Minecraft lessons made compulsory in Swedish school

Around 180 students taking part in creative Minecraft experiment.

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The Viktor Rydberg school in Stockholm has introduced compulsory Minecraft lessons for its 13-year-old pupils in an effort to teach them about planning for the future and environmental issues. Around 180 students are expected to take part in this experiment, where teacher Monica Ekman explains they will learn "about city planning, environmental issues, getting things done, and even how to plan for the future," Ekman said in an interview with The Local.

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The school's decision to introduce the Minecraft lessons came about from Sweden's "Future City" competition, which challenged the educational establishment to put forward ideas for innovation in teaching. Ekman admitted that some parents found the idea a little uncomfortable, but defended the lessons by saying Minecraft is "a fun way of learning and it's nice for the students to achieve something."

This isn't the first time Minecraft has been used in youth programs: last year developer Mojang partnered with the United Nations to create its Block by Block program designed to refresh urban spaces.

Discussion

63 comments
tgwolf
tgwolf

Not only don't I think that games have a positive impact on education I imagine that 'Patch' or 'Scar' or whatever his name is shouldn't be given any forum in grade schools or any public schools where he could show up and scare the kids!

boarwar
boarwar

and I still, cant, play, on ps3. 

Thanks corporate contract restrictions and exclusivity rights greed! Oh and xbox, your welcome for gta, final fantasy, metal gear, screw it you can have my exclusives ppfffff


Hey_Jay
Hey_Jay

Oh, those darn Swedes. Gotta love 'em.

Allicrombie
Allicrombie moderator moderator

Next Up:

Sex Ed Uses Pokemon Breeding to "Ease Children into Sex".

Rattlesnake_8
Rattlesnake_8

It helps with creativity which is lacking in most people today. Awesome idea.

Falzonn
Falzonn

I remember in grade seven my school principle introduced Legos to our class curriculum.  We would be required to create things such as moving pistons and such, based off nothing but 1 or 2 pictures (no instructions).  In grade 6 we had to sit and play the original Sim City.   I loved it.  Not enough credit is given to how this kind of creative approach gets kids actively interested in learning.  Kids do better in school when they LIKE what they're learning.

 I do not know how well Minecraft can teach environmental issues (learn that using a mining quarry or mining turtle [from mods] leaves an ugly eyesore?), but do not doubt there are still things to learn.  Urban development & planning in Minecraft is an easy one to see.  Its the same lesson my school tried to teach me with Sim City.


Next up, I want schools using Civilization to teach with, though I'm sure that people will polarize such an effort from the shear fact that some countries available in the game don't like each other, or the fact that many games in the series have religion in them.  *sigh*.

abbasreza
abbasreza

So you can get work experience with Gamespot?

jessie82
jessie82

pfft schools these days..

GianisPaok4
GianisPaok4

at the age of 8/9/10 i played football with my friends at the park sad...

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

I've learned English when I was 8/9 years old, 1/2 years before I ever had English lessons. All because of something called Pokemon Yellow version. First time I had an english lesson I knew everything that was taught, and same happened during the next 5 years.

So yeah, I find games to be excelent methods to teach students. You learn way faster when you're interested.

DESTROYRS_F8
DESTROYRS_F8

hey, how about them making it easier to install minecraft on my empty surface rt without the consent of the creator.


craigprime
craigprime

 Your assignment: Create a 12 x 12 castle, with at least 3 floors, in survival mode. It's due next week.
Minecraft boosts your creativity, but planning for the future? I don't see the education in this. And I love Minecraft.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Minecraft is part of OCD.  Who could have guessed?

Justforvisit
Justforvisit

The Screenshot of this news on the Frontpage......

WOW! I want that Seed *~*

starduke
starduke

I am so glad I don't go to school in Sweden. As much as I love Minecraft, I'd hate to have to play it as a part of a class. School always manages to make everything boring!

KaptainGasmask
KaptainGasmask

@boarwar
Metal gear was never exclusive to sony [Started with nintento, Metal gear solid was on pc and ps1, MGS2 was on xbox and ps2, Mgs3 is now on nintendo and xbox]
GTA was available for PC since the start, Final fantasy started with nintendo. You go "Thanks corporate contate contract restrictions and exclusivity rights greed!" and yet you say sony should keep theirs.

Waaanker.

Daian
Daian

@Scorchstar Thou shall not question the reasoning behind playing video games at school, sinner.

s2i2p2i2o
s2i2p2i2o

@Falzonn One can use the religion in games as well. Even though one is not suppossed to say that one religion is right, you can still use the game as a way of showing how clergy (?) works, and point out its opverall structure and the power they had before. However I thiknk using Civ. might take up so much more time than let's say, watching a fun video made for children on the same subject.

And the ting you said about children learn better when they like what they are doing, that is correct, but it is sort of an over-simplification. Yes, fun is a factor, but the way it is being taught still matters a lot, and the "fun" can not compensate for a "lousy teaching experience", only aid it partually. Not saying that was what you said, just wanted to add that.

The problem I have with this is that a lot of schools in Sweden, where I work included, has already used a lot of money to get interactive whiteboards (projector with touch screen), and Ipads, and even though I do see the possibility to use Minecraft during my maths or English lessons, there are already a lot of good programs available for Smartboards/Ipad that takes way less time and effort. However, we are starting with geomatry in two weeks (if the schedual allows it ;)) and I am, after reading this article, planning on using Minecraft during at least one of these sessions when talking about area and circumference. I know that at least some of my pupils have played Minecraft so they will probably pay extra attention :P

ZackRoyer
ZackRoyer

@GianisPaok4 I couldn't when i was the same age, all parks near my house were(and still are) full of people addicted to drugs and thiefs. Sad third world country...

blakeney
blakeney

@DiamondDM13 You're now the second person i have seen that has learnt english from Pokemon!!

Nice work.

Poodger
Poodger

@craigprime As a teacher, I was actually contemplating this very scenario the other day. The idea you have is not the extent to which minecraft can offer a challenge. My idea for a lesson would be "Create a 4 digit combination code to open a door using redstone and pistons. Redstone in particular requires a great amount of problem solving to use... more than many subjects currently taught.

DESTROYRS_F8
DESTROYRS_F8

@Venatorcruiser If only they would have north korea follow.  having virtual wars via internet would be wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwayyy cheaper than creating a nuclear missile.


Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

@starduke I think the goal is to find a career where the transition between fun and work isn't even noticeable. Hopefully these kids will associate conservation and future planning with playing video games. 

damiger
damiger

@starduke Indeed, i have the same philosophy when it comes to hobbies (dont mix hobby and work)

poorboy13
poorboy13

@KaptainGasmask @boarwar That "wanker" comment at the end could have been left out. You already made your point. Metal Gear, as well as Tekken, were ORIGINALLY PS exclusives. Final Fantasy as well.

GianisPaok4
GianisPaok4

@ZackRoyer  These is worse than sad... But i mean that as the years pass the kids are much more addicted to digital enterteinment than they shuld be. They slowly stop enjoying the real things that life have to offer. If u get me...

CheagleinCharge
CheagleinCharge

@blakeney @DiamondDM13 I also learned how to read from pokemon cards when I was 4. That counts, right? :D

CheagleinCharge
CheagleinCharge

@blakeney @DiamondDM13 I also learned how to read from pokemon cards when I was 4 :D@blakeney @DiamondDM13 @blakeney @DiamondDM13 @blakeney @DiamondDM13

ZackRoyer
ZackRoyer

@blakeney @DiamondDM13 And i'm the third, Pokemon Red and Silver. If I choosed english teacher as career I would give some classes in a PC laboratory making my students play Pokemon or other RPG in emulators.

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

@Venatorcruiser I had one at home, so I learned most needed words in the first days. After that, most I would just try to understand within the context of the phrase. Later I would check if I was right. Also, the English used for the game is pretty simplistic for the most part. Only problems I used to have was when speaking with characters. Battles were easy, they were pretty much the same thing over and over.

I also remember a game my parents bought me for PC, that was about Math. They bought one for Math and the other was for Portuguese (my native language). I pretty much only cared for the Math one, since I had interest in Math since I was like 5 yo. In that game, everything was about Math, you had to make calculations and stuff to get forward in the game. Brilliantly thought out, if you ask me. Helped me alot, since I was playing for fun, not as study.

Falzonn
Falzonn

@Poodger @craigprime There's so much potential in vanilla minecraft, not to mention all the mods you can install.  ComputerCraft, IndustrialCraft, BuildCraft, RailCraft... the list of complex mods is long.  

How about creating a high voltage solar array factory?  Solar collectors, filters, auto assembly tables with tons of buildcraft pipes.  A guy on my server spend days building it in adventure mode.  He's an aircraft mechanic in the US air force.  It took him a while to figure out.

starduke
starduke

@Timmy_Gwar Hopefully they'll realize that they can do it in real life as well. Hmm, that's probably where the boring school bits will come in.

KaptainGasmask
KaptainGasmask

Metal gear was not originally ps exclusive. Tekken was. Wanker could have been left out.

KaptainGasmask
KaptainGasmask

@jonnybutler11 @KaptainGasmask @boarwar No, I just think he should understand that he's being hypocritical and wrong. The wanker part was unneeded, If you're going to take offence to it [It's a common term I use with a lot of people]

Also how do you relate me to an xbox fanboy? I never mentioned anything that would place me in favor of the xbox.

OneSamTwoCups
OneSamTwoCups

@GianisPaok4 @ZackRoyer It's not sad, games like Minecraft can help with creativity. My little nephew plays it and he showed me an entire town he built in one day, even with little easter eggs scattered everywhere. It shows me that his imagination grew when he created the town, thus expanding his mind. I think the digital age may be ridding of traditional values from earlier days, but it's giving all kids something they are good at. Whereas in my high school days, you didn't play football; you were irrelevant. Now, I see kids that would of been mocked during my time, but they are popular in their time. It's actually quite wonderful seeing equality grow. So stop being such an old timer and just embrace change, instead of pushing it away and saying "Well, back when I was a kid...".

Falzonn
Falzonn

@GianisPaok4 @ZackRoyer Maybe if your kids are only playing games that have no major educational experience (ie: shooters).  As a parent, I would be happy that my kid wanted to play games like Sim City, Civilization, or Minecraft.  They are intelligent games.

blakeney
blakeney

@ZackRoyer @blakeney @DiamondDM13 Im currently playing AssasinsCreed3 and i already know alot more about Usa's history then i did before.

Games do so much more good for the world, not only then they get credit for.. for also then what most of goverments have done in the last 20years COMBINED!