In the project Skogsstaden, which is funded by Vinnova, the researchers will create an interactive learning material for pupils aged 6 to 13. This is done through an extension of the game Minecraft. The teacher should be able to easily add tasks to the game that the pupils then must solve inside the game, outside the game with other digital tools or in the physical world.
– The purpose of the project is twofold. First, we want to find a pleasurable interactive teaching material for digital content creation providing enhanced learning. Secondly, we want to raise the teachers 'and the pupils´ digital literacy, says Agneta Hedenström, Project Manager at Luleå University of Technology.
Why is digital literacy important?
– Because we have to go from being digital consumers to digital producers. In a modern society, we must find new paths to creativity, says Agneta Hedenström.
The idea is that pupils should be able to work with advanced techniques contained in Minecraft, such as programming of Minecraft Entities, digital storytelling and 3D modeling. 3D models built in Minecraft will then be printed on 3D printers.
The project will be integrated in all school subjects and will result in an interactive learning material for digital creation that is free to use. Since the Minecraft environment is an established and by many pupils an already known environment, the game in itself can act motivating. In addition to a series of workshops for teachers, the project will also include the development of software and, not least, consist of a final evaluation of whether the proposed enhanced learning was achieved or not.
– If pupils learn things in a new way, will they be more motivated? What effects did the project have on pupils’ learning? These questions should be evaluated properly, says Peter Parnes, professor of Mobile and Pervasive Computing.
The project is a collaboration between Luleå University of Technology and Luleå municipality and is to last about a year.