Computer Game Curriculum

Luke Robert

Genius Hour Question

How can computer games be utilized in a classroom setting to assist in the presentation and understanding of material?

-I have been a pretty avid gamer basically my entire life. Starting off with the Gameboy Pocket and evolving all the way to the Xbox One and PS4, I have been gaming the whole way through. This led me to the idea of researching video games in the classroom. I was never really able to experience their use much during my time in school but I loved seeing some of the various ways they have been used these past few years, especially with one of my favorite games, Minecraft. This game quickly became the main focus of my research.

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Minecraft Edu

Minecraft Edu was easily the most interesting resource I came across in my research. Within the past year or so I had heard about a few schools beginning to use Minecraft to teach but I never imagined the extent to which they were actually being used. The world of Minecraft is essentially one giant MakerSpace so it can work perfectly in a classroom. I was immediately amazed at some of the lessons teachers were coming up with, especially those of John Miller. Mr. Miller's blog (http://minecraft.edtecworks.com) became my most used resource throughout the semester. On this site he provides videos, ideas, and lesson plans for some of the various lessons he has conducted using Minecraft.


Surprisingly, a game that is deceptively very simple, consisting of what appears to just be the ability to build with blocks, can actually be very complicated. Through the use of the many different materials in the game, players can create complicated circuits, machines, and structures ranging from basic houses to entire cities. City building was one of my favorite lessons from Mr. Miller's class. His students were assigned to research an ancient Chinese city and various lifestyles, followed by building the different houses and shops that made up the city. This tied in a great deal of history and researching, as well as creativity and critical thinking about how to make the buildings into a reality. His various lessons on the blog do a great job of demonstrating just how diverse and useful Minecraft can be in the classroom.

How Does This All Tie In?

Going back to my original question I have been researching, these games do an excellent job of assisting in the presentation and understanding of class material. Video games are becoming more and more relevant in today's youth so learning through a game like Minecraft presents the material in a way that is fun, interesting, and enjoyable. This leads to a stronger motivation to learn, rather than simply reading from a textbook. Video games can also be great for better understanding because the material is much more accessible to all types of learners, which applies to the principles of UDL. Minecraft provides absolute freedom of creativity to its players so by playing the game in an educational setting, students can access the content in a way that suits them best. They are given the opportunity to really express themselves through their creations, which leads to an overall more enjoyable and meaningful learning experience.

Other resources

Throughout the extensive use of Twitter this semester, I have built quite the archive of users, blogs, websites, and resources. This has assisted greatly in my research. Some of these can be found below:


Twitter Users: @MinecraftEdu, @johnmillerEDU, @EducationArcade, @KerbalEdu, @LGamesNetwork


Twitter Hashtags: #minecraftedu, #gbl, #gamesforlearning, #kerbaledu


Other sites and resources:

Coming to a close

To wrap it all up, I have had a wonderful experience during my Maymester in EDIT 2000. I have learned so much about education and technology and hope to use this knowledge in the fall in Project FOCUS. I was continually amazed at how much video games in the classroom have grown as well as how effectively they are utilized and I can't wait to see how they evolve in the future.

The author

A Biological Science major rounding third and heading for home in the fourth year at The University of Georgia. Also in the process of applying to Dental School and hoping for an acceptance in December.