Monday, May 25, 2015

Learning Through ... Videogames?

What if you could combine something that kids are obsessed with in their free time, with learning math?  This is exactly what Educade has done by providing in depth lesson plans for teachers which are focused on using Minecraft in order to teach Math.
Minecraft is a sandbox type game that allows the user to be creative and create structures in an online world. Unexpectedly, Minecraft became a cultural phenomenon after being released as a free to play game on PC.
Educade has created lessons for all grades, with areas such as arithmetic, geometry, probability, trigonometry, algebra, and calculus. It seems like an amazing way to make math fun and engage students as its a game that all ages have embraced. The one drawback though, is you can expect parents to raise an eyebrow when they see their child playing videogames and claiming they're just doing their homework!

3 comments:

  1. Hey Ryan,

    This is an awesome resource! I have heard of something similar to this before. I think the key to good teaching regardless of the subject is always connecting it back to something the students enjoy.

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  2. Fantastic. Anytime you can link curriculum to something like videogames, it will most likely be a hit. I really think it's important to note though, that not every student likes video games. I have tried this in the past in one of my history classes. At the time, Call of Duty was extremely popular and I had many students (male and female) who loved it. For one of my assignments, I had students create a level in a game similar to COD that would depict an important event in World War 2. The ones that played COD loved it and did really well, the ones that didn't like video games, struggled. This is why we differentiate. If we are going to use games like Mine Craft, I think this is great, just make sure we have options for students who aren't into video games.

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  3. I also agree, this is a great idea, especially given the phenomenon of the MineCraft revolution. Not only has this been used in math, but many other organizations have adopted MineCraft activities for Material Science. For example, in this activity a distillation column is crafted and used: http://cen.acs.org/articles/92/i46/Methane-Mystery-MinecraftMeets-Materials-Science.html

    These sorts of "sandbox type games" allow creativity and this likely the appealing factor for students. MineCraft being the biggest of them is an ideal program. Guided learning through MineCraft can go a long way among the students and provides a common platform of interest for them that will allow them to build off of each others' creativity and thinking.

    In the 21st century, adopting lessons and activities towards something so popular and important to students can be extremely successful.

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