I went to the EVO Minecraft world last night and was totally lost. I made holes in the ground trying to use things… I picked up slime accidentally.
And then my daughter took over. First, as side-seat driver, then, eventually and subtly, sliding my laptop off my lap onto hers.
She helped me spawn a horse. And then I accidentally spawned its twin in a house.
She helped me take over a villager’s home. A faux pas I didn’t know was a faux pas, until I met another of my Minecraft course mates. I planted potatoes. Well, my daughter planted potatoes.
She spawned a pig, put a saddle on it, then used a carrot on a stick to get it to transport her around.
I can see how this can be addicting.
Just when I started figuring things out, it was time to make dinner.
I totally buy into the idea that getting kids hooked on the mode of conveyance of material is the best way to make them study more.
Media channels are value neutral. The ‘channels’ through which we receive media encourage personal preference (like Plato’s oral learning), and we hone our literacies for learning based on the media channels we prefer. Readers get better at reading, viewers get better at viewing, and speakers get better at speaking.(Dikkers, in press)
But how does this lead to language learning?
In one of the articles provided by the Minecraft EVO leaders, Smolčec & Smolčec talk about how their non-native English speaking sons have taken off in the world of Minecraft, reading, watching videos to learn more (something my daughter also is fond of doing), and even one son creating his own series of videos in English.
But I wonder how, beyond teaching the words needed to find objects and describe the journey, I can control content for my English learners, who really should be using English all the time, every day, but often find themselves immersed in their own language subgroups.
I guess I have more reading to do.