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"How Do I Learn from You All?" Students Negotiating the Risk to Learn via an In-Class Gaming Community

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"How do I learn from you all?"

Students Negotiating the Risk to Learn Via an In-Class Gaming Community

Alice Lesnick, Wendy Chen, Thomas Lord, and Alexandra Wolkoff

Blended Learning Conference, Bryn Mawr College, May, 2014


"The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people, are a kind of alchemy. They are the most interesting thing in life."  Adrienne Rich, Arts of the Possible

  • Who we are: Alice, Alexandra, Wendy, Thomas

  • What is Minecraft and why does it matter? Broad play, wide ripples [Thomas, Alice]

  • Facets of Minecraft as/in Education: 

    • as a way of learning about ourselves as learners -metacognition [Alexandra]

    • as a way of engaging and recognizing learning as an interactive experience -- including collaboration,  hierarchy, power [Wendy]

    • as a sustained experience of radical open-endedness, emergence -- linked with very specific practices and skills [Thomas]

    • as a channel for educational transformation [Alexandra]

  • Importance of scaffolded reflection and guiding theory to support and inform the learning community [Alice, Wendy]


Student Reflection (for more, please see the comments in the course blog to the left)

"I would have to say that to sum up my experience in a sentence, minecraft definitely was a space "to imagine what's possible." It was an assignment where the line between work and play blurred.

In a society that is sometimes always governed by rules, minecraft offers a space to traverse the void between freedom and structure. Some of us wandered without being tied down, and some of us tried to give ourselves purpose by setting self-directed goals. . . . It was a chance for us to make our own rules and yet some of the rules of reality continued to seep in and manifest in the game. It became a figment of civilization."

Selected Resources

“Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs are Playing Minecraft Today”

“Why Minecraft is Great for Gifted Kids”

“Minecraft Partners With United Nations For Urban Planning”

A NY Private School Teacher blogs about teaching with Minecraft

“Virtual Worlds and Other Technology Helping Kids with Reading”


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