Minecraft is one of the, if not the most popular Apps/Software on the market at the moment. The game use simple graphic building blocks for players to use to create whole new worlds. Minecraft is a "Sandbox" game, which means that players can interact with the environment to create their own experience.
Utilizing the game's open, creative aspect and the amount of engagement that students pour into the activities when they are use Minecraft, there is huge educational potential to impact learning. Here are a few examples of how we have been using Minecraft with our students.
In Art the students have been focussing on 'perspective' and in particular 'vanishing point perspective', like that in which Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper was painted in. The students studied the painting and discussed how all the lines of perspective converge to a single point, in this case Jesus is centered at that point, and the windows in the background are smaller than the people in the foreground demonstrating depth.
The students then were asked to draw a room using 'vanishing point perspective'
Minecraft also happens to be built wholly around 'vanishing point perspective'. The center of the screen is always the point where all lines of perspective converge, making some things seem far away (smaller) and others closer (larger). For the activity using Minecraft the students were asked to recreate The Last Supper with certain specifications.
Finally the students were given the task to draw the corridor. Here are those same three students from the initial room drawings, corridor drawings.