Minecraft in School? Yes!

Characters in MinecraftYes, I know I’m late to this game.  How did I miss it?  About a month ago, I started noticing Minecraft popping up in education technology discussions.  I’d heard of the game before and after a very cursory glance dismissed it.  This growing buzz I began to hear, though, got me asking around.  Of course, who had answers to my questions?  Students!  One even said, “Here’s my account info, try it out.”  So I did.

Within 20 minutes of game play, I’d shelled out the $20 to buy my own account.  There is something incredibly compelling about this game.  Don’t let the funny 8-bit-looking graphics fool you.  There’s more here than meets the eye. …much more.  Why?  Because this is a true sandbox game.  A sandbox game is a virtual world that allows free-roaming with almost no artificial barriers.  On top of this, this is a building/creating game.  Yes, punching trees for wood may seem silly at first, but then you find that you can construct things with the materials you’re collecting.  A few pieces of wood yield planks, four of these planks yield a crafting  table. And from there, a world of building potential is opened up. Within an hour or so of play, I’d constructed a makeshift castle and had begun to dig deep underground to find iron, coal, and other resources to build a variety of tools.

So, what do I, the educator-gamer do next?  Of course I put on my teacher glasses and begin to ask, “How could I use this with students?”  Immediately the ideas begin to come to mind.  Here are a few of my early brainstorms:

  • Give students login information and have them all log into a school-hosted multiplayer server (Yes, you can host your own private server).  Tell them they have arrived on a deserted(?) island (think Lost, maybe?).  They need to work together to build a society.  Who will gather resources?  Who will build?  Who will plan?  How will they feed themselves?  How will they defend themselves from the skeletons/creepers at night (though these villains could be turned off as a feature).  The key here is to have them plan and write all of this based on their in-world experiences.
  • Have students journal daily life on their island as though they were a real person in a real place.  Imagine… “Day 1 – Not sure how I got here.  Haven’t seen another person.  All was fine until nightfall.  I began to hear a groaning sound in the forest and that’s when I saw the zombies.  Now I’m holed up in a cave hoping they go away.”
  • Have students think of a real-world machine and attempt to recreate it in their Minecraft world.  People have even made basic computers out of Minecraft materials.  Yes, it can be that complex.  You can craft circuits with basic logic functions out a material called redstone.  Players have built working rail stations, musical instruments, and more.

Of course the multiplayer potential for the game opens up lots of collaborative opportunity.  Imagine different classes working together to build something, different grade levels, or even students from schools in two different parts of the world!

Other folks are talking about this game’s potential as well.  Check out Bryan Alexander‘s posts on the topic.  John McLear has a nice post on the topic as well.  Also, check out this interesting discussion on the same topic at Minecraft Forums.

Some of the principals in my district have asked me for ideas for a project similar to the WoWinSchool Project for earlier grades, either as an elective or a club.  I think Minecraft would be suitable for 4th through 8th graders (many high schoolers would certainly enjoy it too, though).  What are you thoughts?  Let’s here them!

-Lucas

98 Responses to “Minecraft in School? Yes!”

  1. Griffin777XD says:

    YES!!!!!!!! I WANT THIS AT SCHOOL SO BADLY!!! I would love to play minecraft in my middle school! (I am writing this at school after my DCAS actually) I this that would be a great thing to do as a Talent development progect. Please write to the chistiana school district.

  2. Connar says:

    THIS GAME WOULD BE AWESOME IN SCHOOL!!!!! :D

  3. [...] I first read Minecraft in School!? Yes! I thought… ‘Now that sounds like [...]

  4. adam says:

    i want this at school im actually writing at school. I have told a teacher and she said she will ask princaple. Please let it at schoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

  5. matt says:

    i soooooooooooooo want this in my middle school considring thay basicly bloked eeeeeevry thing.

  6. Edward says:

    I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WANT THUIS AT MY SCHOOL!!! I LOVE MINECRAFT!!!!!!!!
    My school name is Meads Mill Middle school in northvlle MI, please put minecraft as an elective there.

  7. matthew says:

    well the only thing is that most shcool dont have the ram of memory to run this game

  8. BobaFett3920 says:

    This is a pretty big idea. And I love it. Not only would the the teachings be great for socialism. They could be used in art classes to test out pixel art or 3D sculpting ideas. All of the colored wool in the game offer a ton of possiblilties. I’m really looking foward to this being accepted in a lot of schools.

  9. yoyoking117 says:

    OMG ILL ASK MA TEACHER NOW!!!! :D

  10. jack says:

    man i want this so badly!!!!!

  11. ben says:

    yes yes yes yes yes do it

  12. Christian Connolly says:

    This is a very good idea in the fact that students will learn how to cooperate in a certain situation. I am for this idea because I play Minecraft myself. There are so many possiblities in this game and I believe that playing minecraft in school would be a great learning opportunity and a good break from the many stresses of school.

  13. Felipe says:

    the game who be so awesome because we have lots of computers and mostly no one gets on them except middle school since were are a prep so please who ever is in charge of education and the game put it on school website that are allowed

  14. Person :3 says:

    To get minecraft at your school TRY IT! make a report and show it to your principal
    and let him think about it! thats what im doing

  15. Gamerteach says:

    I’ve been running a Minecraft server for 5th through 8th graders for just over a year, now. It’s been a blast! It has also been a considerable source of ethical and technical discussions, and a fantastic learning tool for my students.

  16. dabeast128 says:

    definitely minecraft is a awesome game and it can be used for learning in the arts of architecture minecraft is an all around game you can learn play and have fun while playing it soo they should indefinitely unblock minecraft

  17. Josh says:

    I absolutely support this idea; however, already graduated from high school and am now attending college I feel left out ha-ha. The applications of using Minecraft in school is staggering, it can be used in almost every subject. As I read from a previous comment Minecraft could be used for art, it could also be used in English and history by teachers reenacting novels in Minecraft, creating a 3D representation of a story students could read, history events, or having them wright about their Minecraft experience each day. It could also be used to teach what is ethical as said in a comment above mine. It will help spark creativity, freedom, and help students relax and look forward to going to class. The use of Redstone can also teach math and logic to build technology and create amazing things. I really enjoyed the teachers idea of making a team work type scenario about the students being lost and having to create a new society, making rules (government), figuring out who does what job (teamwork), relying on one another for support and to do the task they are asked to do (responsibility). They will have to be informed about the game and all of its small details to fully do each task accurately (research). The possibilities are endless much as the game itself. I could see multiple classes working together to build amazing things or have building competitions between rival schools, or even international cooperation between students. Although it is unlikely that I will have the chance to play Minecraft in my college courses over the next few years the thought of younger generations being able to use it in a learning environment is very inspiring to me.

  18. Roman says:

    This is a great idea please send an email to Qualicum beach middle school about this… I’m writing a speech about the subject and this really could help my cause.( for educational purposes)

  19. Andrew says:

    Amazing idea it would make students want to go to class I know i would want to stay All day just because of the minecraft class

  20. Mike says:

    I seriously want this at my school. I love minecraft soooo much. I feel like writing my prinipal to allow it at my middle school. It could teach students about life and stuff… haha. but YES… Please allow it.

  21. Awesome dude says:

    can you please send an email to “Lisgar Public school cause I want to ask my principal but im to scared

  22. Some random guy says:

    Most computers on school dont have enough RAM memory and a good processor to run the game even at the lowest graphics.

  23. ryan says:

    i love this game and i want it at my school

  24. Guymanperson says:

    I’ve unblocked minecraftat school multiple times. At our school, we have a pretty strong blocking system. Proxies won’t work -they aren’t powerful. Add an ‘s’ on the http:// right HERE: https://. So, It may work. If your school has bad comps., Minecraft will fail and say ‘bad video card drivers.’SO, follow this link: https://minecraft.net

    It may work! (You may have top add the s a multiple times if necessary.

    REPLYPLZ!

  25. aaron ratty says:

    i so want this gimmeh and im actually writing this in 5th period in 6th grade

  26. Maximilliano Washburne says:

    This would be awesome at our school in 6th grade because we do not have electives at Lake Harriet Community School on Minneapolis Minnesota

  27. Jordan says:

    I WANT THIS SO BAD. My school is shue meddil AND THEY BLOCK EVERYTHING (Almost everything) I LOVE MINECRAFT

  28. zaaky says:

    I would love it if the unblocked Minecraft its fun and kind of educational

  29. [...] Minecraft in the School? Yes! Tweet ‹ Previous Next [...]

  30. RansomNation says:

    I would 100% love minecraft inside my High School, I’m from 8th grade going to 9th at Sequoyah High School, Cherokee GA! Will someone please introduce it as an elective there. I WOULD LOVE IT!

  31. alexander says:

    i really want my school to allow mincraft i love that game its aaaaaa
    wwwwwweeeeesssssoooommmmmeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. alexander says:

    why cant they just unblock it cant you help me and my friends make a change in our school rules.

  33. jefri segar says:

    i love mincraft

  34. Kevin says:

    i want minecraft at my school

  35. Kevin says:

    im from texas i live in rio grande city im a 3rd grade kid my school name is Roque Gurerra Jr Elementary i want minecraft at my school

  36. Kevin says:

    im meant a 4th grade kid

  37. I am desperate for this to be in my school, minecraft is in my blood.

  38. Colten says:

    I knew it! Minecraft is good for your brain. That would make school more fun, and you get more brain power.

  39. [...] more grand constructions in the future, and building cooperatively. There are also ideas at EduRealms.com that I’d like to try. It’s a little redundant for my boys (the journaling part will be [...]

  40. anamisous says:

    We rely need minecraft

  41. tylor says:

    yes i want it in scool

  42. Ninjamaster832 says:

    I’ve been given the opporitunity to write to the superintendant of our school district and explain to him why minecraft should be used at school. Im looking everywhere for really good reasons for him, wish me luck!

  43. ngokhoa44 says:

    i think minecraft is extremly aaaaaaawwwwwwwwweeeeeeeessssssooooooommmmmmmeeeeeeeee!

  44. joker101wu says:

    i found this game very helpful for tech class and mods like furniture mod help with shop class

  45. Thepowerofawesome says:

    I would LOVE mine craft in my school. it’s a great source of education and a way for children to get a source f creativity. trust me no kids these days have any of it with some of the builds my brother makes these days. cartoons are rotting his brain and its not pretty. mine craft would be perfect for a digital design class or perhaps an art class. trust me this would be amazing as a elective.

  46. [...] proving the LEGO comparison: Minecraft has already been popping up in art and computer science classes all around the country. Its an exciting proposition with the potential to do a lot of good for [...]

  47. Adam Powell says:

    This would be a brilliant thing to have in school,if were going to change way we educate students and how we can put aside from tests. We can revolutionize the state of education,if there large group of states,that support the idea for mine craft in school. We can improve and inspire future generations of students of younger age. I support this idea,with the support of minecraftedu and many other supporters. I pledge to support this idea,and make it for all United States Education System to be involved with.

  48. 1472Wil says:

    PLEASE BRING THIS TO POTTSVILLE SCHOOLS IN POTTSVILLE, ARKANSAS

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