Research, Science 2.0, Danger Pubs and The Unbearable Task of Homework, (not mine, my son’s, I like mine)!

St Peters House Library
St Peters House Library

Brighton Uni

The wealth of information on the Internet never ceases to amaze me!  I remember a time when the only place to get information was the building that is called, ‘The Library’, (see above image)! Because I decided on going to University in the wonderful, historical and quirky Brighton, the main library was of course in a lovely converted Regency building not connected to the main university campus. So it involved a very brisk walk down the road and in Autumn/Winter when those sea breezes were rather erm….’challenging,’ it didn’t help there was a lovely pub next door to the main University Building that was all to easy to enter, making the library a less attractive proposition…..(Danger Pub 1 see above image)!  Actually now I’ve just looked at a Google Map there are actually two pubs en-route, (one I had forgotten about = Double Danger Pub 2 see above image), I wonder does this have a statistical impact on students making it to the library? (In my case yes, I do I love a good pint of cider in a good pub)!  I am sure there could be some pertinent scientific research done on this!

Nowadays we have the internet with all it’s amazing resources and networking sites, which are enabling a rich cauldron of information to be shared.  The internet and it’s networking capabilities certainly enables information to reach those who may not have found it easily or if at all before.  Which brings me to research and Science 2.0.  Tonight I decided to search and see if I could find anything on Scientific research and Minecraft which is my project topic for the Research Module.  I was looking for informative scientific surveys that have been carried out.  At first I was getting a bit frustrated as I wanted statistical analysis,  I then read back through the lecture documents on Blackboard and realised what I was actually looking at were documents/blogs/web pages that encompassed the concept of the open science movement, (Science 2.0). I will reference these findings in the next paragraph.

I am currently looking at the game Minecraft, in regards to architecture and urban planning, however I am also very interested in games and education, (in the current module due to the timescale studying children is not possible, but I am also now very interested in games for educating adults, from an article I read earlier, however this is digressing and I will talk about this later)!  During my search for Minecraft and scientific research I have unexpectedly come across a lot of really interesting information regarding Minecraft and education.  Although as unexpected this is, it rather an epiphany for me!  I have been saying for a long time, “I wish education could work with games, (eg Minecraft or similar), it would make homework so much easier.” I have a young son and the last thing he wants to do after school is more schoolwork, I have often thought that I wish there was an alternative platform for learning.  So during my searches for, ‘Science,’ and, ‘Minecraft,’ I found the following article by Dr Dan Short: Teaching Scientific Concepts Using a Virtual World – Minecraft.   This next YouTube video I find amazing, it’s a Minecraft Scientific Calculator…….wow!! Might be a bit advanced for Primary but this could be great for teenage/adult learning and definitely could be adapted for Primary learning too.  Here are some further Minecraft Science experiments: Top 5 Minecraft Science Experiments.  I have also found that papers which are pertinent to my research are written and being shared on sites such as the Social Science Research Network: User-Generated Content & Virtual Worlds.

The more I research into this game the more fascinated I become.  I have also found that Minecraft now has a dedicated educational website, Minecraft Edu Homepage and also the person the developer that makes it possible for them: Aleksi Postari, (I’m following him on Twitter and Tumblr).  Some schools have already implemented Minecraft into their curriculum: Swedish school makes Minecraft a must.  I’ve found a lot more links from all around the world, and have found out that Minecraft is a growing feature in schools and education, (there would be a large smiley emoticon here if I could work out how to do one without messing my blog up)!!  I must get round to fiddling about with the handy CSS editor!

So I have now downloaded and have started playing Minecraft, (Minecraft), on my PC.  I shall become addicted this is inevitable………………more updates soon I am in the process of constructing……….


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