The article is devoted to discussing the methods of learning mathematics. The main idea is to integrate the digital game Minecraft into math lessons. This game is pretty popular among the young generation and can significantly develop analytical skills. Evolving the game through the creation of interaction tasks may help children to overcome the fear of the unknown. Such an approach can instill a love for science and enhance their interest in learning.
The article has three key points to be addressed. The first one is that it develops analytical thinking skills and imagination (Bos, Cook, & Wiler, 2014). Minecraft creates room for imagination and almost does not limit the possibilities. Children can build, extract resources, and be engaged in joint activities or roam the world using this game. Minecraft has no linear narrative, but there are many creative tools, so the player’s freedom is not limited. The second point correlates with the possibilities that Minecraft provides for teachers (Bos, Cook, & Wiler, 2014). Simplicity and versatility allow this game to be used in almost all basic school subjects: solve mathematical problems, illustrate chemical and physical experiments, model organic systems in biology, and others. The third point correlates with integrating technologies and knowledge (Bos, Cook, & Wiler, 2014). From the authors’ perspective, the communication between children and teacher are likely to be enhanced through such an approach. The article emphasizes that the communication barrier and fear can be eliminated. Thanks to Minecraft, students will be engaged in an exciting learning process.
The article also touches on how this technology is implemented into traditional lessons. The paper describes examples of math lessons using Minecraft. These programs are designed mainly for elementary grades, that is, for the rules of addition, multiplication, and division using game blocks. There are more complex quests and geometry tasks in which you need to build a figure or calculate the area for senior classes. Learning math with Minecraft primarily trains logic and spatial thinking. Children not only master the basic rules but also immediately learn to apply them in practice. As far as the game has both computer and mobile versions, there will be no technical problems with using the game. Children can use smartphones or other gadgets during classes.
Reading the article was helpful and highly relevant to me. Previously, I have never considered computer games as a rational educational approach. I have always thought that the games will distract the children’s attention causing difficulties in learning. However, this article shows that Minecraft creates the perfect learning conditions for children. Thanks to reading this paper, I reconsidered the role of computer games in the learning process. I realized that the innovations might be relevant, enhancing studying possibilities.
There are three questions that I thought of after reading the article. The first one is whether the children’s mental state will stay the same. This question is related to the escaping reality psychological disorder. Another point I would like to specify is whether the author of the article believes that it is rational to create computer programs that can replace teachers. Considering the mentioned experience of evolving the game into math learning, the teachers’ role seems undermined. The authors note the enhanced communication between students and teachers. However, it is not face-to-face communication but through avatars replacing real people.
Thus, the article addresses the issues of the implementation of Minecraft in learning math. The game provides opportunities to create various objects, contributing to developing analytical thinking and spatial orientation. The authors provide an example of how the game can be implemented into traditional lessons highlighting its advantages. In general, the paper is vital to consider for teachers and researchers focusing on new educational opportunities.
Bos, B, Cook, M., & Wiler, L. (2014). Learning mathematics through Minecraft. Teaching Children Mathematics, 21(1), 59–59.