As technology advances, schools are continuously seeking innovative ways to integrate modern technology into their curriculum. Following the incorporation of interactive whiteboards, tablets, and laptops, video games might be the next addition.
The Crown Estate, in collaboration with Minecraft, has launched two new worlds within the game's Education edition. This initiative aims to provide students across the country with the opportunity to learn about offshore wind farms and ecological conservation within the block-building virtual environment.
The Offshore Wind Power Challenge offers teachers a lesson plan centered around activities available in Minecraft Education. Additionally, The Crown Estate has developed a lesson plan based on conservation and ecology using Windsor Great Park as the inspiration.
During a hands-on lesson utilizing Minecraft Education, students were asked to construct an offshore wind farm, taking into account factors such as turbine type, cost, depth of water, and marine habitats. The interactive nature of the game led to increased engagement and knowledge retention among the students. One student expressed their preference for interactive learning, stating that “it's easier to remember what was there.”
Studies have consistently shown that interactive learning contributes to better retention of knowledge. Students not only immersed themselves in the game but also collaborated with their peers, sharing ideas and optimizing their wind farm designs.
Minecraft Education has been successfully used in educational settings in other countries. Justin Edwards, director of learning experiences for Minecraft Education, described various projects, including designing a city in the Netherlands and incorporating STEM subjects into the classroom. Minecraft has even been utilized for teaching World Peace, with Nobel laureates participating in the game.
The partnership between The Crown Estate and Minecraft Education aims to make conservation and ecological concepts more accessible to students. In order to align with the National Curriculum, The Crown Estate worked with Hopscotch, a company specializing in creating lessons for various subjects.
While it remains to be seen if this program will succeed in the UK, it has the potential to enhance student learning if the negative perception surrounding video games decreases.
– The US Sun: Article by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF