Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Here's an idea-- Minecraft is the ultimate educational tool. You guys remember Minecraft. We made this other video about it that one time where we talked about how it's basically going to save us all. But in case you need a refresher, Minecraft is a computer game that can best be described as first person Legos with a dash of husbandry, a heaping helping of architecture, and a pinch of slay the dragon. In Survival Mode you have to gather resources and materials and fight the bad guys, some of whom are very sneaky. [HISS] In Creative Mode, you get to-- ready for Nicholas Cage-- go nuts. The pixelated sky is the limit. You can build whatever you want and then start a multiplayer game and invite all your friends. You can import and export 3D models to make structures, you can share your creations with your coworkers and pals or your students toward the end of teaching them the finer bits of computer science, art history, engineering, civics, math, world history, and maybe most things. Say what? Now, before we get to talking about Minecraft specifically, let's talk about computer and video games in general as educational tools. There is a long history of using pixels to teach kids about stuff. For as long as there have been affordable computers there have been educational games to put on them. Logo taught you how to program that turtle and Lemonade Stand taught you how to build your lemonade empire. Oregon Trail taught you always ford the river. Never ford the river. Mavis Beacon, Reader Rabbit, Big Brain Academy-- the list goes on. They're all great games but they all share a common problematic shortcoming-- what if you don't want to teach typing or reading? Sure, you could use virtual you to teach management or Zapitalism to teach economics or Roller Coaster Tycoon to teach roller coastering, but these games can't be specialized or made immersing. They lack even the basic technology for fluidity or improvisation-- two things which are paramount in teaching. Like what if you want the game to be different every year or every class, or collaborative, or portable? Or what if you're a grade school teacher and you have to teach 10 subjects, each with many units and ideas to cover? If only there were some way to build a fully customizable networked environment that was both fun and inexpensive. Aside from being an exceptionally effective way to avoid doing your homework, as it turns out, Minecraft is also an exceptionally effective teaching tool. Sorry if I just totally ruined Minecraft for you. Probability, build a random animal dropper. Physics, measure the time it takes a block to fall and then talk about gravity. You can build Minecraft versions of famous bits of architecture or sets for Shakespearean plays. You can place works of art inside of a Minecraft gallery or use Minecraft mathematically ideal blocks to talk about volume and area. Teach a foreign language with in games signs or tell kids they can only communicate with each other on a collaborative task in-- I don't know-- Latvian. The possibilities of what you can get into and out of a game which you thought was just for punching trees are endless. And kids respond because it's a creative, collaborative, entertaining environment where they are in control of their own challenges, which can be many. There's something like 1,000 Minecraft mods for all kinds of things. Like Computer Craft is a mod which lets people right Lua programs inside Minecraft. There is even-- are you ready-- an official Mojang-licensed version of Minecraft for education called Minecraft.edu. Spearheaded by Joe Levin, aka Minecraft Teacher, Minecraft.edu is to Minecraft what the teacher addition is to your history textbook-- except cooler. With 20 installs at over 1,000 schools across six continents, the number of students currently learning with Minecraft.edu alone is at least 20,000. Now, am I saying that we're going to see Minecraft, or even video games in general, in every classroom? Probably unlikely. Setting up this kind of thing requires a certain investment in technology, time on the part of the teachers, and a certain technical proficiency, which-- I mean we all know the chance a piece of technology will fail is directly proportional to the number of people watching it in operation. But should we hope to eventually? I say absolutely. Studies have confidently stated things like, data analysis shows that classes using the game had significantly higher means than classes not using the game. Source in the description. And the number of teachers documenting their overwhelmingly positive experience using Minecraft in the classroom is huge. Another source in the description. So the question might not be whether or not we use games in schools, but rather, how far do we go go? Game designer and advocate Jane McGonigal thinks that we should go all the way. In her book, "Reality is Broken," she describes a school which does not use games but is a game. She writes, every course, every activity, every assignment, every moment of instruction and assessment would be designed by borrowing key mechanics and participation strategies from the most engaging multiplayer games. Admittedly, we're probably pretty far from that point, but as video games continue their search for legitimacy as forms of entertainment, artwork, containers for narrative, and now educational tools, Minecraft's use in the classroom is a pretty important step. A hugely popular game made for entertainment used by a small but growing number of teachers to show that game-based learning is, in fact, worth its weight in obsidian. And who knows-- maybe someday there will be a Minecraft University. What do you guys think? Are video games the future of learning? Let us know in the comments. And you should mine this block to subscribe-- mine it up. Get your mine on. I got my eyes on you. Let's see what you guys had to say about surveillance and meteors. To cagammon, actually a funny story-- I know the kid who was in that movie and I bought Josh Harris a loaf of bread once. It was a little weird. I hope no one prematurely transported their house to the medium out of fear. Sleepyjean47 and Subultralinkphun point out that Foucault is a really important addition to the discussion of the panopticon. So we'll hang out here for a few seconds so you can check out their comments and if this is something you're interested in, check out some Foucault. To coreydm676, uh, we actually-- we filmed this a couple of weeks ago because of some travel and I think if we made it this week Google Glass would feature prominently in the discussion of the growing number of cameras, might even the episode entirely. SoldierBobMcBob points out that, uh, it was a meteor and not a meteorite and that I got the size wrong. So thank you for that correction. Quixotic1018 questions what privacy even is in an age where people are constantly sharing their locations and ideas and opinions. Um, and yeah, I mean it's true. There is sort of this fluid idea of privacy, but it's also something that you are actively doing, as opposed to something that is happening around you or to you. But yeah, it's a-- it's an interesting-- it's an interesting thing that's happening. R. Lance Hunter talks about sousveillance and Steve Mann, whose work is great. Uh, you should Google that if this is stuff that you're interested in. Also, we are very excited for the return of "Arrested Development."