Roblox is a game that's built to be multiplayer and allow participants to create virtual worlds and characters -- something that can be used in teaching real-world students.
If you've seen Minecraft in action, then you can probably imagine that Roblox works in a very similar way. If not, then to be clear, this is an open-world game that uses block-like characters and scenery to allow people to interact in the virtual world. And with more than 150 million users, it's very popular now.
The open-ended nature of the game makes it very malleable in its opportunities, which can allow for tremendous creativity in students. However, there are some risks in the open-world exposure.
So could Roblox help students in education to be useful in your classroom?
What is Roblox?
Roblox (opens in new tab) is a block-based, multiplayer, open-world digital game that works in app format and via a browser. It's not primarily designed for education but thanks to it's openly creative environment, it can be used that way.
There are plenty of sub-games in the Roblox world, created by other users but which can also be created by anyone with the time. This means children can play and interact with other users, working together to complete in-game tasks.
Communication and the types of games are policed, however there are still issues with inappropriate content and predators slipping through. As such, this is aimed at 13 years and older and it is recommended that parents keep a close eye on their child's gaming. Locking the account settings, which can have filters on and communication limited, is also recommended.
Some of the most popular games, including MeepCity, Work at a Pizza Place, and Adopt Me!, have billions of people visiting. Gamers can earn and spend currency, called Robux, in this world – a useful incentive for in class rewards also.
How does Roblox work?
Roblox breaks down into two modes: making games or playing them. Register and there is complete access to both options. Games can be selected from a long list in various categories, which could be better organized but should keep students busy as they hunt for what they enjoy.
Thankfully, the better content filters to the top so it is more easily accessible, with plenty of developers using this space to show off what they can do. Students can build games too and monetize them to earn revenue, teaching them about trade and digital charges, both in the games and to pay for them.
Students are able to use their own devices, in class or elsewhere, to play multiplayer games together as a team. But this is flexible too, allowing for variation as well as single-player gaming with other online players. Students can post on message boards, join groups, and chat, as well as friend one another to grow their social community within the game.
What are the best Roblox features?
Roblox is easy to install and get running. The game is self-explanatory and the building tool also relatively easy to use. Dedicated Wiki pages are available that can offer guidance on how to build games using the Roblox system.
Since some games can be scary for younger children, it pays to use the safety features available to parents, guardians, and teachers. This allows you to limit access based on the age of the student and the kind of content they can be exposed to in the Roblox world. This also can be used to limit the chat features in the game so that there is less chance of negative influences while gaming.
The game offers great possibility when it comes to creativity, exploration, collaboration, and interaction. But it's the building and designing part that could help develop future careers in design, coding, planning, and more. It could even be a current career if the build is popular and can be monetized.
How much does Roblox cost?
Roblox offers a free version that can be played for nothing including using the Roblox Studio to make games. But for lots of the content there are charges in Robux, which can be bought with real-world money.
There are three subscription levels, each of which provide a number of Robux.
Pay $4.99 per month and you will get 450 Robux.
Spend $9.99 per month and you get 1,000 Robux.
Or go top-end at $19.99 per month and you'll have 2,200 Robux to play with.
Roblox best tips and tricks
Use parental controls
Be sure to restrict use so access is appropriate for the child's age before they are allowed to begin playing the game. Keep a close eye as well.
Build a class
Have the students build a virtual world based on the classroom, or school, and you could even carry out a virtual class in there when it's ready.
Offer real-world rewards in class, such as extra break time, for good digital choices like working well as a group, sharing, inclusion, and so on.