Marvelous Minecraft
I entered a room full of upset parents, who were there to give me feedback on a Minecraft class I was teaching. "Kids can kill each other" shouts one parent at me. This game promotes violence, aggression and makes kids bullies said another annoyed parent. Games have no place is school, we don't allow video games at home continued the third parent. You get the picture. I stood there irritable & amused. Irritable that they did not trust me, and amused that their predetermined ideas about education prevented them from recognizing Minecraft's magnality.

I knew there were no words to calm the angry mob. The Principal stood at the back corner of the room giving me "the look". I had convinced her about the Minecraft curriculum, and in the next few minutes I had to put out the fire. I decided to invite the parents to experience the game. They can then decide if it is good, bad or ugly.

Everything you described about the game is true, I told the parents once they settle into their seats at their computers. There are a few obvious reasons kids enjoy the game. The number one being there are No Rules. The kids get to build things, destroy things, blow things up. There is open plundering and stealing for items and murder is also allowed. I heard a a huge gasp of disbelief followed by mutterings under the breath of my audience. Let's play the game I exclaimed! as I spawned the enraged mob into a farmland we have been working on during class.

We spend the first few minutes learning to walk, jump and fly in the game. We took a stroll around the farmhouse, the vegetable fields and the cattle corrals. Parents started seeing their kids names on sign posts. There's Kayra's farmhouse and Stacey's Corral they said. Slowly my group of parents stopped following me and wandered off to find their own kids farmhouse or field. I showed them how to open their child's portfolios, and now there was silence. Each one was reading what their child had written, solved, explored, created or changed. Some had solved a math word problem and some had written a poem. My students built a field based on the area of sq. ft we needed. My students changed floorplans to better fit the needs of our class. We redesign our secret meeting place when we learned about the Redstone block (gives power torches, rail etc.) It was project based learning. There was teamwork and comradeship between my students. We were learning Math, English and Science and we were playing the whole time while doing it. I saw the stiffness and anger leave the bodies of the parents. They were jumping, flying, building and exploring the Minecraft world. They were asking me questions about crafting and survival. They were all impressed with their child's work. There was a change in the room's energy, the mob had turned jubilant. I was relieved! We continue to build, explore and craft until the meeting ends. Before they left, I made sure to kill them all. It would not be fair for them not to experience it. They all left for home educated about the game, our learning in class and convinced often professional do know their jobs.

Minecraft has become one of the worlds most popular online games. It has gained popularity with educators from around the world. It is endorsed by educators for its ability to lend itself to teaching different subjects to with a wide range of students in ages and ability. The game is about survival, being resourceful and innovative. It is survival of the fittest, where one needs to dig, search, find, store, restore, build, create and innovate to survive the environment. If your school would like to learn more about using Minecraft in the classroom contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 818.206.2628