Outline Purpose: To promote the use of technology and computer games in Education Audience: Children And Adults ages 7+ Tone: Informational Point Of View: Third Person Thesis Statement: The video game Minecraft can be used as an educational tool to further the students understanding of the core tenants of geography. l. Introduction of what Mlnecraft is and how it works. A: What it is about 1 . what it does the purpose B: How it works 1 . How Minecraft is an educational video game. II.
Description of what all is in Minrcraft and how well it educates kids A: The things that you are capable of doing . You can build cities and different ways to survive B: The resources available in the game 1 . You get a lot of daily resources like wood and water and stone Ill. The way the games is used in education today A: You can rebuild settlements from history as an educational way of learning about it. 1: geographic landscapes that represents history B: The Valued lessons you can learn from building and losing materials that you need in daily life. 1.
Building machines that pollute areas causing trees to die In recent years technology has had a larger impact on the methods of educating oung students across the world. Particularly, the introduction of video games to educational circles has begun to revolutionize the way students are taught. Many of these newly developed games are built on core geographic concepts. “Minecraft is an open world adventure/builder game that you can play by yourself or in multiplayer. Players gather resources to survive the monsters that come out at night, and to build homes and creations (MoJang 2012). The video game Minecraft can be used as an eaucatlonal tool to Turtner tne students unaerstanalng 0T tne core tenants 0T geography. More so than ever do students now have the ability to truly interact with their education via this virtual experience. Minecraft is a game that revolves around survival and construction. This however, is impossible without complete interaction with the geographic environment around you. Upon starting the game, multiple biomes are generated and filled with resources and wildlife that you must harvest to begin advancement.
Your spawn location is completely random and can vary from a desert location, to the tundra, a forest, or even a mountainous region. Your location is crucial as certain biomes such as the esert contain very few useable resources. It is necessary to gather food and build shelter early in the game to survive waves of monsters that come out at night. Different resources and their location play a huge role in the game. Wood is necessary in the early game to build simple structures and tools such as axes, swords, or farming tools.
Various ores are located at different depths ranging from coal, to iron, and different gems and diamonds at the lowest levels of the map. Animals can be raised as a source of food, and the player can grow various crops uch as wheat to further ward off the hunger mechanism that the game has introduced. As players progress through the games their structures become more advanced and usually cities begin to form. The introduction of multiplayer online servers to the game greatly changes its dynamic.
Within these servers, dozens and sometimes hundreds of players collaborate to construct cities complete with roads, railway systems, housing and manufacturing districts, marketplaces, and many other staples of a modern city. These cities develop full-fledged economies revolving around the player’s success in their environment. Never before has a video game so applicable to the geographic sphere been available. Some question over-reliance on technology in the education world, however, it has been proven that video games can greatly enhance that ability of teachers to help students understand the material that is being taught.
In a study regarding the interaction of geography and computer games in Turkey, “it was confirmed that computer games embrace the characteristics of the new pedagogy in terms of providing authentic and relevant learning environments and increasing learners’ autonomy. It was further found that the ffordances of exploration, interaction, collaboration, and immersion in computer games may provide rich opportunities for geography learning (Tuzun 2009). ” In no other video game lies the ability for students to explore and interact with such depth as Minecraft.
Recent developments to Minecraft, and user made modifications to the game or “mods” have further given teachers the ability to alter the game to fit their teaching needs. The introduction of Adventure Mode to the game client allows teachers the ability to alter game rules such as their ability to go places or build tructures. It also allows them to set up objectives in this usually sand box style game. Teachers can set up scenarios where students must build a small settlement modeled after a recently discussed civilization or group of people to show understanding of its composition.
Easily downloadable player made modifications have also further enhanced the potentially educational aspect of the game. World editing tools that allow players to alter altitude, ground types, density of vegetation, etc. , allow for educators to build a geographic landscape of their needs to teach a esson. MOOITlcatlons tnat Introduce computer players or “NPCs” could allow instructors to customize and introduce populations that students must trade and interact with, new and realistic wildlife dangers can also be added to the game as a means of making the student more aware of the regions the lesson focuses on.
Perhaps the most monumental modification to the game is the Technic Pack that allows for the introduction of advanced machinery and modes of transportation. The mod pack introduces naturally occurring oil for machinery power, uranium for uclear power, and adds numerous minerals to the game to increase the depth of play. As with real life geography the introduction of these resource costly modifications has a major impact on the environment.
Deforestation occurs as wood is consumed by industry, minerals begin to become scarce as they are extracted for use in machinery. The mod does offer several clean energy methods of powering machinery but like many humans, Minecraft players tend to ignore the environmental impact of their creations as they expand, a point that can be made by he teacher to bring light to the subject of environmental responsibility. The simple nature of the game allows for a level of customization that is unseen in any other situation.
The applications are truly endless, and the ability of the instructor to bend the dimensions of the world to the needs of their lesson is unbridled. Integration of the game Civilization into some classrooms has further proved the importance of allowing students to interact with their lessons via technology. “For example, the game helped Tony see interconnections between geography, economics, nd politics. Specifically, he began to see the game as a geographical materialist explanation for the rise and fall of civilizations… (Squire 2005). Whereas Civilization might be suited for the introduction of more historically related lessons, Minecraft can be applied to lessons that are sometimes less specific. Teachers could create a scenario in which a student must build their home within a mountainous environment to demonstrate the difficulties faced by those in such regions in the real world. The teacher could also create the scenario in which the student much survive n the desert with its limited resources to provide a lesson regarding the dependence on these valuable commodities in such harsh climates.
Minecraft provides instructors with the perfect tools to teach geographic lessons, and its integration along with other video games could possibly positively impact students learning habits for the rest of their lives as some research suggests. Instead of being stuck with cut and dry lessons in which students feel less involved, allowing the integration of these video games into the environment encourages students to earn as it connects to something they usually enjoy. Unlike some traditional methods it engages them on a level previously untouched.
Not only does the introduction of these video games impact individual learning styles, but research shows it benefits the class structure as a whole. “It is frequently argued that computer games are valuable tools in enhancing learning. They are seen as a means of encouraging learners who may lack interest or confidence… In training and educational settings it is suggested that they can reduce training time and instructor load, for example ffording opportunities for drill and practice… (Mitchel, Savill-Smith 2004). Minecraft presents the educational world, particularly that with a geographic focus, a never before offered method of teaching concepts. The overall depth of the game, ana tne numerous customlzaDle geograpnlc aspec t tsl contains makes Its application very beneficial to the classroom. Outside of the value of the lesson itself, the introduction of video games to education has been proven to have numerous beneficial impacts on the students learning and understanding of the subject itself. Works Cited Tuzun, H. , M. Yilmazsoylu, T. Karakus, Y.
Inal, and G. Kizilkaya. “The Effects of Computer Games on Primary School Students’ Achievement and Motivation in Geography Learning. ” Computers & Education 52. 1 (2009): 68-77. Print. Griffiths, Mark. “The Educational Benefits of Videogames. ” Education and Health 20. 3 (2002): 47-51. print. Mitchell, Alice, and Carol Savill-Smith. The Use of Computer and Video Games for Learning: A Review of the Literature. London: Learning and Skills Development Agency, 2004. Print. “What is Minecraft. ” MoJang. N. p. , n. d. Web. 29 Oct. 2012..