Minecraft: Friend or foe of education and learning?

Minecraft has become a primary focus of video game play for many children (and adults). Teachers and parents have varying opinions about how educational it is. Part of the issue is that Minecraft can be played in two modes: (1) Creative (as a design tool where users build structures and worlds out of an endless supply of materials) and (2) Survival (as a game that pits players against each other, malady time, treatment a host…

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“Games are hard” = Good for learning!

One criticism of games in the classroom is that they don’t provide serious learning experiences. Not so, says an expert in educational games: Bringing games to bear in education is not a matter of dumbing down. Constance Steinkuehler, an associate professor of digital media at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and co-director of the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) center there, noted that “it turns out games are hard.” If indeed humans think immeasurably better as part of a…

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