Or at least, video games should be a teacher’s best friend. An article on The Conversation today does a great job of explaining how games could be great for education, and why ‘educational games’ aren’t crossing that gap.
Earlier this year, the Atlantic published a great, if academically written, article on the value of the game Minecraft as a teaching game.
This idea isn’t new – some New Zealand kids convinced their teachers that Minecraft was the best tool for redesigning their classrooms back in 2012 – but it’s powerful. A game like this offers a heap of benefits for classrooms, including giving kids the ability to:
- design environments, both freely or to a teacher’s specifications
- work collaboratively on a big, real goal
- create without real world limitations on environments – cloud houses that are only accessible by waterfall are alarmingly common in the games I’ve played
- create as a group without having to fight for materials
If you’re working with kids at all, the story is worth a look. Just be prepared to forgive the author for phrases like “Visuospatial reasoning is the basis for more abstract forms of knowledge like the ability to evaluate whether a conclusion logically follows from its premises.” Minecraft is worth the pain.