CAIS 2012

Bob Kahn
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Framing: This is a discussion amongst peers. I will share some of my experiences and where my thinking is grounded. We can then discuss and develop ideas about the potential of Minecraft in ED.


  • What is it?
    • Virtual sandbox world- two modes: survival/creative- both modes can be played as an single player or with other players on a server.
    • Potential for building/collaboration picqued my interest in the game- unique…
    • Use textured 8-bit blocks to build in a 3-d world- deceptively complicated
    • Swede-2009, beta in 2010, full game Nov. 2011 @ Minecon in Las Vegas
    • Company Mojang
    • The best way is to just show you…

My Path to Minecraft

  • Background: This was me 9 months ago:

    • 3D Game Lab
    • Is Gaming the New Literacy
    • Technology: gaming, virtual worlds, programming-creating not consuming
    • Virtual worlds- meeting people all over the world- play with them based on how they play and how you want to play- not on looks, $, appearance….
  • Why Minecraft as opposed to others…
    • Creating potential is huge….
    • Kids have passion for and control of this game- no one way to play
    • Learning one way to learn- look up stuff…
    • Access to the back end-i.e. creating their own servers, maintaining and running the server, programming, permissions etc…
  • Exploratory- What do you notice?

  • In Education and Applications to Curriculum-Examples

History Project from “That Ferguson Kid.”

Histogram in a Rainstorm

Robopocalypse Book Report

Spencer’s Lighthouse: “It’s not that complicated.”

    • 8th grade Science Madame Curie projects: Madame Curie Adventure Game, The Sorbonne…
    • 7th grade Science Cell City projects
    • 6th graders in Allentown Pennsylvania
    • Language, geometry, physics, life science, architecture etc…

Girls Learn Technology Using Minecraft- Friday Minecraft Club. Again what do you notice? How do we…

What Research and People are Saying

Other games/simulations used in Ed

  • Civilization
    • Software Development Kit: Download the Civilization IV Software Development Kit, which contains the core game DLL source code, allowing gamers to completely rewrite or modify their own Civilization world to their heart’s content.

  • SimCity
  • MOOs/MUDs
  • Second Life
  • TappedIn (1995 and still current): (History of these environments used in education.) The online workplace of an international community of education professionals. K-12 teachers, librarians, administrators, and professional development staff, as well as university faculty, students, and researchers gather here to learn, collaborate, share, and support one another.
  • LamdaMoo
    • MUD = Multi-User Dungeon (An interactive text based, or 3D vector graphic virtual world)
    • MOO = MUD, Object Oriented. (The same, but with an ability to “program”, or create interactive objects)
    • LambdaMOO can, perhaps, be compared to a chat room but that would be like saying the Sistine Chapel is a chapel. The Moo, which is a text-based virtual community, has literally thousands of members from all over the world and thousands of rooms created by these members. You can navigate endlessly from room to room, walking north, south, and so on, snooping around and meeting people to interact with.

In conclusion

Gaming– engagement, passion, technology, virtual worlds, communication, social networking, meeting people for who they are, learning how to learn

Imagine kids being addicted to… (some concern about…)

Lucas Gillespie one twitter: “Want to measure student engagement? Look at…


Some Questions

  • What elements of cognition/Blooms/….can an environment like this address?
  • Cognitive-remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create
  • Affective-receiving, responding, valuing, organizing, characterizing
  • What other activities could yield some of the same explorations? In other words, we may already be doing things in our classrooms that speak to the same goals (i.e. simulations, role-play, programming, problem solving, debates, …)
  • Mining, orienteering, navigation

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