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Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios

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If you’ve watched past episodes of Idea Channel, you know we’re huge fans of Minecraft. This totally amazing video game allows you to build your own world from scratch, what’s not to like?!?! But it may be good for more than just fun and games. Some experts have brought Minecraft into the classroom, allowing teachers to customize lessons and students to engage with concepts in new ways. And while educational games aren’t new, Minecraft has some unique advantages that could usher in a new direction in education. In the future, students across the world may spend their class time punching trees.

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Literary Links:
Classes using the game had significantly higher means than those classes that did not use the game:

Teachers documenting positive experiences w/ Minecraft:

Video Links:

Will Minecraft and Makerbot Usher in the Post-Scarcity Economy?

MinecraftEdu Thoughts 02 – Probability and Gravity

The Physics of Minecraft: Gravity

Minecraft Virtual Classroom #4 – Foreign Language

A Sad Day on the Oregon Trail:

History of Latvia:

Teaching with Games: GLPC Case Study: Joel

Video Game High School:

Level 5: Room for the Homeless

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Comments (36)

  1. the government hates Minecraft in the classroom because anything that stimulates student creativity and critical thinking is a threat to the survival of capitalism..Marx said that

  2. It's one of the best creations ever.. as good as Lego or Kinects or simple pseudo-electronic logic design.. it's awesome.

  3. I'm an IT teachers and minecraft is a fad at our school. It's like crack. All the kids are into it and they don't even realize how much their learning even without any direction. With direction, they can truly build educational worlds for any subject. Best of all, is if you tell em it's homework. They spend hours researching, writing and building educational activities that others then play to learn. It's nuts man. Sad thing is the teachers who don't yet see it's potential and are stifling students with low grade clerical work day after day 👉🏽😐

  4. 4:25
    Most likely, yes.

    At least judging by the information given by this video.

  5. You can build computers in minecraft .. Redstone .. its how I learned how to build computer circuits

  6. Zapitalism to teach economics? You have no idea what you're talking about, what a joke. Any open ended sandbox game can potentially be the ultimate educational tool, but Minecraft doesn't have the built in tools to offer anything valid in this regard… for example governmental or financial tools. Sure you could make mods, and there have been some half assed ones, but this is an expensive process.

  7. Thats why i love minecraft its like it explore my mind and my imagination and everytime i play minecraft I GOT SO CREATIVE MY IMAGINATION EXPLOAD not like art

  8. Old video, I know, but I thought I'd comment anyway. Gamification is not the solution to better education. What you can learn in a game like mincraft or a series like Vikings pales in comparison to an an actual informational resource. The purpose of games is always to entertain. While you can learn what diorite is from minecraft, 95% of your actual time is spent on superfluous repititive activities like mining. Yes, games have been proven to improve things like lateral thinking and hand-eye coordination, but only up to 1 hour a day, and not for teaching actual information.

  9. I have NEVER played any of those educational games.

  10. I really don't think minecraft should be in schools, sure the game is kind of accurate when it comes to geology, but unless you're doing social experiments or teaching logical engineering (whatever redstone is), then I see it as a waste of time

  11. I would use Kerbal Space Program to teach rocket science and physics

  12. i wish this channel was still active

  13. Minecraft is about to become the OASIS

  14. Games ARE the future of Education, and once VR becomes totally immersive, so will the educational experience.
    Thanx for the Great idea and for a great video!!

  15. Games only offer tangential learning benefits and provide a place to practice soft skills like spatial reasoning and sometimes logical planning. As far as being a source of knowledge, Minecraft has to be set up or modded to provide that. All it will do is add another layer to the classroom and possibly kill the reason why Minecraft is engaging.

    I play Minecraft a bit too much for what's deemed healthy, but I'd find the idea of playing Minecraft in a class setting to be a horrible boring idea (unless it was me goofing off doing my own thing, like… not learning). Minecraft's fun because you have freedom to do what you please, in a education setting the teacher needs to be able to control your attention (if you think about it we kinda teach kids against their will don't we, for their own good of course).
    Meaning for Minecraft to be an effective tool you need to remove that engaging element. You'd turn Minecraft in to a chore. You'd need things like: A method to restrict camera control and movement, control over mob spawning, player interaction to stop students punching eachother, the teacher needs a built in fun killing switch to turn Minecraft in to School.

    That's not to say the very boiled down idea of minecraft as a simulated space has no merit, but MINECRAFT as it is has very minimal value. TBH something like Garry's mod would be a better learning tool, has programming, better physics than MC, and better means for creating props. Problem with Garry's mod is that it takes a good long time to get proficient with to make effective things. But if you acquired that talent it would be way better and potent then Minecraft as an educational tool, however it still suffers the same problems I mentioned Minecraft having, which was for it to be a good teaching tool you need a "Fun kill" button.

  16. Yes. But if this thing gets into my school, I can confidently say no one will give a shit about learning and just go building giant dicks or something.

  17. Am I the only one who thinks that you can't teach calculus in Minecraft ?

  18. Minecraft is educational and my parents let me play them cause of redstone or wires.

  19. Talks too damn fast.

  20. i thing that interactive activites in jeneral are the futer of lerning

  21. Very well said.
    I ♡ Minecraft!

  22. im just a 11 year old kid then i already know redstone things and house layering to make minecraft houses great like adding depth into it and stuff… so is it educational?

  23. I just want to say that over the years Minecraft has become more than a game. It is a game, yes, but more than that it's a world builder. Especially in recent versions, which have added the ability to not just use Minecraft as a game, but to enable the creation of games. Who here knows about Spleef, Missile Defense, and any number of the party games that have been made? Heck, they've even set up a barebones MOBA using Minecraft mechanics…if anything it's both a game and a development kit all in one!

  24. so would the book be like the anime baka and test: Summon the beasts?

  25. minecraft in school wouldnt work.


  26. With obsydian more difficult to mine then 1 cubic meter of diamond, Minecraft is not going to be good education tool.

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