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Minecraft in education

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Minecraft can be an educational tool that facilitates cooperation and teamwork among players.

Contents

[edit] Educational benefits

Minecraft can have huge educational benefits for children; it can help teach numerous subjects both with and without adult involvement. Learning in Minecraft can be faster than traditional methods of education, as children are often far more motivated, get more practice, and feel that what they are learning is useful.

Subject Benefit
Reading
Book.png
The names of items in the inventory are a great place to start teaching children to read, since each item has a tooltip and image which go together. For older children, reading the wiki and online guides can extend their skills.
Writing
Book and Quill.png
Players can use the Book and Quill within the game to keep a log, or to communicate information to other players. By contributing to the Minecraft Wiki, older children learn to write informational texts in a collaborative, multimedia environment!.
Math
Cobblestone17
+ Cobblestone44
The crafting system can help in teaching basic math (e.g. "I need 3 Sugar Cane for Paper), which transitions to multiplication (I need 3 Paper and 1 Leather for a Book, and 3 Books for a Bookshelf, so I need 9 Paper and 3 Leather altogether") and division ("When I create Paper I get 3 at once, so 9/3 = 3 times per Bookshelf I'll have to create Paper"). If players want to create a fully powered Beacon, they will need to mathematically calculate amounts of materials(Iron,Diamond,Emerald,Gold) they need to create one, which is 9 times {∑i=1~i=4 (2i+1)2}. This means(9+25+49+81)×9 = 1476 = 23×64+4= 23 stacks and 4 pieces of materials. This shows not only you need math very much in Minecraft, but you also practice and possibly learn some mathematic skills.
Geometry
M10 tesseract.png
While the Minecraft world is only made up of cubes, the creations a child makes may resemble other shapes. Parental involvement can help teach children to recognize these shapes (cube, cuboid, square based pyramid, tesseract, et cetera). Structures made with blocks to resemble shapes and figures can also help children with dimensions - x, length, y, height, z, width, and possible also w, time. Also, counting the number of blocks that were dug out when making a 6x6x3 cave can help multiplication skills and understanding the concepts of volume and area. Also, Minecraft is all about three-dimensional graphing. A Minecraft world is based on x, y, and z coordinates. This very useful method of gaming can be used to learn high-leveled math such as the Pythagorean theorem (e.g.: x2+y2=c2) therefore not only is Minecraft used to learn "child-level geometry", it can also be used to learn fairly difficult geometric concepts very easily.
Music
Note Block.png
With the preparation of some Redstone circuitry, experimenting with Note Blocks can teach children about notes, octaves and chords.
Social skills
Mob1.pngMob1.png
By setting up a private server, parents can provide a safe environment for children to interact with friends and make playing Minecraft a cooperative event. Using a Local Area Network (LAN, or "home network") will allow children to play in the same room or same WI-FI network with their friends. By using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP, or "voice chat"), a phone call, or the in-game text chat, they can play together wherever they are. It is also possible to set up a Minecraft Realm. A minecraft realm is a server run by Mojang. Minecraft Realms costs $13/Month. You can easily setup a server and invite your child's minecraft friends. You can also set up various minigames for your child to play on or just a default minecraft world. For more info on Minecraft Realms go to https://minecraft.net/realms These methods allows children to work together to build, explore, and learn as they develop their social skills, especially teamwork. For older children, contributing to the Minecraft Wiki can be a chance to learn about Internet etiquette and collaboration.
Basic Technological Science
Redstone (Dust).png
Redstone circuitry provides an interactive environment to build basic logic circuits and combine them for more

sophisticated purposes. Feedback is immediate, and the mistakes don't destroy expensive electrical components.

Linguistics
Hello! - ¡Hola! - Hallo!
Salut! - Γεια σου! - 您好!
Via the options menu, children can select various languages to use while playing Minecraft. If a child can name an item by sight, there is a higher chance that the child will be able to at comprehend, at least a few words of a new language very quickly.

Mojang has recognized the educational potential Minecraft offers, and has partnered with minecraftedu.com to provide a 50% discount on Minecraft for educational institutions.

[edit] Content suitability

While the mobs (enemies) may be scary or overly frustrating for younger children, single-player contains no coarse language, no sexual or drug references (the occasional vandalism of a language pack does happen, however the US English pack is controlled by Mojang and the vandalism mainly occurs to development versions of the game), no blood and dead mobs simply turn red, fall over, and then disappear in a puff of smoke. There is combat, but it is in the context of survival, not gratuitous killing and is not at all graphic. There is also a peaceful mode, so younger players do not have to encounter enemies apart from wolves (which only attack if provoked).

In multiplayer, other people on the server may use coarse or inappropriate language when using the in-game text chat. This can be prevented by running a private server or setting up Minecraft realms, where access can be restricted to specific players using the customizable whitelist. You can invite up to 10 players on the customizable whitelist.

You can also turn off chat by going to settings menu and from there to Multiplayer Settings. There you have an option to turn off your chat, you will see no member talk, and you cannot talk. You are also annoyingly prevented from using commands like /home, which can be extremely useful when in danger.

[edit] Technical ability

Minecraft can be easily set up by a parent for their child to play. After purchase, they need only download the game from minecraft.net, open the file, and log in. The file can be saved to the desktop for easy access, or to any location on the computer. If the parent allows the game to save their username and password, the child will only have to run the file and click "Login". Alternately, they may choose to restrict the child's access by keeping the password secret.

Setting up a server is much more involved, and will likely require parental assistance through the age of 13.

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