Minecraft is one of my favorite games because it connects youngsters together. The social benefits of incorporating Minecraft into a child’s school life, in my opinion, are enormous. Here are five social benefits that I’ve helped students at my school build through the use of planned curriculum-based activities and free-play or team-based activities, both in and out of the classroom, through our Minecraft club.
Many of the students who walk into Minecraft club have previously played the game in some manner. However, the skills required to effectively exchange ideas, collaborate, and follow a team leader frequently needs improvement. It’s fantastic to see older students taking on more responsibility and guiding younger pupils during Minecraft club. SCC has helped students build abstraction and problem-solving skills. Something lot more than the pupils had anticipated from ‘playing Minecraft’ in class!
Assisting Students in Dealing with Social Isolation
After transferring from another school, a mom approached me regarding her child, who was experiencing social isolation. He struggled to form friendships with the other kids on the playground. This loneliness vanished after he began attending Minecraft club once a week, where we would perform team buildings and have the opportunity to socialize around a common interest. Aside from Minecraft, this child has formed a great buddy group.
When utilizing Minecraft, I’ve discovered that part of a teacher’s or facilitator’s duty is to help students who are trying to ‘fit in.’ Minecraft is a game that is best enjoyed in a group setting! When utilizing Minecraft at school, one of the most important tasks a teacher or facilitator can play is ensuring that all children feel comfortable, appreciated, and involved.
Working together and resolving conflicts are two skills that may be learned.
Collaboration is continually highlighted as a critical talent for the twenty-first century. Minecraft encourages players to develop the abilities needed to collaborate effectively. However, there will inevitably be arguments among pupils as they learn to acquire these talents. When students are given coping methods to use while working on a team project, I’ve found that the teams function much more amicably. Assigning a manager and spending the time to prepare the build before diving into Minecraft are both beneficial. But be cautious: too many constraints and ‘construction regulations’ can suffocate design and innovation. Dissension and debate are usually beneficial. A time-out from Minecraft is also required if a student feels extremely heated up over an idea or a disagreement.
Educating students on how to communicate responsibly online
Moving away from a teacher-centered approach to a more student-centered approach is one of the issues we face in our Minecraft club. This entails empowering kids to take charge of the group and exhibit accountability through their decisions. Pairing a good student with a weaker student or a student who has never played Minecraft before also aids in the development of these leadership abilities on a more personal and one-on-one basis.
Participation in the Community
Finally, parents are encouraged to come along for the ride. They should be informed of the excellent changes that the teachers had noticed in their children. Yearbooks or social media channels can also be used to share and celebrate students’ achievements with the rest of the school community. It not only raises awareness of the benefits of game-based learning, but it also gives pupils a sense of pride and success. As a teacher, it’s rewarding to see students achieve academic achievement through game-based learning, but it’s even more rewarding to see students grow socially and emotionally as a result of Minecraft.
Below are two screenshots from a student build team that had to collaborate to re-imagine a location on campus, taking into account the usage of place and space, as well as resources and inclusivity. This group designed a retreat for our boarding students, who encounter particular challenges as they adjust to life away from home. A leisure area and a swimming pool are included.