Educators should take advantage of sandbox-style games' popularity and engaging nature as they explore teaching with Minecraft and Roblox.

Are you teaching with Minecraft and Roblox? You should be

Sandbox-style creation games are all the rage with students--and educators should take advantage of their popularity and engaging nature as they teach core content on these platforms

“We are starting, as educators, to gravitate toward platforms that let students explore and create for themselves,” he added, noting that students retain information better this way versus when they are handed information by a teacher.

Connected Camps’ Jaye Thompson, Alexis Albertie, and Amy Pham led attendees through coding experiences using Roblox Studio and Minecraft.

“Coding can be a technical, niche, confusing process. We can get overwhelmed with information really fast. We do know that a lot of kids like Roblox and we know that a lot of kids like to code. So, what if we combine the two?” Thompson asked.

As they proceed through lessons and tasks in Roblox and Minecraft, students learn communication, giving and receiving feedback, problem-solving and trouble-shooting, Thompson said.

Pham outlined a step-by-step rollercoaster build in Minecraft, explaining how students can build a rollercoaster and apply engineering principles as they determine the best design and how to power it. Using Minecraft’s redstone element, students determine how to create and place a power source for their rollercoaster. They can work up to more advanced circuit modeling, as well.

The beauty of games like Roblox and Minecraft, said Albertie, is that students can enter an engaging environment in which they already enjoy playing and they can learn limitless subjects. Teachers can tackle subjects such as cultures, architecture, literature, cell biology, and more.

Laura Ascione

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