This week we had the opportunity to engage with a grade 4 class and their experiences with a volcano simulation in Minecraft. The upper elementary ICT Integration teacher demonstrated an authentic use of Minecraft in context. The volcano simulation involves students as a class building houses and decorating their town. Then, all building ceases, three nearby volcanoes erupt and students have to scramble to save their houses and characters lives. It was an amazing experience watching the students help each other survive the natural disaster.
The student-driven inquiry that led from this simulation was phenomenal. Students had amazing insights, questions and ideas for further research, all based on their ‘first-hand’ volcano surviving experience. Following this, we’re keen to find further examples of authentic links to use Minecraft in various Units of Inquiry.