Minecraft, Minecraft, Minecraft! Come join us any time during the day to immerse yourself in the game that’s all the rage amongst your students aged 5-18. We’ll have a set of iPads ready to go to explore the mobile version of Minecraft (Minecraft Pocket Edition), as well as demonstrating the version of Minecraft tailored to education (MinecraftEdu). No prior experience required! Although we will have a handful of loaner laptops available, you are encouraged to bring your own laptop.
In addition, throughout the conference we will have a server running in the cloud to allow people to jump in at any time, from any place, to join in the fun.
What’s wrong with this picture?
In order to motivate children to be well-educated, responsible, socially healthy, productive adults, we feed their addictive, irresponsible fantasies with head-down technology.
The American education system is failing miserably, so let’s find ways to make kids like school. Let’s make school parallel to the things they like. Kids obviously like video games, so let’s make education one big video game.
Kids don’t like healthy food, so feed them french fries, candy, and coke.
What I remember about being a kid was the anticipation of being like an adult. It was “awesome” to have freedom, to be like my dad, to fly his airplane, to steer his car, to skipper my own skiff miles away to get gas, to ski all by myself down a huge mountain, to go traveling with a team a long way from home, to get a job, to get my driver’s license, to have a girlfriend, to grow a moustache…
Kids don’t need fake accomplishments. They need tangible rewards and power. Gaming rewards are fake, and deep down kids know that. Real life rewards and accomplishments don’t dematerialize when the power is off.
What a traditional approach to education will get you: