Ramu Indrasimhan ‘14 had just finished teaching his 7th-grade class in Chennai, India, about the Roman Empire. He asked his students to submit final projects on ancient Rome, and one teen decided to build his own miniature Colosseum. When he had trouble finding the right materials, he came to Indrasimhan with an unusual request: Can I make it in Minecraft instead?
“I’m a big proponent of letting students’ real-world interests become an integral part of what’s being taught in class,” says Indrasimhan, who earned a master’s in secondary education social studies through TCNJ’s off-site graduate program in Bangkok, Thailand. “I thought this would bring a lot of relevance to [his] learning experience.”
In other words, Indrasimhan said yes.
Several years later, and now teaching in Jakarta, Indonesia, Indrasimhan is still embracing Minecraft—a video game that lets players craft buildings (or even entire cities) using 3D blocks. With the game, his students have built everything from a Roman aqueduct to a Medieval European manor.