Challenges in the teaching of Cartography during the COVID-19 pandemic: use of Minecraft in the remote classroom setting
Keywords: Cartography teaching, pandemic, Minecraft, game-based learning
Abstract. The multi-tasking and technological phenomena of modern society form the basis for so-called active methodology options, which engage students through several different teaching strategies. Among these strategies is game-based learning, very appealing to the younger generation of students and with great didactic potential in the teaching of Cartography and Geography. With the increase in versions of games available on different platforms, their lower cost and the introduction of devices such as mobile telephones, smartphones, tablet computers and desk top computers into the school environment, it has been possible to introduce a sandbox-type game in the didactic approach to the teaching of Geography, which includes cartography content. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the potential of a methodology based on use of the digital game Minecraft for the learning of cartographic concepts related to geographical themes in primary education during the period of social isolation, in which schools remained closed in Brazil, due to the advancing COVID-19 pandemic. This didactic concept was applied to 178 students at a private school in the city of Ribeirão Preto/SP [São Paulo] in the context of remote learning, between the months of October and November 2020. The outcomes were assessed based on the students’ comprehension of the different viewpoints and the function and importance of scale in representations they created using Minecraft. The study demonstrated that, by “constructing” their representations, students could become the protagonists of their own learning process, connecting theoretical concepts to everyday practice and, thus, giving meaning to what they were being taught.