Minecraft offers a unique way to engage, empower students


From minecraft.com

Seventh-graders at Northbrook’s Maple School in Illinois had just started learning about the Cold War when a handful of boys sat down at the school’s library computers to cement their understanding of the subject.

They weren’t scouring Wikipedia for historical information or reviewing old news footage on YouTube. They were building a model of divided Germany with the help of one of the world’s hottest video games: “Minecraft.”

“It’s really a great visual tool for presenting our knowledge, just like you would use something like PowerPoint to show off your research,” said Arie Estrin, 12, who was assembling a nuclear submarine, block by digital block. “That’s what we do with ‘Minecraft.’ It’s a good way to channel your thoughts into understanding how something might have actually looked or happened.”

(Next page: How do students respond to Minecraft?)