I have some of the first years Business Information Technican students that should be out getting work experience but didn't get any work place, still at school. Those students try to catch up with their studies. Some of them had actually worked today but there was this one guy who disapointed said:
"I've only played Minecraft today"
So I sat down with him for a minute or two, and we agreed he should have done some studies. But what on earth had been so interested today with Minecraft?
Well, two things.
He had send out some turtles on mining missions (private server) and build a nice cool house (project server in school) from a blueprint, with English messurements.
Suddenly the bad day turned out into a better day. He had actually done some working after all. He looked a bit sceptical when I told him. First he had done some lua programing (to get the turtles, ComputerCraft mod in Minecraft, working). When he tried to use the blueprint he had to start think about scale, math, geometry and probably been googling a lot to get the 3d model in Minecraft as real as possible.
And that's what i love with Minecraft!
Without thinking you're doing lots and lots of learning.
I have the same experience with my 5 yo daughter and I'm so jealous about the opportunities you have as a teacher if/when you teach in primary school.
Sunday morning, on our way to the ballet, she started to ask me about a farm and the fields around it. I tried to explain with different words but after five minutes I gave up and said: "do you remember Minecraft yesterday? The wheat you planted to make bread? That's what these fields are too."
Amazing, immediately she understood and started to explain farms in real world (what they had talked about in the daycare) and what she wanted us to do in our Minecraft world.
My belief in Minecraft have resulted that my boss has invested in five minecraft accounts which I can use when I work as a remedial teacher. Today I had my first session, I've introduced a bunch of students, tired of school, to Minecraft and geometry. Awesome! But it's too early to get any feedback from that course today.