Saturday Studio – Coming Soon! 3
Saturday Studio is just around the corner! I am very excited to work with the children and parents this semester explore new media. In the past, they have embarked on making and remixing video games, stop motion, and mixing media to make creative digital artifacts. I can’t wait to see what they do this year! For the next week I will be posting about the different platforms and materials we utilize in Saturday Studio so the community can get a clearer picture of what we offer.
Today’s post is focused on a game called Minecraft – we use it to design and make a variety of different digital artifacts, including: Let’s Plays, tutorials, digital buildings, trains, and villages. Minecraft is also used to make friends, build community, and collaborate with a team. Minecraft can be used with children as a place to learn about the world, programming, and design. Minecraft is a game that has an unknown permutation of possible educational experiences – the high ceiling for making creative artifacts is very attractive to children and adults. The complexity and diverse ways to interact with Minecraft keeps it challenging and interesting. For example, I have observed children as young as 8 years old making skins for their avatars – navigating the web for ideas, then using complex programs like Photoshop to create their designs. Minecraft can be used to learn about natural resources, computer programming, the arts – music, digital design, 3D art, and videography — among other areas of study – depending on how it is harnessed and for what purpose. For instance, an 8 year old child once said, “I wish my school would let me give my social studies presentation in Minecraft – I could design all the skins to match the year, make the cabins, and describe the history of the village – but my teachers won’t let me because it’s a game.” It never occurred to me to use Minecraft as a “presentation tool” – yet, this child saw it being used as a way to not only present, but also to simulate a historical place and time. What interests me most about Minecraft is how children use it to make meaningful connections and to apply what they know. They interact with one another in ways you hope for in a classroom – They collaborate, share as they learn, and make together. I can’t wait to see what they do this year!
At Saturday Studio, we believe children are great innovators – designers – and creative thinkers … so we strive to give them the time and resources to practice being such. Hope to see you at Saturday Studio!