Otago Polytechnic

Paul Admiraal and Elise Allen tested a popular game as a learning environment.

Ka whakamātautau a Paul Admiraal rāua ko Elise Allen i tētahi kēmu rorotu hei wāhi whakaako.


Minecraft is a video game consisting of a block-like world in which players explore and use resources to change the world around them. It is very popular with school-aged children. Video games like Minecraft can be used in education to provide extra motivation for students. 

Lecturers Paul Admiraal and Elise Allen considered whether Minecraft can be used as an effective tool to help children learn Māori vocabulary. They produced a lesson plan and a starter Minecraft world that contains vocabulary to learn. In-game signs point learners to relevant items. A worksheet outside the game demonstrates learners' progress. Paul and Elise also gave learners a survey to complete, to find out what they thought was most and least enjoyable and whether they would like to play again in future. 

A pilot was run at St Clair Primary School with 10 children. Children with prior experience playing Minecraft tended to perform better than those who still needed to learn the controls.  Some Minecraft players were used to the mobile version of the game and were unfamiliar with playing with a keyboard and mouse. Feedback was very positive: all participants would "play it lots" if they had a similar learning-based game available at school. They enjoyed searching for the words through the game. Teachers at the school could envisage many other applications of this technology for classroom learning; it would be suitable for social studies and mathematics for example.  Starter worlds can be tailored for different levels of difficulty too.


He tākaro ataata a Mahimaina e whakauru ana i tētahi ao paraka, ka hopara, ka whakamahi rauemi hoki kā kaitākaro kia panoni i te ao. He tino rorotu tēnei ki kā tamariki kura. He momo whakaakoraka hoki kā tākaro ataata, pērā i te Mahimaina, kia whakahihiko anō i kā ākoka.

Ka whakaaro kā pūkeka, a Paul Admiraal rāua ko Elise Allen, mēnā ka taea te whakamahi a Mahimaina hei taputapu pai mā tamariki ki te ako i kā kupu Māori. I whakaputa rāua i tētahi mahere whakaako me tētahi ao tīmataka o Mahimaina i whakauru ai i kā kupu ako ai. Ka tuhia kā ākoka e kā tohu ki roto i te kēmu ki kā tūemi whaitake. He tuhika mahi i waho i te kēmu e whakaatu ana i te haere o kā ākoka. I tuku a Paul rāua ko Elise i tētahi uiui ki kā ākoka ki te whakaoti, kia whakamōhio ai he aha ō rātou whakaaro e pā ana ki kā āhuataka kahau ake, me kā āhuataka iho, ā, mēnā ka hiahia rātou ki te tākaro anō.

Ka whakahaere i tētahi whakatauira ki St Clair Primary School mō kā tamariki 10. I mahi pai ake kā tamariki, nā rātou i tākaro kē ai i a Mahimaina, i kā tamariki, nā rātou i hiahia ai ki te ako i kā whakahaere mamao. Ka waia ētahi kaitākaro Mahimaina ki te momo ā-waea o te kēmu, ā, he tauhou te tākaro ki te papa pātuhi me te kiore. He tino pai kā kupu whakahoki: e ai ki kā kaitākaro, "ka maha te tākaro" mēnā ka puta mai ētahi atu kēmu whakaakoraka ki te kura. Ka pohewa kā kaiako i ētahi atu momo mahi pai o tēnei hakarau mō te whakaakoraka ā-karaehe; he pai ki te akoraka hapori, ki te pākarau hoki hei tauira. Ka taea te panoni kā ao tīmataka mō kā kōeke rerekē, mō kā taumata rerekē hoki.

 

Links

EDUCATION & EMPLOYABILITY MĀORI & INDIGENEITY

April 2018

Image credit: Paul Admiraal and Elise Allen, used with permission