Passion-Based Learning, Day 1: Probing Minecraft’s Appeal

In a post I wrote for Powerful Learning Practice, I explore the reasons why Minecraft is such a hit with kids. I plan on sharing weekly reflections as I co-facilitate an after school computer club with one of my teachers. Just like we expect ourselves to be familiar with the books our kids read, we as educators should become acquainted with some of these 21st century tools our students are so passionate about and engaged in. Who knows, we may even find pathways to high achievement that we had never considered!

Here is how I ended the post:

Passion-based learning should start with our passion, whether student or adult. It’s what we care deeply about, what we value, and how it augments the skills and strategies we use in our pursuit of new learning.

Are we too quick to dismiss these digital games as a waste of our students’ time? Is Minecraft, and related digital games, a significant part of the future of students’ learning experiences? How can collaboration, creativity, and other 21st century skills be enhanced with Minecraft? Click here to read the rest of the post, and add your thoughts in the comments section.

Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is an 18-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th-grade teacher in Rudolph, WI. He now serves as an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District ( Matt also teaches online graduate courses in curriculum design and instructional leadership for the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD ( and Lead Literacy (

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