Learning with Minecraft videos
Posted July 3, 2012on:
Over the weekend, my son and I created two videos of his exploits in Minecraft.
They are not professional quality as we used an old white Macbook, QuickTime’s built-in screencasting feature, and Minecraft running in a window.
There are lots of other more famous and entertaining Minecraft users who have created YouTube videos. CaptainSparklez, paulsoaresjr, and bluexephos come to mind. These are also the ones I would recommend for mostly kid-friendly viewing.
So why bother adding to an already large pool?
First, I wanted to show my son that creating such a resource takes time and practice. It is easy to go to YouTube, do a search, and simply consume content like the way you might watch TV. There is a lot more to learn from producing a video.
Second, it is important to give back. His videos are not likely to gather as many views or get as much appreciation as Sparklez and co. But you never know who you might reach or inspire. If an eight-year-old can do this, how about you?
Third, he will eventually realize that to teach is to learn more deeply. Even a simple description or free storytelling requires a certain sequence or logic. Saying one thing one way is clear to all. Saying it another way leaves them in the dark with a mob of Creepers.
Fourth, I would like him to eventually learn how to upload videos to his own account. There he will learn how share it responsibly, e.g., by tagging, deciding whether or not to enable various sharing options, and so on.
Fifth, he will be adding to his digital showcase and life portfolio. I started blogging on his behalf just before he was born eight years ago. He now has a digital presence in Posterous where we co-produce content. He needs to learn that this as a process and a form of literacy.
His school is unlikely to teach him this. I cannot offer him what MinecraftEdu does. But I can help him not just learn from Minecraft videos but also with them!