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A video game like Minecraft in schools might trouble some parents. As a Canada research chair in technologies and education, my hope is both parents and educators take the time to learn about how using Minecraft at school could be beneficial.
Firstly, parents and teachers are right to ask questions about video gaming, particularly given sometimes conflicting messages about its impact. Some researchers caution about the possible impacts of child and youth exposure to violence or problems of gaming addiction or screen saturation, while others say fears may be exaggerated and it's a matter of balance.
Parents - Skepticism - Minecraft - Appeal - Youngsters
Parents' potential skepticism of Minecraft is understandable, given its immense appeal among youngsters. It is one of the most popular video games of all time, with more than 150 million copies sold.
But I've learned through my research that many are largely unaware of the enormous educational potential of Minecraft. Many people also don't know Minecraft Education Edition was released in the fall of 2016 and this version has been rapidly catching on at schools.
American - Schools - Minecraft - Schools - World
Since 2013, American and Swedish schools have been systematically integrating Minecraft into their schools, and it is being used around the world to teach science, urban planning and foreign languages. Masses of educational applications and experiences using Minecraft are available on online sites and forums.
In Montréal, a number of schools joined a contest in which students use Minecraft to reproduce historic sites and events in celebration of the city's 375th anniversary, called Mission 375. With my team at the University of Montréal, we felt it important to investigate the educational potential of Minecraft in order to provide a deeper understanding of the impacts on young learners.
Interest - Video - Games - Compelling - Research
So why all the interest in video games? Compelling research exists about the benefits of gaming for learning. Educational technology researchers have found that video games capture children's...
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