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Teaching Scientific Concepts using a Virtual World - Minecraft


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Minecraft is a multiplayer sandbox video game based in a virtual world modeled on the real world. Players are able to build and craft everyday items using blocks, the cubic geometry of Minecraft lends itself to the teaching of various academic subjects. Minecraft also has a functioning ecology, with chemistry and physics aspects interwoven within the game that can be used to develop the scientific literacy of players. Here I describe various key scientific and mathematical concepts that are able to be modeled with the game for use in the classroom.
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Volume 58 | Number 3 | September 2012 teachingscience 55
Hands On
Minecraft is a multiplayer sandbox video game based in a virtual world modeled on the real
world. Players are able to build and craft everyday items using blocks. The cubic geometry
of Minecraft lends itself to the teaching of various academic subjects. Minecraft also has a
functioning ecology, with chemistry and physics aspects interwoven within the game that can
be used to develop the scientic literacy of players. Here I describe various key scientic and
mathematical concepts that are able to be modelled with the game for use in the classroom.
By Daniel Short
Teaching scientic concepts
using a virtual world - Minecraft
History of Ecological BasEd VidEo gamEs
The Earth based simulation ‘Balance of the Planet’
(1990) was designed to teach the user about global
warming, jobs, health, food, wealth, and energy use.
‘Sim Earth’ (1993) was more of a simulation experience
with players able to control the planet’s atmosphere,
temperature and landmasses. They would then place
various forms of life on the planet and watch them
evolve. The game modeled the Gaia hypothesis
of James Lovelock (Lovelock, 1987) and one of
the options available is the simplied “Daisyworld”
model. Spore (2008) was written by the same author
as Sim Earth and allowed the player to control the
development of a species from its beginnings as a
microscopic organism to an intelligent and social
Various web based games focused on single scientic
topics are available online [http://www.bunnygame.
org,, etc.]. These are usually
short activities designed around a central concept or
theme. Web based games are in their most basic form
gloried ash cards which by design lack the depth of
content available in games such as Minecraft and as
such are not the focus of this article.
minEcraft in tHE classroom
The use of any video game, designed more for
entertainment than learning is likely to raise the
eyebrows in academia. I believe that pre-empting the
‘game’ as an educational tool, having well dened
goals and constraining which elements of Minecraft
are employed, will allow for its use in a variety of
lessons in different subject areas. Introducing the
game to a novice can be a difcult task due to the
lack of instructions, for this reason many tutorial maps
have been constructed. The previously mentioned
MinecraftEDU mod is the perfect way for a novice to
be introduced to the game.
The construction of full lessons to be used either in
the classroom or online may take the form of single
activities integrated into the normal classroom based
lesson or full-blown adventure maps with a beginning,
middle, and ending scenario. The following subsections
provide an overview of how Minecraft has been used
to-date in various disciplines, including examples of my
own uses in a college based setting:
With the advent of video games becoming a
mainstream form of entertainment, overtaking movies
in the amount of money grossed, as well as the amount
of time spent playing them, they offer an alternative,
if somewhat controversial way in which educational
content can be delivered. As with all types of learning,
students need direction and opportunities to reect on
their work (
Minecraft is a sandbox (open world, freedom of how
to play) building (analogous to Lego construction
sets) video game written in Java and published by
the company Mojang. It was released in May 2009 on
the home computer platforms with an Apple iOS and
Android release in 2012. The game play is centered on
creativity and building, with players building (crafting)
constructions out of textured cubes in a 3-dimensional
world. The game starts with the player placed on a
world generated by the program consisting of biomes
containing plains, mountains, caves, deserts and bodies
of water. The games time system consists of day-night
cycles during which they are attacked by aggressive
‘mobs’. In addition to the aforementioned ‘survival’
mode, there is also a ‘creative’ mode for building
only. The game play includes the use of electrical
circuits and logic gates which function much like their
real-world counterparts. The game is appropriate for
ages 6 and up with a developmental learning curve
such that parts of the game (such as circuit building)
can be mastered at higher grade levels. Use of the
game in schools as an educational tool has increased
signicantly since the game’s full release.
Minecraft as an educational tool has its own wiki
(, educational
‘mod’ (modication) (,
and google group (
forum/?fromgroups#!forum/minecraft-teachers ). The mod
is an additional piece of software that allows instructors to
control the game and game users. For example, students
can be frozen, teleported, given access to blocks etc. The
survival aspect of the game can be removed and the
educational aspects focused on. Several teachers from
various countries have developed instructional lessons using
the MinecraftEDU experience; these range from simple
tutorials on how to use the game in class to instructional
units, some of which are described below.
56 teachingscience Volume 58 | Number 3 | September 2012
results in an unsustainable environment. This concept
is commonly illustrated in the classroom with candy
and/or goldsh crackers. To illustrate this principle using
Minecraft, I built a self-contained world map inside a
dome containing only trees. The model is played in two
rounds, in round 1 the students are told to collect as
much wood from the forested area as possible. Being
a ‘commons’ type area, the space is very quickly laid
to waste, which illustrates Harding’s principle. In round
2, students are allowed to plant new trees and bound
their harvest areas with fences, in which only they
are allowed to farm. This leads to a more sustainable
production of lumber.
(iii) Physics
One of the major differences between the game and
real life is that most blocks (e.g., wood, stone, brick, dirt)
do not fall when surrounding structures are removed,
with the exception of sand and gravel. Gravity has an
effect on most non-block objects in the game. Water
exists in the liquid and solid states in the game. Source
blocks are stationary but will ow if the block next to the
source is removed. Water ows downhill and may be
used to move items from place to place.
Minecraft uses a color system of dyes which can be
combined to create new colors. There are currently 16
dyes, including seven ‘primary’ dyes (red, yellow, blue,
green, white, black and brown) seven ‘secondary’ dyes
(orange, cyan, purple, gray, light blue, pink and lime),
and two ‘tertiary’ dyes (magenta, light gray).
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
Atmospheric refraction is displayed in game with a red
sky during sunrise and sunset (Figure 3). The moon shows
all eight lunar phases.
(i) Biology
Minecraft maps of the human body, including the
vascular system, nerve cells and an animal cell are
currently in development. Since these structures are not
part of the normal game, these maps often make use
of custom textures in order to visualize the component
parts. Students are immersed in a visual 3-dimensional
environment and are able to move in all directions. Cell
functions are able to be investigated by moving and
placing blocks in order to mimic cellular activity.
For example, in a map designed around the human
body, the premise of the map would be similar to the
movie ‘Fantastic Voyage’, in that your friend is sick and
you/the class has to go inside his body to cure him
by solving puzzles and ghting bacteria and viruses,
while all the time exploring the different aspects of
the human body. Maps such as these are currently in
development for integration into MinecraftEDU.
(ii) Ecology
Perhaps Minecraft’s strongest application lies in the
area of the biological sciences, specically ecology.
Biomes are climatically and geographically dened
as similar climatic conditions on the Earth, such as
communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms,
and are often referred to as ecosystems. In Minecraft,
biomes are created by the map generator and display
different heights, temperatures (indicated by leaf color,
water color, presence or absence of water or desert),
humidities and foliage. Examples include: Forest, Taiga,
Swampland, Extreme Hills, Desert, Plains Ocean and
Tundra (Figure 1).
Trees vary in height depending on the biome in which
they are located. Tree canopies are generated with
leaf blocks which can be sheared to produce hedges.
Trees come in three different types: oak, birch and
pine. Trees require light and soil to grow. Trees may be
farmed and are required for building simple tools. In the
absence of coal, wood can be smelted into charcoal.
Real-world related animals include pigs, cows,
chickens, sheep, squids and wolves. Hostile animals,
ctional characters called ‘mobs’ can be switched
off during game play. Animals may be farmed and
reproduce when bred.
An enclosed Minecraft world (Figure 2) may be
used to demonstrate Hardings, ‘The Tragedy of the
Commons’ (Harding, 1968) (Grade 6 in US schools).
When a population (a group of several players) inhabit
the same area utilizing the same shared resources,
those resources are rapidly depleted. This ultimately
Figure 1: A typical Minercraft biome.
Figure 2: ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ map.
Figure 3: Sunrise over Minecraft world.
teachingscience 57
Hands On
Volume 58 | Number 3 | September 2012
Figure 6: (a) Integer patterns in Fibonacci world. Each
integer (1, 2, 3, 4, …etc has x number of patterns
formed from blocks which correspond to the
Fibonacci sequence.
(b) Fibonacci numbers in 3-dimensions.
Minecraft uses x, y, z coordinates to establish a player’s
location. North, east, south and west are dened in-game
with the sun rising in the east and clouds owing west.
Navigation is possible through the use of coordinates,
a compass and maps. Companies such as Maple are
experimenting with displaying 3-dimensional images of
mathematical functions (graphs) in the Minecraft world.
Viewed from inside the game, the functions are able to
be explored and changed in real time.
I have constructed a map called ‘Fibonacci World’
which uses geometric shapes and various block pattern
puzzles for discovery learning (Figure 6). These exercises
are based on regular classroom exercises adapted with
comparable ease.
Minecraft features block circuits which can be crafted into
a number of logic gates similar to real life digital electronics.
Large assemblies of logic gates can be formed into digital
circuits such as: adding machines. Power is provided via
torches and repeaters which can be used for applying
timing delays to your circuit. More advanced circuits can
be crafted such as delay circuits, monostable circuits and
clock and pulse generators. Large scale circuits have
been crafted such as a 3-D stereolithography interface
with the real world (Elford, 2012).
(iv) Chemistry
Smelting of iron and gold ore using a furnace produces
the pure metal. Sand may be heated in order to make
glass or turned into sandstone. Cakes can be crafted
from wheat, eggs, milk and sugar. Explosives (TNT) may
be crafted from gunpowder and sand unlike its real-
world multistep preparation.
Stephen Elford, an Australian primary school teacher,
has developed a basic states of matter and phase
changes simulation (solid, liquid, gas) using players as
particles. A four-by-four area is bounded with wooden
blocks, this area simulates the solid phase. Students
enter the area and are told that they are particles of
matter with limited mobility. The area is made larger
by burning (simulating an increase in temperature),
leading to a phase change to the state of a liquid.
Students have more freedom of motion as the liquid
phase but are still constrained by the boundaries set
a further distance away. Finally, the last boundary is
removed simulating the gas phase (Elford, 2012).
David Vreman has constructed a 3-dimensional
periodic table of the elements, which uses sign posts
to highlight key properties and uses of each element
(Figure 4). Whilst chemistry is perhaps not the strongest
component of the game, a modication (mod) of the
game called ‘MineChem’ is available for free which
allows further exploration of the elements.
Addition/subtraction, multiplication/division and ratios
are the most obvious mathematical concepts put
forward by the game, for example raw wood from trees
becomes 4 wooden planks, 9 iron bars make one block
of iron, 24 pieces of iron, gold or diamond make up a
full set of armor. It is possible to set questions and use
algebraic formulas on signs, walls and books.
Measurements of perimeter, area and volume are
required to make symmetrical buildings with centered
doors and windows. Geometry is important in the
generation of circles from squares blocks. Circles may
be generated in pixel art and transcribed to block
patterns (Figure 5).
Figure 4: The periodic table in Minecraft.
Figure 5: Circles in Minecraft.
58 teachingscience Volume 58 | Number 3 | September 2012
Ever thought of CONTRIBUTING
My goal with this article was to give some insight into
the current happenings with what I believe to be an
incredible opportunity for science instruction. From
an academic’s perspective, beyond the instructional
opportunities that have been addressed here, the
most exciting aspect of Minecraft is the ability for
collaborative lesson design between instructors. The
game lends itself to multiple users inhabiting the same
world, be it instructor-student or instructor-instructor.
Minecraft, is in my view, a game-changer in the eld of
science instruction.
Lovelock, J.E. (1987)
Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth.
University Press, USA.
Harding, G. (1968) The Tragedy of the Commons.
, Vol. 13,
No. 3859, pp. 1243-1248.
Elford, S. (2012)
Kirriemuir, J. & McFarlane, A. (2003) Use of Computer and Video
Games in the Classroom. Proceedings of the Level Up Digital
Games Research Conference, Universiteit Utrecht, Netherlands.
(v) Geology and Geography
Cliffs, hills, mountains and ravines are generated by
the game and are unique to each map. Beaches are
generated next to oceans or lakes. If a lake is generated
in a snow biome, it will freeze. The ability to congure
a map using data imported from a Geographical
Information System (GIS) has seen the development
of Minecraft analogues to real world terrain. It is now
possible to model any location on the Earth’s surface.
Types of rock found in the game include obsidian,
sandstone, stone, cobblestone and gravel. Minerals
include diamond, gold, iron, clay and lapus lazuli.
Mods have been developed to increase the number of
available minerals. The minerals behave much like their
real world counterparts with metals craftable into tools
and clay being craftable into brick.
The use of video games in the classroom can
supplement the use of other media, educational
programming, web based videos, etc. Video game use
represents another tool in the teacher’s toolkit. Research
suggests that simulations and immersive virtual worlds
are increasingly being used to supplement traditional
teaching methods Kirriemuir & McFarlane, 2003).
Minecraft itself is already being used to illustrate
scientic concepts in classrooms across the world. At
the present time, development of educational activity
maps to be used as part of lesson plans is increasing.
A number of teachers are sharing their development
process using a combination of online forums and
videos. Development of maps is not currently limited to
teachers. A number of users of the game have created
maps either as academic projects or proof of concept.
A Minecraft world can be designed by the instructor
which would host a series of lessons in any one or a
combination of the above areas. Exposure to any of
the above concepts would have a positive effect on
students, exposing them to various scientic concepts
which can be related to real life experiences.
aBout tHE autHor:
Daniel Short is an Assistant Professor of Science.
He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool
(England) in Environmental Science, a M.Sc.
from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) in
Environmental Chemistry and a B.Sc. from the
University of Leicester in Combined Studies. Dr.
Short’s research interests include sampling and
monitoring, fate and transport, and modeling of
environmental pollutants. He currently teaches
both introductory and upper level courses to
Science and Engineering students at Robert
Morris University (USA).
Teaching Science publishes refereed articles contributing to the theory and practice of
science education. It aims to include material of interest to all sectors of the science education
community—primary, secondary, tertiary and trainees. Teaching Science invites primary and
secondary teachers, teacher educators, community-based science education ofcers, pre-
service teachers, and others with an interest in improving the quality of science teaching to
submit articles. Teaching Science particularly values contributions from teachers who have
researched their own classroom practice. While each issue of the journal usually carries a theme,
this is not exclusive. Good writing on any science education issue is welcomed.
Prospective contributors should go to the ASTA website, to
download the guildines for contributors and the Manuscript Submission Form.
... However, design decisions also potentially affect the effectiveness of the virtual environment in presenting educational content. Short [28] explained that excessive information exhibited to the student may be overwhelming and that presenting specific content supports a deeper interpretation of educational content. The author suggested that although simulations of the real world such as those in Minecraft can generate engagement and motivation, high levels of fidelity may distract students from the main topic being introduced. ...
... In the present studies, we engaged players with an exploratory activity in Minecraft by providing climate zone content to interpret the environmental simulation. However, as suggested by Short [28], an excess of realism and detail may distract players from the main objective. Considering this observation, we introduced visual features in the environment in pilot study I and II to support players with exploration and accomplishing the task. ...
... A Minecraft world can be designed by an instructor be used for more than one topic. The game can encompass a series of lessons as a combination of different areas [28]. The present study explored the possibility of using the advantage of the game's aesthetics to address a topic from the K-12 curriculum. ...
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Digital technology has shaped the way humans interact with information and create knowledge. These conditions have in turn shaped a generation of people who experienced virtual environments very early in their lives and are often referred to as digital natives. This group of people has a particular way of communicating and interacting. It characterizes their affinity spaces and the many experiences with virtual worlds and digital games. In digital games, the separation between entertainment and learning is becoming less pronounced. Many game titles have been used for educational purposes. An iconic example is Minecraft, which has been used formally in some schools to teach topics on the environment. However, studies on formal topics in Geography are conspicuously absent, and we therefore selected Minecraft to understand how digital natives learn about Geography given the character of its virtual environment. To this aim, we developed a learning task scenario for global climate zones. The scenario was tested in two pilot studies with two different groups of participants. The results indicate that participants already share some degree of knowledge about the game environment, despite differences within the digital native group. Using the results of the pilot studies, we discuss the design choices to engage players in the game's learning activity.
... There are programs such as the Immersive Reader which makes it easier for students to read and even translate text within the virtual world of the game e.g. by the Chemistry Resource Pack the children are given the opportunity to construct a periodic table. Also, over 300 worlds are available to learn about history, space exploration and marine biology, art, climate sustainability etc. (Short, 2012). Through the game the students can develop spatial skills (Garskof, 2014) and reconstruct ancient cultures, sites and buildings or learn chemistry by creating structures of atoms. ...
... Students used Minecraft to create a 2D map with key buildings such as churches and town halls and connect virtual colonies together (Colias, 2015). Short (2012) describes how Minecraft was greatly leveraged through the use of 3D imagery in its virtual world. Thus, the students with this technique were able to learn biology through the creation of 3D maps of the human body and ecology through the construction of maps that list temperatures, altitudes on earth and climate simulation using various experiential and climatic conditions. ...
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Due to technological advancements, all areas of daily life undergo changes including the methods of the educational process. The traditional model of education, with the teacher as the transmitter and the student as the receiver, has been modified as the facts in today's era are completely different from what they were in the past. Especially now the use of ChatGPT has proven that education should be oriented towards methods that promote students' critical thinking and enhance interaction, communication, and creativity.The new generations of learners not only demand but also are entitled to new educational methods, which reflect the evolution of technology and respond to contemporary needs. The educational system should meet these requirements and shape new practices that will motivate the students, so that the learning result will be substantial and clear.This paper focuses on the use of the videogame “Minecraft” in the subject of Theatrical Education, which is included in its educational program of primary education, and more specifically in the third and fourth grade (3rd–4th) during the 2021–2022 school year in three elementary schools in a total of 223 students. Through this academic project has been proved that there is a bidirectional connection between these digital tools and the education of art and cultural heritage. This interactive experiment was completed using survey questionnaires so as to understand and define the value of the use of digital tools during the learning procedure.
... 2 For example, Age of Empires [47] and Assassin's Creed [156] both contain notes on historical events and characters that can foster curiosity and tie into history reading and social studies, as well as improve reading comprehension [57,74,[101][102][103]. Minecraft: Education Edition [118] comes with official and unofficial lesson plans on a wide variety of subjects and has a lively community of players and "modders" who create mods, 3 scenarios, and mini games on different themes and topics [46,123,147]. This shows that it is possible to create recreational games that also have educational uses. ...
... Pada hasil dan pembahasan saat ini akan di informaskan jenis game yang akan digunakan dan cara kerjanya sebagai berikut: a. Akhirnya, struktur multipemain sederhana dari permainan dengan server individual memungkinkan kolaborasi antara instruktur (Short, 2012) dan peneliti dalam membuat konten atau melaksanakan sesi pembelajaran (atau eksperimental), bahkan dalam proyek-proyek sulit di seluruh dunia (Mojang, 2015) atau kelompok sasaran khusus (anak autis dan keluarganya, Duncan, 2015). Dengan demikian, kekuatan Minecraft yang memakan waktu untuk memungkinkan kebebasan pemain dalam permainan (Petrov, 2014) dan untuk meningkatkan motivasi untuk lebih mengeksplorasi topik (Bayliss, 2012) dapat diberikan ruang yang cukup. ...
Di era moderenisasi teknologi game menjadi salah satu yang paling banyak diminati. Namun masih banyak kontroversi tentang video game dijadikan sebgai alat pendidikan. Beberapa pemain dan pengembang beranggapan bahwa video game lebih baik dalam mengajarkan logika dan keterampilan pemecahan masalah dibandingkan dengan kurikulum disekolah. Disini saya bertujuan untuk menganalisis kembali manfaat yang diberikan dari video game guna menunjang proses pembelajaran bagi siswa di era serba digital saat ini. Adapun metode yang saya gunakan yaitu studi kualitatif dan literatur melalui buku, jurnal, mesin pencari seperti google schoolar dan banyak hal yang mendukung dalam penelitian. Minecraft adalah salah satu game yang dapat dijadikan solusi dari permasalahan ini, karena game ini merupakan game kotak pasir multipemain dimana dianjurkan mengumpulkan objek untuk meciptakan lingkungan sesuka hati. Dengann fungsi aspek ekologinya ini dapat digunakan sebagai media pengembangan konsep ilmiah untuk dijadikan sarana pembelajaran bagi siswa. Dengan mengadopsi Minecraft dalam pendidikan akan menguntungkan tak hanya hiburan yang diperoleh namun siswa mampu menciptakan kreativitas dalam belajar.
... Research on Minecraft indicates that the tool has the potential to promote creativity and understanding of concepts as an educational tool (Short, 2012;Cipollone et al, 2014), and combined with 3D printing, can promote the CT skill abstraction (Roscoe et al., 2014). However, to draw conclusions from studies about Minecraft to <colette/>, further studies must follow. ...
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... Negli ultimi anni, il successo di Minecra -nella fascia di età che va dai 5 ai 12 anni -ha spinto molti educatori a sondarne il potenziale educativo e a valutarne un impiego in contesti educativi informali (Tessler et al., 2017), e formali (Bos et al., 2014;Short, 2012). ...
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Il contributo sintetizza alcuni risultati di una sperimentazione per l’introduzione di Minecraft a scuola che ha coinvolto più di 1800 studenti e 169 docenti fra primo e secondo ciclo. Cosa accade quando il videogioco più venduto di sempre è usato in classe per studiare storia, inglese o matematica, a supporto di una didattica per competenze? Quali condizioni (formazione, esperienze pregresse, contesto didattico-organizzativo, etc.) sono necessarie per la sostenibilità dell’esperienza? Quali competenze disciplinari e trasversali sono stimolate? Quali limiti ed elementi di criticità devono essere considerati? Lo studio si è avvalso in un set di strumenti d’indagine quali-quantitativa per i docenti (questionario iniziale e finale; analisi dei progetti, analisi delle interazioni nei blog, forum) e per gli studenti (questionario finale), oltre alla costruzione di 12 casi di studio scelti fra i 169 progetti analizzati. Il coinvolgimento e la partecipazione dei ragazzi sono catalizzati, e i docenti riferiscono un incremento delle competenze legate al lavoro di gruppo e al project work.
... We suggest that the virtual representation of storyboards as embedded in the StoryCircles process provides feedback to participants from which they might learn, both from the representation itself as well as from participants interacting with the same representation. Drawing on constructionist notions of learning, Herbst et al. (2014) argued that the material artefacts of storyboards provide opportunities for self-regulating feedback from the environment-like one might receive in microworld environments such as LOGO or Minecraft (e.g., Papert, 1980Papert, , 1993Short, 2012;Spiliotopoulos et al., 2019). Building on that argument, we suggest the collaborative and public construction of storyboard artefacts embedded in the StoryCircles process adds a second kind of feedback for participants-namely the sharing of knowledge amongst individuals (see also Tettegah, 2005). ...
To leverage pedagogies of approximation to improve teacher education, educational researchers must first tackle the methodological question, "How can we determine the potential of pedagogies of approximation for supporting the growth of prospective teachers' knowledge and practices for teaching?" In this paper, we offer a model called the Dual Action Cycles of Approximations of Practice for identifying the pedagogical practices made available to pre-service teachers within various approximations of practice and describe its use to empirically investigate the potential of StoryCircles-a facilitated process of collaboratively representing a lesson using a multimedia storyboarding tool. We illustrate ways the model was used to make observations of pre-service teachers during StoryCircles. A key feature of the model is that it provides a bi-focal perspective on both the preactive and interactive phases of teaching, which help bring into focus the interdependent nature of these two phases. We close by suggesting that the development of new forms of approximation needs to be accompanied by research frameworks capable of investigating the potential of these various innovations.
... In the literature review, studies in which Minecraft was used as a teaching tool among local resources are also limited. In the national and international resources found, Minecraft and Minecraft EDU games are generally used in STEAM and maker (Niemeyer & Gerber, 2015;Lane et al., 2017;Sarıçam, 2019), English language acquisition (Smolčec, Smolčec & Stevens, 2014;Uusi-Mäkelä, 2015;Lyngstad, 2017;Egbert & Borysenko, 2019), reading skills (Cipollone, Schiffer & Moffet, 2014;Jiménez-Porta & Díez-Martínez, 2018;Wilson & Rennie, 2019), mathematics teaching (Bos, Wilder, Cook & O'Donnell, 2014;Hultstrand, 2015), science (Short, 2012;Dias & Rosalen, 2014;Dezuanni, O'Mara & Beavis, 2015;Pusey & Pusey, 2016), engineering education (Shaw, La, Phillips & Reilly, 2014;Schafer, 2017). Studies in which coding or programming skills were measured (Balogh & Beszédes, 2013;Zorn, Wingrave, Charbonneau & LaViola, 2013;Da Silva, Oliveira & Martins, 2017;Kutay, 2020) were less common in the related literature. ...
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In the current study, it was aimed to examine the effect of game-based Python codingeducation with Minecraft EDU on students' problem solving skills and attitudestowards coding. The study was designed with a one-group pretest-posttestexperimental model, which is one of the quantitative research methods supported byqualitative data. The research group consists of 7th grade students studying in a publicschool in Zile district of Tokat province in the 2021-2022 academic year. The study wasmaintained with a 6-week program of 12 hours in total. The data collection tools usedto collect data within the scope of the research are "Problem Solving Inventory forChildren (PSI)", "Attitude towards Coding Scale" and semi-structured interview form.According to the findings, no difference was found in the problem solving skills of thestudents participating in the study. Gender, daily game playing time and dailyinternet usage time variables were found to have no effect on problem solving skills.However, the variables of computer use duration show a significant difference. As aresult of the research, no difference was found in students' attitudes towards coding.Similarly, it was found that gender, duration of computer use (years), daily computeruse, daily internet use and daily computer game playing time had no effect onattitudes towards coding. In addition, it was determined that game-based codingeducation is fun, more instructive, provides active learning, increases interest andmotivation towards the lesson and makes the process more instructive and thelearning process enjoyable. Moreover, it was determined that text-based codingcaused difficulties for the students and the fact that the code groups were in Englishmade the process more difficult.
Tendo em vista a crescente presença das tecnologias e dos jogos no cotidiano de crianças e adolescentes e a necessidade deste contexto adentrar o ambiente escolar, este trabalho objetivou evidenciar as percepções e habilidades de alunos do sexto ano do Ensino Fundamental na abordagem dos conhecimentos científicos sobre o Sistema Solar na construção de uma edificação no ambiente virtual Minecraft Education Edition. Para tanto, atrelamos a teoria de sala de aula com a prática na plataforma digital e coletamos e analisamos os dados por meio de observações da prática e por questionário via Microsoft Forms. Os resultados se demonstraram favoráveis quanto às percepções e habilidades dos sujeitos no que concerne ao uso da plataforma no âmbito do Ensino de Ciências.Palavras Chave: Minecraft Education Edition. Ensino de Ciências. Astronomia.
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