, , , ,

I’ve seen the questions and bashing on Minecraft in several FB groups.  Some parents are curious what is it because their kids have just found out about it.  Others abolish it claiming its addictive and has no educational benefit.  Others just don’t want their kids playing games and view Minecraft as just a game.  In fact, Minecraft has the potential to be highly educational.  Beyond the game playing, there are many fiction books based on the characters as well as non-fiction how-to books directly from Mojang.  There are individuals who have created Minecraft worksheets to use as writing prompts and math worksheets.  There are mod packs that can be added to the game to help students learn about science, programming, mechanics, construction, and history.  In the Houston area, Techno Chaos offers classes to learn how to use Minecraft for mapping as well as programming.  There are online resources to learn about using Minecraft for every subject area.  My son has personally used Minecraft for math (creating multiplication models, mandalas, and fractals), programming (with Scratch, Kano, Java, and Learn To Mod), and science (various mod packs and red stone building).  He also loves being given construction challenges.  In addition to the curricula potential, there is a social aspect too.  Minecraft can be played on servers as a multi-player game which requires chatting with other players and requires them to navigate social dynamics.  My son and I will play together on tablet versions while my son and hubby play together on the desktop on much harder worlds.  He also plays on servers at Techno Chaos with kids of various ages.  So, there is social learning as well as academic learning going on.  Minecraft really is more than a game!

Here are some articles on why Minecraft is more than just a game and why it is not going to disappear (nor are other coding games):

There are really 1,000’s of books based on Minecraft, just do an Amazon search and you’ll get over 1,000 titles. Many are kindle only.  Mojang has hardcover official how-to books.  So if you have a kid who is enjoying the Minecraft game, they may also like the books.  Many of the kindle books are put free or on sale at various times during the year.  Here are some Minecraft book titles (there really are many more out there):

  • Minecraft: Essential Handbook: An Official Mojang Book
  • Minecraft: Construction Handbook: An Official Mojang Book
  • Minecraft: Combat Handbook: An Official Mojang Book
  • Minecraft: Redstone Handbook: An Official Mojang Book
  • Diary of a Minecraft Zombie
  • Diary of a Wimpy Steve
  • Diary of a Friendly Minecraft Steve
  • Diary of a Minecraft Steve Ninja
  • Diary of a Minecraft Kitten
  • Diary of a Wimpy Villager
  • The Quest for the Diamond Sword
  • The Ultimate Minecraft Comic Book
  • Minecraft Secrets Handbook
  • The Big Book of Building: Everything Minecraft
  • Minecraft Books for Kids Series
  • The Legend of Herobrine

Mod packs (aka mods) are necessary to make changes to Minecraft (aka vanilla Minecraft).  There are 100’s of mods and some are really neat with unlimited educational benefits.  Here are some of the mods to consider:

Now to make it easy for finding educational resources, I’ve provided just some of what is out there.  Doing a google or Pinterest search will come with even more ideas than listed here.  On several of the teacher sharing sites and Educents, some creators even sell their Minecraft templates.  When taking a natural math class, it was easy to do the activities in Minecraft.  Here are some resources to get you started:

Seriously, Minecraft is really more than just game!  It truly has unlimited educational potential.