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10 Reasons Why Minecraft Is Beneficial for Your Kids

10 Reasons Why Minecraft Is Beneficial for Your Kids

When it comes to children and screen time, many parents take a cautionary approach. After all, many there are many digital outlets that vie for kids’ attention, including TVs, tablets, computers, and smartphones that they can access at home or in school. And of course, parents also have to worry about lifestyle balance when it comes to sedentary and active recreation—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that over a third of children in the U.S. are considered either “overweight or obese.”

At the same time, children must become fluent in current technologies in order to function in an increasingly digital world. Parents can help direct their children’s attention to positive and healthy online communities, such as the world of Minecraft, an open-world building-block game for PC and console. Researchers at Radboud University believe that certain video games provide significant benefits to children, helping them regulate emotions, build strong social ties, and improve other cognitive abilities. The following list explores why Minecraft can be a valuable addition to your children’s playtime.

1. Easy Access

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    Both children and adults are easily captivated by the world of Minecraft. It’s like discovering a limitless container of Lego blocks. The open sandbox format of this game makes absolutely anything possible. Avatars can collect resources by punching trees and digging up dirt. Eventually, these resources can be used in formulas to create other tools. Tools can start simple—hammers, axes, and shovels, but players gain enough resources, they can build complex tools—circuits, trains, and even houses. MinecraftEdu, an academic organization comprised of educators and programmers, recommends the game to teachers because it is “easily adaptable to curriculum” with “sandbox play [that] allows for ANY kind of experience.”

    2. Inspiring Confident Exploration

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      Contrary to other video games that have strict rules and linear event progressions, Minecraft is an open environment that doesn’t come built-in with structured quests. This means that youngsters can roam through this world and explore without an urgent set of tasks. However, they are still challenged by loose survival requirements, such as feeding their avatars, building shelter, or warding off enemies (giant spiders or green “Creepers”). Children are free to make mistake and succeed in the world of Minecraft. Wired notes that video games have the power to help players “overcome the fear of failure IRL” (In Real Life).

      3. Increased Creativity

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        There’s no denying that Minecraft provides children with unprecedented opportunities for creativity. Some will explore extensive cave systems underground while other players might build lavish houses. Or who knows? Perhaps your child will reveal their architectural genius and create astonishing block cities and structures inspired by real or fictional locations.

        4. Teamwork

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          Your children can play for long hours on solo missions. But families can also set up personal servers, so that other friends and family members can join in on the fun. Parents can also download custom Minecraft maps, such as multiplayer adventures. Psychologists have been researching video games as a way to build social skills, since children get to engage with one another to overcome obstacles and achieve success. In an American Psychological Association (APA) article, Dr. Isabela Granic describes studies that reveal “People who play video games…that encourage cooperation are more likely to be helpful to others while gaming than those who play the same games competitively.”

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          5. Problem Solving

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            Children must discover new resources and experiment with different recipe combinations to create tools in Minecraft. They must figure out how to build a shelter before night falls and feed their avatar. Research conducted by S.R.I. International reveals that video game play might be responsible in measurable problem-solving and memory improvements.

            6. Parents Can Play Too

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              Due to the game’s extremely accessible entry point, scale-able levels of complexity, and group-play features, parents can also get in on the Minecraft action. Your building and survival experiences in Minecraft can be a great bonding exercise for the entire family.

              7. It Teaches Resource Management

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                Once children become thoroughly engrossed in Minecraft, they begin to start calculating the costs of their resources. For example, wood can be acquired by hand, but it’s faster to use an axe. However, all of these tools will eventually wear out, necessitating even more resources. Your child will soon be weighing the economics of labor and resources as they seek to craft the thousands of recipes used in this game.

                8. Geometry Skills

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                  There’s no doubt that your children will get to exercise their spatial awareness and geometry skills while building structures with these blocks. Children will quickly learn what’s possible with the six faces of a cube, and how to stack blocks in a way that is structurally sound.

                  9. Community Engagement

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                    One of the coolest things about Minecraft is that other players are constantly sharing their custom-made modifications, quest maps, impressive artwork, and wiki entries. This culture encourages young people to explore their own ideas and contribute too. Depending on your child’s age, you might want to explore special public servers, forums, and wiki guides together and see how other players customize their games.

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                    10. Age-Appropriate Content

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                      Finally, Minecraft can be played by children of many ages. It has been rated for people ages seven and up by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) and ages four and up for the iOS version. Yes, there is some use of weapons against enemies in the game; however the interactions are not graphic at all. And parents can always set the game to “Peaceful” mode, so that children don’t encounter monsters at all.

                      So what are you waiting for? Pick up Minecraft for PC or console to start exploring some of the advantages video games have in store for your children!

                      Featured photo credit: Anthony Harden via flickr.com

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                      Published on November 9, 2018

                      How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                      How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                      Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                      Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                      So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                      6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                      When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                      1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                      Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                      To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                      In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                      • Microsoft Excel
                      • Microsoft Access
                      • Statistics
                      • Data Analytics
                      • Adobe Campaign
                      • Quickbooks
                      • XML Database management system
                      • Filemaker Pro
                      • MATLAB
                      • Hive
                      • FORTRAN
                      • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                      • SAS

                      2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                      Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                      Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                      • Content Management System (CMS)
                      • Google Analytics
                      • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                      • Email Marketing
                      • Web Page Design
                      • WordPress
                      • Digital Media
                      • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                      • Campaign Management Software

                      3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                      A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                      • Adobe Photoshop
                      • Adobe InDesign
                      • Adobe Illustrator
                      • AutoCAD
                      • CorelDRAW
                      • Microsoft Visual Studio
                      • Maya
                      • Microsoft Word
                      • Microsoft Publisher
                      • Operating Digital Cameras

                      4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                      The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                      To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                      • HTML
                      • C/C++
                      • Java
                      • Python
                      • XML
                      • UI/UX
                      • LINUX
                      • CISC and RISC architecture
                      • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                      • Memory Management
                      • PCB Layout
                      • SQL

                      5. IT Troubleshooting

                      Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                      So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                      • Backup management
                      • Diagnostics
                      • End User support
                      • Client-Server management
                      • Installation and configuration
                      • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                      • System administration
                      • Tech support

                      6. Enterprise Systems

                      Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                      Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                      The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                      Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                      Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                      Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                      1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                      a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                      Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                      Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                      b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                      This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                      c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                      Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                      Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                      2. Rule the Social Media World

                      a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                      Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                      From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                      b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                      This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                      c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                      Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                      Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                      3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                      a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                      From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                      b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                      Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                      The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                      c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                      The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                      4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                      a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                      It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                      From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                      b. Canva Design School

                      From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                      c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                      62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                      d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                      The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                      Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                      5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                      a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                      IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                      It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                      b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                      The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                      Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                      The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                      • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                      • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                      • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                      • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                      • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                      • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                      • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                      Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                      Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                      1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                      It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                      Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                      2. Work on Your Efficiency

                      Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                      For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                      3. Look for Shortcuts

                      Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                      4. Apply for an Internship

                      Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                      By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                      How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                      The Bottom Line

                      Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                      So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                      Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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