Does everything need to be educational? #Minecraft
I skimmed over The Myth of the Minecraft Curriculum a few days ago and then was reminded about it again this morning due to a friend tweeting it my way. It was also posted in the Minecraft in Education Google+ community and at the time I did not comment on it. However, after my friend tweeted it to me I decided to give it some thought.
My thoughts are that the educational value regarding Minecraft is about how it is used. In saying that any item/tool/object/thing has educational value if used in a manner that enables it to support learning in that setting. The thing I love about Minecraft from an educational perspective is that it’s a sandbox game. It is able to be used in a manner that can be uniquely intertwined into the classroom, supporting learning and hence provisioning opportunity for educational outcomes to be achieved. The other thing I love about Minecraft is it’s a virtual space that allows exploration and interactions to occur, just like your backyard, local park, national park or farm is a physical space that allows these to occur. When we embrace an understanding of virtual and physical spaces being spaces that have similar attributes maybe we can move beyond bandwagoning a game for the purpose of pushing other intents. I think the authors intent for this article was to highlight what people, in particular parents, seem to be valuing when making choices at home for their children.
This raises questions for me:
Is this notion of valuing things that are educational worthy of adoption within the family environment of the home?
What do kids really need?
Do they need everything to be wrapped up in an educational blanket for it to be justifiable at home?
What drives this need for parents?
Will this end up killing the desire for kids to immerse into an environment?
Does sugar coating something as educational really make it educational?
Can an item/tool/object/thing be educational by itself?
Just maybe Minecraft is no more educational than a book, a writing pad, an oven or a car. Just maybe it is the way that it is used. Just maybe it is a great tool for learning…