How a charity is using Minecraft to educate

By 19th August 2016 Uncategorised No Comments

The RNLI or Royal Lifeboat Institution founded in 1824 and known as the charity that saves lives at sea, the RNLI launched their Beach Builder Challenge as a fun and interactive way to educate 7-14 year olds on beach and water safety. This year they expanded the project to include a Beach Island Adventure where creative youngsters are being encouraged to complete four challenges.

The challenges are based on the charity’s stay SAFE acronym:

Spot the dangers
Take Advice
Stay close to a friend or a family member
Learn what to do in an emergency

A number of studies have shown that playing video games make you better at learning than non-gamers. Research found that gaming boosts the ability to learn a number of tasks more accurately, and possibly puts gamers in an ‘expert category’ of problem solving.

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Games Engage People!

Making learning fun motivates students and helps them to stay focused and pay attention to the subject on hand. Educational games also encourage students to learn outside of school often playing games for hours on end. Using games, not necessarily video games, for teaching is one way to shift to a more appropriate learning format for the Digital Generation.

Feedback from the Beach Builder Challenge suggests the game is an excellent education platform particularly as results found that 97% of participants, after playing the game, knew to go to a lifeguarded beach; and there was a 20% increase in the number of children who knew to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard if they saw someone in trouble at the beach.

Bridie Appleby-Gunnill, the RNLI’s Community Safety Product Manager, added: ‘We’ve created a fun, educational experience where a young person can engage and learn about water safety in a self-organised way and where academic ability does not limit learning. Research suggests that children learn and retain more when they can organise their own learning. Last year’s feedback has shown Minecraft to be a fantastic enabler in allowing this to happen.

“It’s very interesting designing and building content for kids” says Rowan Heasley, MD of digital engagement agency Naked Penguin Boy “They rarely do what you expect of them and they are always so much more advanced than you think especially with games and challenges, we made a number of alterations after going through various focus groups, often making the game harder”

Children’s safety is also important especially online and the RNLI is taking this very seriously, requesting that parents and carers register their child’s interest in taking part in the RNLI Beach Island Adventure by emailing gaming@rnli.org.uk

You can find out more about the project and register your child on the RNLI website here: http://bit.ly/RNLI_Minecraft_2016