Steve Isaacs’ Minecraft avatar.

Minecraft has become the most influential game environment for use in K-12 education. Game Based Learning has been around for quite some time, but only recently has the use of games become more widely accepted and incorporated in school. Much of this is due to the sandbox nature of games like Minecraft, allowing for very creative uses of Minecraft by students and teachers in all content areas.

Steve Isaacs will talk about his experiences in teaching game design and development at a free meeting of the Princeton ACM/IEEE on Thursday, December 12, at 8 p.m. at the small auditorium, Room CS 105 at Princeton University’s computer science building. For more information, call Dennis Mancl at 908-285-1066 or visit princeton­acm.acm.org. A pre-meeting dinner is held at 6 p.m. at Applebee’s on Route 1. Email princetonacm@gmail.com in advance to attend the dinner.

Isaacs has found Minecraft to be a great game engine: the multi-player nature of the environment lends itself to opportunities for collaboration. Students can use in-game features to build, engineer, and automate functions in the games they create. Steve continues to be amazed at the ways that students and educators use Minecraft as a teaching and learning tool. Steve has been teaching since 1992. In 1998, when he began teaching at William Annin Middle School in Bernards Township, New Jersey, he succeeded in creating an internationally recognized middle school game development program.

He is a champion for student choice, providing a choice-based environment to help students find and nurture their passion for learning. Isaacs is the lead content producer for Minefaire, a Massive Minecraft Fan Experience. He is actively involved in building the K12 to College Esports pipeline and co-founded the #EsportsEDU community.

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