Teaching First-Graders with MinecraftS

When his five-year-old daughter built a treehouse by herself in Minecraft, Joel Levin, a computer teacher at Manhattan's Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, got the idea to try incorporating the PC game into his lesson plan at school. He worried about numerous possibilities that the game would simply be incompatible with students that young, but he was relieved and gratified to discover he was wrong.

"From day one, the kids are all playing together in a single world," Levin told Ars Technica. "They must share resources, take turns, work together, and, frankly, be nice to each other. This is usually the first time these kids have had to think about these concepts in a game, but it goes hand in hand with the big picture stuff they are learning in their homerooms."

The lesson is strongly supported within the school and is very popular. It'll continue with four new groups of students this term, and an after-school class will be added. Levin is also maintaining a blog - The Minecraft Teacher - documenting the game's use in his classroom.

Educational building blocks: how Minecraft is used in classrooms [Ars Technica]