One such example is the incredibly successful Microsoft game, Minecraft. Microsoft has developed an educational edition for this game in response to the positive applications it has for educational contexts. Nebel, Schneider and Rey (2016) found that Minecraft has been used to teach subjects as varied as literacy, sustainable planning, social skills and project management and that it “…has empowered players to break down perceived barriers between computers and the imagination” (Zaidan). I can personally attest to the use of Minecraft and how well it engaged my students. They had to recreate ancient monuments based on their research in the game and include interesting facts about their monuments for other students to visit and learn from. This was an engaging experience for the students and they really enjoyed the process of learning. As a social science teacher there are many opportunities for students to learn about individuals and societies, particularly in subjects such as history and geography. Most notably are games such as Sid Myer’s Civilizations and Assassin’s Creed with their in-depth immersion of history. Young people playing these games will learn about the past in an engaging and meaningful way, hopefully leading to more learning and interest beyond the games they are playing.
All of this said, video games are still created for the sake of entertainment and selling a product. So, while video games are excellent at developing a number of skills and improving general knowledge about certain things given the nature of certain games, there are many games that are simply entertainment for entertainment’s sake. Video games can definitely be used for educational purposes, but there are many and more that are not. As a teacher and a parent, it is a good idea to know which is which. If you want to learn about a few games that are, here is a link to Video Game Rant where you can find some educational games for your children.
Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point by Gladwell, Malcolm. (Back Bay Books, 2002) [Paperback]. Back Bay, 2022.
Wijman, Tom. “The Games Market and Beyond in 2021: The Year in Numbers.” Newzoo, 13 Jan. 2022, newzoo.com/insights/articles/the-games-market-in-2021-the-year-in-numbers-esports-cloud-gaming/#:%7E:text=The%20games%20market%20in%202021,%2B1.4%25%20over%20last%202020.
Zaidan, Sarah. “Video Games as Education.” The International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy 1–6. Web.
Studying, completing assessments, sitting the exams. Sometimes students may wonder if that is all there is to the IB Diploma Programme. This question can especially arise at the beginning of the DP, as the concept and focus of learning gradually moves away from the mostly inquiry, project-based MYP Programme.