Editors Desk: Minecraft Mania
10/1/2013 6:00:00 PM
While I am probably the last guy to be a Luddite
when it comes to kids on computers, even I
am a bit leery when it comes to the addictive
nature of Minecraft. More than 36 million users
have registered to play in the two years since
it was first released. According to my own in-house
student focus group—ages 12, nine, and eight—this software
phenomenon from Sweden is way bigger than Angry Birds.
For the first time, our 30 minute per day per kid computer time
quota has been put to the test with repeated pleas for “Ten more
minutes!” But there’s another big difference from what I would hear
with kids playing Angry Birds. Instead of “Check out my new high score,” I hear “Check out what
I made!” Instead of the twitchy destruction of Bad Piggy forts, they create worlds with towers and
castles and a really cool working roller coaster, which I rode for at least an extra ten minutes.
That distinction is the crux of our cover story this
month (Meet The Makers). Tech & Learning
advisors Gary Carnow and Sylvia Martinez discuss the
book Invent To Learn, which Martinez co-authored
with edtech guru Gary Stager. It’s an illuminating
exchange about student creation versus consumption
and how the Maker Movement could have an incredibly
positive effect on the way we teach in schools. If this
is the first you have heard of the Maker Movement,
I assure you it won’t be the last. Expect continuing
coverage. My prediction: You will have a school Fab
Lab in three years if all goes right!
— Kevin Hogan
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