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Minecraft Teachers's blogs

  • I was someone who had know idea about what Minecraft was before this year and I never thought that I would be encouraging my students to be playing a game - but here we are!!

     The students in my class have been using minecraft as part of our measurement unit of designing a house.  The students have taken their 2D floorplans that they have drawn and had the option to build these using minecraft.  Of course their was a huge response to this and there has been some great learning out of it!  Here are some links to some of the 'virutal tour' videos the students have made for their house.

    http://youtu.be/BIcIuSVCCxg

    http://youtu.be/c0_BRkzY9B8

    http://youtu.be/7OdZoYsi1J4

    A group of students have been collaborating during lunchtimes to make number knowledge games for the rest of the class to use.  We are currently looking at our number knowledge ladder (maths progressions) and how we can make a server where students can go on to learn/practice thier basic facts from stage 6 and stage 7.  This is in the very early stages so I look forward to seeing how this all unfolds and what the students can create!!

    I am also looking at getting some of my expert minecrafters to run workshops for those students who want to learn minecraft.  There are many girls in my class who are keen but don't know how to play.  This could be another opportunity for students to play the role of an 'expert' within our class.

    At the moment some of the students have set up a server for our class as we do not have Minecraft EDu - although I would be very interested in what this could provide however I don't know enough about it.  Is their anything that you can not do on Minecraft Edu that you can on regular Minecraft? (Any limitations)  What are the benefits of using minecraftedu?  What other features does it have that you are using in your classrooms?  

    Would love to hear any suggestions...

  • We have started a minecraft group this term and now have a server up and running! Our first task is to create a Minecraft map of our school that people can wander around to help orientate new students. We have a blank world and have made a start but how do I save the world and share it? (Seed it?) Any suggestions welcome!

    Also has anyone used the Wonderful World of Humanities? Is it worth downloading and exploring?

  • Hi all

    We purchased minecraft edu and 25 lincenses. We have running only at lunchtimes at the moment. We have a couple of year 12 students who setup the server and operate it during lunch. We are experimenting with how w can use it in the classroom.

    Friday we asked the students to post boards with what they would want as our AUP Acceptable Use Policy. We have had some issues with inappropriate names and destructive behaviour. We want to use minecraft to help teach digital citzenship, and some of the behaviour we have seen at lunchtime shows us why we need to do this. 

    We setup a simple world and asked them post boards everywhere, they read each others and we have adopted 4 as our AUP. The students wanted a jail where we could place anyone who would not play nice! and a couple of students then went onto build a one. They proceeded to have a conversation telling me what materials would be most suitable to make it robust.

    Our year 12 leader in this has been using it as an open world, he broadcasts simple challenges using minecraft edu. What we have seen:

    • Students are intolerant of those that do not contribute and engage (tthey will not put up with those that only want to destroy)
    • We have more girls than boys at times, normaly our lunch club has no girls.
    • When set the challenge of build a house..they grouped themselves (we never said it was a group challenge) and built very extravagant homes together.

    We have added the mods for buildcraft, computercraft and world of humanties as well as the tutorial worlds that come with minecraft edu.

    Our year 12 students are building a world to help teach digital citzenship, this looks exciting and is coming on very nicely.

    They love it that I can't play to save myself and take great pride in teaching me.

  • I love the fact that we are starting to talk about gamification! Minecraft is an amazing tool that has high engagement with our learners. All I have to do is walk into a class and mention Minecraft and I can destroy that teacher's plans for the next hour.

    My own kids love it and one of my twins is busily constructing Redstone circuits, building machines and contraptions understanding everything there is to know about how they work. He has no clue that he is doing Year 11 Electronics.

    Am at Uni at the moment, so time is short (lecture about to start - and I should do the reading!) but I think we need some framing questions to get a picture of this area. Here is a start...

    1. Why even think about using Minecraft in classes?

    2. Who is using it already and how are they using it?

    3. Technical / organisation / practical aspects

    4. (insert your questions here...) are there any more categories?

     

    Once we dialogue on question 1 everything will fall into place.

  • Playing Games = Respecting Games

    I’ve been playing video games since I was a kid and never stopped. I play to unwind, connect with friends and have fun. It seems that for many educators playing video games is still seen as something only kids do. It’s something to grow out of. This, despite tons of evidence to suggest otherwise.

    Still, I repeatedly talk to teachers who want to use games in their classroom, but don’t want to actually play the games themselves. There’s always the same reason: no time. That worries me because when you choose to bring something into your classroom to engage and build your students’ learning , you must respect it yourself. If you don’t, the kids will know. And then you’re in trouble.

    Minecraft is a great example. (You were wondering when Minecraft was going to come up, weren’t you?) Without diving into Minecraft, exploring it and spending time building, surviving or whatever, you cannot know the game. If you don’t know the game, you don’t know it’s potential. You don’t know the amazing possibilities it can offer your students. And you don’t know what to do when things go wrong. You won’t know what advice to give the student trapped in a hole unless you’ve been trapped yourself. You won’t be able to make build suggestions to a redstone-tinkering student unless you’ve done some tinkering yourself. In short, you won’t speak the same language as your students. You won’t be literate in the language their speaking. And that’s no place from which to teach.

  • Hi all

    I have some students who have expressed an interest in using Minecraft as part of their learning. I have never gamed before so this is all new to me. I thought that this could be a good forum to share ideas and experiences.

    Currently have our tech making a virtual server within our school server (that sounds like I know what I'm talking about but really I have no idea!)

    Wondering if anyone is using Minecraftedu? Affordances/constraints?

    Or are people using the students own accounts?

    All advice gratefully received....

  • Hi people. Thought I would start the ball rolling. I have a student who has special needs. He can't read or write but sa an activity I get him to create objects on minecreaft. I might get him to build a train ten he has to explain to me how he it built it or he may comment about how he feels about it. I then write it down and he copies on to book creator with his minecraft train inserted as a picture from the camerea roll. Once he has typed it out we print it. He glues his picture of a train into his book and handwrites his text underneath. Has been very successful way to get a reluctant learner, reader, writer to engage with literacy.

    Go minecraft!!