Joel Levin at the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School used popular indie block building game Minecraft as a learning tool for his second grade computer class. Now he's a part of the newly-launched MinecraftEdu, a program dedicated to spreading Minecraft-based learning to classrooms around the world.
A couple of weeks ago, my colleague Matt Toder and I visited a second-grade class that is being taught—mostly during school hours—how to play Minecraft. We'd heard about it and read about it. We had to see it.
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…