West College Scotland: Minecraft as a Teaching Tool

In a culture that is in the habit of demonising video games and blaming them for the extreme and the dangerous elements of society it’s always nice when something just relentlessly good comes from them as well.

One such example happened at my very own Alma Mater, West College Scotland where they not only broke a world record but helped to educated children about architecture using the widely popular sandbox game known as Minecraft.

The previous record was set by Stephen Reid, a Scottish born teacher who used Minecraft: Education Edition to teach students about architecture in Pennsylvania, USA. He taught to a group of 341 students, using the adaptable and open world software to actually build things in the game. However his record was beaten by the Paisley Campus of West College Scotland where they gathered 406 pupils from surrounding primary schools and under the supervision of architect Darren Keddie from Coats Observatory they learned how to recreate many of Paisley’s listed buildings in the game.

Paisley was a dream spot for this type of class because it is brimming with buildings of both historical and architectural significance in Scotland and they had the chance to find out more about buildings such as Coats Observatory, the Russell Institute and Paisley Abbey from Keddie himself.

Alongside Darren Keddie the class was administered by WCS Lecturer in Computing Amanda Ford and WCS Curriculum and Quality Leader for Computing David Renton who showed the youngsters how to recreate the local architecture in game and how to coordinate and code via Minecraft respectively.

I believe that this educational project is incredibly worthwhile because it utilises something familiar to most young people and makes what could be a potential career choice something fun and exciting and a few of the lucky youngsters might even leave inspired.

An added bonus is that it doesn’t have to stop here for them because each school involved will receive a copy of Minecraft Education Edition so that the pupils can continue to develop their new interest.

West College Scotland Lecturer Image

 

First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org

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