Digital citizenship goes hand in hand with collaboration and can be a vitally important lesson in managing a digital life for our students. Mine-craft is a digital world and you do not see your collaborators face to face, which can lead to some interesting scenarios for our students. usu-ally it is hard for a student to communicate online with others; it is not something they have had to do before. They may have viewed YouTube videos and seen the horrendous comments and believed that “anything goes” online.
When griefing (damaging other people’s stuff) occurs in Minecraft, it can be an amazing moment for students to learn not just about digital citizenship but about property ownership, responsibility, and respect. You may find that the sweetest student in your class does some mean things once behind a computer screen. What students type in Minecraft when they think nobody is monitoring is another learning moment that deals with their perception of what they think is right and wrong to type online and how nothing online is temporary—there’s always a record somewhere.
A major spinoff from Minecraft is the amazing YouTube culture it has created—people who want to show off their Minecraft work make a YouTube channel. A lot of students in my school have Minecraft YouTube channels. Along with YouTube, sadly, comes a negative part of digital life: the criticisms, the trolling, and the dislikes. for students and adults alike, it is very difficult to take the anonymous and sometimes downright nasty feedback. These can be very hard but powerful learning moments for students. Parents need to be aware of their students’ online activities, so I always conduct a yearly session with parents to educate them about how to manage their children’s digital lives.