Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) may not be a term that is widely known outside of academia but it is definitely a concept people are familiar with, if only vaguely and there are probably only a few who would look at ways to change the way they are using computers to help with what they are learning.
As a student of languages my first reaction to finding a new forum for my learning is trying to figure out how I can mould what I’m using/ playing so that it helps me to pick up a few extra words. This usually means I’ll only go so far as changing the language on Facebook, WordPress or Minecraft.
Minecraft. A simple game developed by Mojang was originally considered virtual Lego but has evolved in a very short period into a complex and multilayered virtual reality that’s been used by players in mindblowing ways.
Teachers and Educators have also seen the potential in minecraft, resulting in the adaptation of minecraft as a teaching tool.
Languages would be a poor way to demonstrate the usefulness of minecraft as a language learning tool due to the fact that languages aren’t greatly involved. Whilst you can get some words out of it, there aren’t going to be many occasions when spider’s eye or blue wool are going to come into your everyday vocabulary, not under normal circumstances anyway.
Its outside of Languages, in areas such as maths, history and science. There are many tutorials available for these on the MinecraftEdu Wiki, which is very helpful if you’re not any good with the redstone circuitry in minecraft, like me.
Here’s an example of a video showing a class on the reaction times of students
If you’ve played minecraft before you should be able to tell how the basic setup works, and if not, I’m sure a tutorial will be up somewhere. The test focuses on testing student dexterity and reaction times (as well as testing their ability to pay attention and follow instructions). Where Minecraft itself is concerned it shows just how much the game has been adapted by mojang in that the teacher can freeze and teleport students as they need. Science is only one of the applications and you can see more on the minecraftedu wiki.