk about
. You can build minecraft versions of famous bits of architecture or
sets for Shakespearean plays
, you can place works of art inside a Minecraft gallery, or use Minecrafts mathematically ideal blocks to talk about volume and area. […] the possibilities of what you can get into and out of a game which you thought was just for punching trees are endless and kids respond because it’s a creative, collaborative, entertaining environment where they are in control of their own challenges, which can be many.”

randomly drops animals
set for Shakespearean play
“MinecraftEdu provides products
and services that make it easy for
educators to use Minecraft in the
classroom. We make a special version
of Minecraft specifically for classroom
use. It contains many additions to the
original game that make it more useful
and appropriate in a school setting.”

“We also host a library of lessons and activities that are available for free, and there is a vibrant, active teacher community exploring uses of Minecraft in the classroom. Over 3,000 teachers in 40+ countries have used MinecraftEdu to teach subjects from STEM to Language to History to Art.”

produced ...
Picture Sources
How to melt ore
How to craft ore items
1001 ways to die in Minecraft
Taj Mahal - Timelapse
Setting of Game of Thrones
new resources
related processes create general understanding
recipes online
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/minecraft-in-classroom-andrew-miller; 5.12.2014
http://primaryminecraft.com/ideas/sci-geo-hist/; 5.12.2014
http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Minecraft_in_education; 5.12.2014
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft; 5.12.2014

http://pixgood.com/minecraft-characters-steve-face.html; 14.12.2014
http://cloud.attackofthefanboy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/markus-notch-persson.jpg; 14.12.2014
http://www.buffed.de/screenshots/970x546/2012/02/Minecraft_Lego_06.jpg; 14.12.2014
http://videogamewriters.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Mojang.jpeg; 14.12.2014
http://cdn2.bigcommerce.com/server5700/28a60/product_images/theme_images/minecraft_uk_merchandise.png?t=1418335400; 14.12.2014

The modern digital Lego
no spacial restrictions
fixed grid pattern
Full transcript