Despite the popular opinion that video games are harmful to children, Minecraft is considered to be not just entertainment but an educational tool as well. Educators across the globe are using it during their lessons, especially in COVID-19 desperate times. These desperate measures are already showing amazing results, and if you haven’t joined this club yet, we’ll have some undeniable arguments for you!
What is Minecraft?
To understand the popularity and the main concepts of Minecraft, parents and teachers should delve deeper into this world.
Minecraft is an open-world sandbox game that looks like digital LEGO. The player can create whatever one wants, from a small house to a bustling metropolis. However, the game is not limited to building and crafting, it also has some exploration and survival elements. Things get really exciting when children throw in monsters, dragons, and other challenging characters.
4 Life Skills That Your Child Can Gain With Minecraft
You shouldn’t feel frustrated when your child is spending all the time inside Minecraft’s world. It doesn’t mean that one is not socialized or that one is missing some important moments of life. Actually, our life is constantly changing, and this game can be a kind of guide who is always there for you.
Children love Minecraft because it is a place with unlimited opportunities. Want to create a dragon? You can do it. Want to build a new skyscraper? You can do it. There are a lot of various game modes that provide children with interesting options to create. But parents love Minecraft because it teaches: there are no limits until you build them. When you realize that your child who hasn’t graduated middle school yet, works on Space Shuttle or one’s own Disneyland, you can feel really proud of him or her.
Speaking about game modes, it is necessary to remember about the survival mode. If you want your children to be more independent and fast at their decisions, you don’t need to take them to the forest. Just rely on Minecraft.
The survival mode turns on when different creatures come out and attack players. The only thing you can do to survive is to develop a good plan. You need to find (or build from scratch) a shelter, to make weapons, to ensure you have enough food. Yes, your child may ask for programming homework help thinking about saving the planet at the same time. And if you still think that Minecraft is not that efficient as scout camp, at least it is safer in real life.
Most games are focused on the final victory, when the player reaches his or her goals, kills the main enemy, etc. And this is what makes Minecraft unique. There is no way to “win”. Children should decide for themselves what are their targets, and when the game will be finished for them.
Do they want to gather resources and build masterpieces of architectural art? Maybe they want to spend time with friends when they can’t band together in real life because of the lockdown? It’s up to players! Self-direction skills will be pretty happy in the future when they’ll choose the college and the major, start their careers, etc.
We have already mentioned that children spend time with their friends in Minecraft. Moreover, they work together since it is impossible to build the whole world when you’re alone. You need other players that will be responsible for the different parts of the project. And it means that you have to:
- develop a plan;
- define roles;
- communicate during the process;
- deal with your own mistakes and mistakes of other people;
- be flexible;
- find the right approach to other gamers, etc.
Besides, children can meet people from different countries in Minecraft. It’s not surprising that there is even a large community outside the game that unites young talents with different backgrounds but the same interests.
Minecraft Can Be an Educational Tool in Schools
Without any doubt, soft skills are vital in modern life, and this game can be an incredible source of new lessons. But it sounds really surprising when you find out that even school teachers use Minecraft to liven lessons up and to get young students really engaged in the educational process. This approach is especially helpful in a remote learning environment when it is a real challenge to keep the interest of children.
For example, Fiona Carruthers from Numurkah Secondary College uses Minecraft to make difficult concepts of humanities easier. Her class reads about natural disasters and practice specific skills in the virtual world of the game — they build a village, protect it in case of a flood, observe the effects of the disaster, and deal with them. Just like in real life.
James Paraskeva from Bulleen Heights School uses Minecraft at his lessons to work with children who are on the autism spectrum. They find it challenging to socialize, but the game helps them to express their feelings and to communicate with other students.
School Disciplines That Can Be Learned With Minecraft
Actually, there are no limitations at all. If you want to find an efficient approach to your students, Minecraft provides you with a variety of interesting opportunities. You can even develop your own educational program that will consist of different tasks and projects that children should finish to boost their grades.
There is a list of some disciplines where Minecraft can be really helpful:
- History. Memorization of dates and facts is over. It’s time to develop new solutions. What about going on a virtual tour to the Coliseum? You can discuss the Egyptian culture while you’re working on the Great Pyramids project. Any period can be reflected in the world of Minecraft.
- Math. Playing the game, children have to figure out how much time they have until ‘survival time’ and whether they have enough food. They divide resources among gamers and plan the area for the future village. The math principles are all around, and you can’t miss this opportunity to make the educational process a bit funnier.
- Programming. Some children are so curious that they want to find out more about creating the games. With Minecraft, they learn to acquire and maintain the hardware and host servers. They read about product releases, keep up-to-date with different mods. Moreover, they can edit the original code to change the game’s behavior. Experienced players can support newbies. In the business world, these tasks cost money.
It is necessary to mention that Minecraft just like any other game is just a tool. Its developers have covered a lot of ground to make the game that good, but it is up to you how your children or students will leverage these opportunities.