Crown Estate hopes to get kids playing video games during lessons – and it’s a good thing | The Sun
AS technology marches ever forward, schools are looking for ways to incorporate modern technology into the curriculum.
We’ve already seen the rise in interactive whiteboards, tablets, and laptops in schools, and it seems that video games could be next.
Launching today (September 28), The Crown Estate, the national landowner that manages the seabed, has partnered with Minecraft to create two new worlds inside the game's Education edition.
Students across the country will have the opportunity to learn about offshore wind farms, and even try to build their own inside the block-building world.
The Offshore Wind Power Challenge provides teachers with a lesson plan based around activities available in Minecraft Education.
There is also a second lesson built by The Crown Estate based on conservation and ecology based on Windsor Great Park.
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We were invited to a lesson using the programme with Minecraft Education at the centre and were impressed with the results.
The students were tasked with building an offshore wind farm, where aspects like the cost and type of turbine, depth of water, and marine habitats had to be considered.
Students came away with a high level of knowledge retention, and remembered a large amount of key vocabulary and concepts following the lesson.
One student said: “It’s more interactive so it’s easier to learn. A lot of us prefer games to writing, so it’s easier to remember what was there.”
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This is not just children hoping to play games during lessons. Educational research has proven time and again that interactivity is great for knowledge retention.
The students weren’t just immersed in their games, they were sharing ideas with partners and discussing with others how to best optimise their wind farms.
Minecraft has already been used to aid learning in other countries with a high level of success.
Justin Edwards, director of learning experiences for Minecraft Education told GLHF: “In some projects we open [Minecraft] up to build challenges, and make it very creative.
“I just came back from a project in The Netherlands where they are using Minecraft to design a city.
“This lesson was on conservation, but other projects bring STEM work into the classroom and make it easier to explain to young people.
“We see huge popularity in Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Chemistry, and we’ve even taught World Peace where we had six nobel prize laureates in the game at once.”
The Crown Estate had the goal for their lessons in mind and worked with Hopscotch, a company which creates lessons for all sorts of subjects, in order to provide lesson plans that are in line with the National Curriculum.
Judith Everett, an executive director at The Crown Estate told us that: “[Minecraft] is just a great way to make conservation way more accessible.
“We’re not educational experts, so we didn’t want to overstep. We know how to bring the subject to life. But we brought in Hopscotch to make sure that it is in line with the curriculum.”
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It’s unclear if the programme will become a success in the UK, but if the stigma around video games is decreased then it’s certain to help students with their learning.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.
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