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When Minecraft is a calculated lesson plan

By Kirk Baird, The Blade
August 8th, 2016

Students are learning to use emerging technologies as future instructors

minecraft math

We can learn a lot from a video game.

What basic power tool best repels a zombie horde, for example, or the proper combination of kicks and punches to bludgeon an opponent into submission.

Even how to determine the volume of a swimming pool, as in measuring its dimensions and then multiplying length by width by height.

Yes, math. In a video game.

And not just in any video game, but one of the more popular games of all time, Minecraft, a LEGO-meets 8-bit open world game played by millions worldwide.

Mark Stevens, an education technology instructor at Bowling Green State University, is employing a still-in-development educational version of Minecraft as a learning tool, not only for school-age children and teens, but for his own students as well.

His goal is for his students to create in-class curricula, say, fourth-grade math or second-grade level reading, in Minecraft, and discover, as future instructors, how they can use emerging technologies in a classroom.

As Stevens put it: “We’re taking a game and applying or utilizing its gameplay in some way to teach” in what’s called “game-based learning.”

Next page: When did video games and education join forces?