Minecraft is a very popular sandbox game that allows creative building with textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated virtual world. The Minecraft world is an open world, with no specific goals for the player to accomplish, which allows users to be creative in designing structures, buildings, machines, and even rudimentary programming and logic gates.

Educational Uses of Minecraft

Because of its open nature, and extreme popularity with children and adults alike, Minecraft has become a popular educational tool to teach a variety of skills and subjects.  From basic math skills, geometry, and spatial reasoning, to more advanced logic, circuitry, and programming, Minecraft can be a great platform for exploring educational topics in a fun virtual environment.

IT@UC Leadership Academy:  Team Minecraft

As part of the 2014-15 IT@UC Leadership Academy, the Team Minecraft team developed a Minecraft tutorial world to help educators understand how Minecraft can be useful as a teaching tool.  Targeting lessons for K-12 students, the IT@UC Team Minecraft world includes example lessons in the subjects of math, English, history, and science.  Teachers can download the world file and explore the Minecraft tutorial on their own server to learn more about using this flexible platform for teaching and learning in an engaging way.

Getting Started with Minecraft – How to Get Minecraft

To play Minecraft, go to Minecraft.net website and create an account.  For regular Minecraft, the cost is $26.95 per license.  Once you have created your account, download the Minecraft client and launch the game.

The Basics

The first step to using Minecraft as an educational tool is to learn the basic interface and game mechanics available in the platform.  The How To Survive Your First Night in Minecraft tutorial might be helpful in understanding the basic mechanics of the game.  There are also a wide variety of how-to videos and tutorials on YouTube and the Minecraft Wikipedia.