MinecraftEdu: The Craft Of Digital Citizens

MinecraftEdu: The Craft Of Digital Citizens

by TeachThought Staff

Originally released in 2011, Minecraft quickly found a place in classrooms around the world. It was dead simple to use–at its simplest you stack digital blocks, and its most complex you can recreate entire cities, create video games within the video game, (roughly) functioning ecosystems, and more.

In 2014, the Institute of Play released a video on how Minecraft promoted a sense of digital citizenship. (See our Definition For Digital Citizenship for further reading.) Three years later, it remains one of the best looks at how video games–or other digital spaces where students meaningfully collaborate–can contribute to interdependence, and ultimately their own education.

As part of the Institute of Play’s Playmaker’s seriesMinecraftEdu: The Craft Of Digital Citizens is an “exploration of the experiences and innovations that are leading the way for learning design in the twenty-first century.”

An excerpt:

The eight year-old boy stood up so suddenly that his chair shot out from under him and hit the wall. He pointed at a freckle-faced girl with red hair seated at a Mac on the other side of the computer lab and screamed, “Get out of my house! What are you doing?!”

Joel Levin had been using the digital game, Minecraft, off and on with his class for a couple of months. As a veteran computer teacher, Levin’s first instinct was to quell the outburst and get his students back on task. But then he thought, “This is great. This is good. This should be happening.” So instead he drew the boy out and opened a discussion with the whole class. The students began to compare physical and digital worlds, online and offline communities, and the behaviors suitable to each.

Fifteen minutes later, they arrived at a pretty sophisticated understanding of what it means to be a good digital citizen, something Levin and others at the school had been trying and failing to get across for some time. “That was my a-ha moment,” said Levin, “when I realized all the types of lessons I could do with Minecraft, where the focus was on communication, collaboration and being responsible for your actions online.”

Product/Affiliate: You can find the Minecraft for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 here.

MinecraftEdu: The Craft Of Digital Citizens