Joel Levin at the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in the US used popular indie block building game Minecraft as a learning tool for his second grade computer class. Now he's a part of the newly-launched MinecraftEdu, a program dedicated to spreading Minecraft-based learning to classrooms around the world.
Earlier this year Kotaku took a field trip to the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School to see Mr Levin and his students in action, teaching building skills, cooperation and teamwork via Mojang's popular indie game. Given the open creative nature of Minecraft, I'd imagine teachers could use it as a platform for teaching any number of subjects.
So does MinecraftEdu, a collaboration between educators and programmers in the US and Finland aimed at giving educators everywhere the tools they need to institute similar programs in their classrooms.
Right now MinecraftEdu is offering up to a 50 per cent discount on copies of the game for educators, along with onsite workshops and training so they can understand the game almost as well as young children will. And that's just the beginning. There's a MinecraftEdu custom mod coming that will integrate simple server software, world building tools and a library of pre-made worlds, levels and activities covering any number of subjects.
What a noble, forward-thinking endeavour. I log into Minecraft and spend hours digging giant holes. These folks log in and see the future of education.
Minecraft EDU [Official Website]