“Mineclass”. Educational use of the video game Minecraft in schools (Immersive Area)
This research project is part of a series which, for over 10 years, has been investigating the educational potential of “immersive technologies”, that is, technologies capable of producing virtual realities in which people can immerse themselves, in a cognitive and perceptual sense. Immersive technologies also include certain video games, such as Minecraft, which has recently become the most popular video game of all time (over 200 million copies sold). And it is precisely its popularity – and the educational success of some pilot programmes conducted in schools through the didactic use of this video game – which led to a research project being initiated to investigate the necessary and enabling conditions for primary and secondary school teachers to be able to implement significant and sustainable experiences in the classroom based on the use of Minecraft in curricular didactics, with particular attention on the development of both disciplinary and transversal skills (such as team work).
Mineclass is a three-year research project and a training, support and experimentation programme that began in December 2018, and which has produced three editions (corresponding to the school years 2018/2019, 2019/2020 in full lockdown, and 2020/2021). Each edition consists of an initial teacher training phase (December/February) and a second design and experimentation phase of teaching activities based on Minecraft in the classroom with students (March/June). Mineclass involved, on a voluntary and national basis, primary and secondary school teachers and their students with classroom experiments and observations of teaching activities based on the use of Minecraft as a learning process and product.
To investigate and verify the conditions of sustainability and integration in the curricular teaching of activities based on the use of the video game Minecraft to support teaching/learning processes in the framework of didactics for skills.
- What conditions (training, support, materials, previous experience, the didactic-organisational setting) are necessary for the teacher to be able to implement meaningful and sustainable experiences in the classroom that integrate the use of Minecraft?
- Do activities with Minecraft help support didactics for skills and, in particular, skills for the 21st century?