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Education Microsoft Games

Microsoft To Launch Minecraft Education Portal For Teachers 56

Mickeycaskill writes: Microsoft wants to help educators use Minecraft to teach pupils about maths, history, creative design and other subjects and skills, claiming the game is already being used in classrooms in the US and UK. Minecraft developer Mojang was bought by Microsoft last year for $2.5 billion and the game has been featured in a number of HoloLens demos, an indication of how it sees the former indie phenomenon as more than just a game. "Very soon after Minecraft launched, we noticed teachers bringing the game into their classrooms," said a blog post. "Often inspired by the passion of their students, they started using Minecraft to design history lessons, teach language classes, explore mathematics, physics, computer science, writing, and more."
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Microsoft To Launch Minecraft Education Portal For Teachers

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  • Very soon after Minecraft launched, we noticed teachers bringing the game into their classrooms

    Often inspired by the passion of their students, they started using Minecraft to design history lessons, teach language classes, explore mathematics, physics, computer science, writing, and more.

    Bullshit, bullshit, and more bullshit. I don't doubt that teachers have in fact used Minecraft for these things, but they're certainly not designing lessons, teaching classes, or exploring subjects. They're faffing about with Minecraft and the students don't benefit from it.

    • but they're certainly not designing lessons, teaching classes, or exploring subjects

      Soooo, I'm guessing you've never put a lesson plan together then?
    • Might want to look up "MinecraftEdu".
      • Might want to look up every single failed "Edutainment" attempt in history.

        • Might want to look up every single failed "Edutainment" attempt in history.

          This. Microsoft may manage to demonstrate how to flush $2.5 billion faster than any company in history. There's no better way to convince kids not to use software than to use it as some sort of hamfisted teaching tool that is now mandatory.

          • Oh good, we agree. It's a good thing you actually read up on the subject and were able to provide an informed opinion. Ham-fisted force-feeding of knowledge is bad, and we need people building teaching tools that encourage rather than prod, and reward interest rather than punish boredom or disinterest.

            If a game is built around mechanics that kids already love, and uses them to illustrate and expand on a balanced curriculum, you end up with kids excited about learning. You're free to disagree, but I've got
          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            It is all so funny. Some management tools at M$ generated glorious completely spurious spreadsheets how that investment of $2.5 was going to generate huge returns. Now those people who created those spreadsheets just dumped the spreadsheets and the hot potatoes on others and said make it work because that spreadsheets says it can work. This leaves those poor victims with coming up with all sorts of crazy ideas to make it work, even though, in their hearts of hearts, they know it is absolutely impossible. O

        • I responded to the comment scoffing at teachers, saying that "they're certainly not designing lessons, teaching classes, or exploring subjects". If you look up MinecraftEdu, lo and behold, they're doing exactly that.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            I looked up MinecraftEdu, wandered for a while until I finally found the example lessons on their wiki page, and was appalled.

            http://mrmillersblog.com/category/minecraft/ [mrmillersblog.com]

            Apparently the student wrote a tanka poem to go with the game. Thirty-one syllables. That was the extent of the "learning" going on.

            I've taught secondary (middle and high school) and I'm now a professor. I've got twenty years of teaching experience. My first few years saw a few mistakes like this, and I know the temptation from which th

            • Odd that the site you linked to has nothing to do with MinecraftEdu. Here's a look at the actual teaching recommendations [minecraftedu.com] and example lesson [educade.org] pages.

              I won't pretend to know the first thing about educating youngsters, but the concepts and examples seem logical and compelling to me.
    • I've used Minecraft's redstone logic to teach my computer science students logical reasoning, which they then apply to actual computer programs. I know there have been many failed edutainment options in the past, but they only fail when they are not used in a thoughtful manner. I won't argue that there are probably teachers out there who just throw Minecraft at the kids and think something magic will happen, but it is an incredible tool if used thoughtfully.
      • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

        Yes, you can probably use Minecraft educationally if done with a great deal of thought.

        The redstone logic is decent for teaching basics of logic gates and such and so can be expanded to CS and EE topics. I'm not sure what other subjects directly lend themselves to MC, however. Since it has world generation, you might be able to whip up a nice geology simulation of layers of various types of stone, although it is not incredibly realistic right now.

        You could certainly build some interesting mods for Minecra

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

      they're certainly not designing lessons, teaching classes, or exploring subjects

      Why do you know that every teacher who says they are, must be a liar?

  • I've wanted to use minecraft in classrooms before, but have yet to find a reasonable method of preventing connections to multi-player servers. Granted I haven't looked in a year or so, but until there is a way to do easily accomplish that I'll take a pass. There is no way I'm opening myself up to that level of liability.
  • Hahahahaha heheheh lol hahahahahahaha lolololololol hahahahahah. I'm sure the kids will learn tons from this.

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.

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