MINECRAFT = MINDBLOWING
Type of technology: iPad/iPhone or computer
SAMR Model Rating: Redefinition
Grade level: All
Subject area: All
Cost: $7 on tablets and $26 on the computer
You’ve heard about it, you may have seen it, you may even be playing it secretly at home. “Minecraft,” a game that has endless educational purposes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Minecraft, it is a 1st person creative game in which you can build, mine, and craft your own world of cubical design. The world is made of of blocks that are perfect cubes. A great way to explore volume and multiplication by allowing students to create and get a deeper conceptual understanding. Other ideas include Biomes in Science, Story mapping for writing, showing a presentation for a business or something else, and many other ideas. In fact there are so many different ways to use Minecraft educationally, I get immediately overwhelmed watching them on youtube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=minecraft+education.
One way in which I like to use Minecraft in 4th grade is as a model for their mission projects. It allows students to choose the appropriate Biome in which they build their mission, build the mission with the appropriate dedicated areas that serve for particular functions (church, cemetery, farms, etc.), put the appropriate furnishings and decorations inside the mission, and more. I like to have students build their own customized mission and add the main aspects and design characteristics as one of the original missions as a way to apply what they have learned into something they have created. Students like this and take immediate ownership into what they are creating. You can tell they have a deep understanding of the lifestyle of a missionary, as they give detailed tours to the class during their presentations outlining all the aspects of the mission life. The video above is an example of a minecraft mission from my class last year.
You can use this idea and relate it to any type of model you want to make. I have seen Minecraft Solar Systems, electronic circuitry, Geometry, gravity models, and so much more. So if you haven’t Minecrafted yet, DO IT!! Your students will love you for it.