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Great start to the Group

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.

Comments

  • Monika Kern

    Great questions, Stephen, I agree, the WHY = qu 1 will lead everything. So why even think about it?

    a) To quote Mike Berrill "If you can crack the problem of engagement - not just 'are you paying attention?', but 'are you fascinated by this?' - if you can crack engagement in learning, then you've cracked 21st century schooling." Minecraft can be one of these tools of fascination for some students.

    b) They CREATE!

    c) They can COLLABORATE!

    d) It is rigid in the block structure yet flexible in what they do within it.

    e) It allows for a variety of skill levels of users.

    I'm sure there's more reasons :-)

    I have never used it in my teaching but when I taught at Intermediate level, the boys loved playing on it during free time. Two of my 3 sons spend a lot of time on it, one is doing some fairly advanced programming with it (and with other programmes). Their use of it includes collaboration on building / mining / farming ventures as well as hide and seek etc.

    Never really had anything to do with organisational aspects sorry.

    Some ideas for use: Anything you study will be more palatable when you bring it to where the students are at e.g. years ago at Playcentre we used to take the books to the boys in the sandpit where they spent all their time. For example I saw it recently used in a class where students built an enclosure suitable for a kiwibird. Wouldn't it be fun to rebuild a Maori Pa and calculate what volume of soil needs to be excavated? What about creating a polygon trying to near it to a circle (sorry, don't know the right terminology, not a Maths teacher :D).

    Looking forward to everyone's ideas!

  • Allanah King

    I spent a hunk of the last week with the family of an autistic lad showing him some apps on the iPad to aid his organising and school work generally. He then showed me around his village and luxury super yacht that he had made in Minecraft. I was immediately sold on the game.

    Great possibilitites.

  • Juliet Dickinson

    As a teacher and mum of a minecraft addict I am impressed with the discussions we have had in our house. I have seen a growth in her spatial awareness as she can navigate her way around multiple levels, all for a specific purpose. By joining games with peers (at hm only) she is collaboratively building multi-level structures where she is giving and interpreting precise directions. Her memory and recall of what is positioned where is mind-blowing. Funnily enough she found lego in the garage a while back and was most excited "Mum, I can make minecraft for real now." She then tried to recreate her structure with lego and attempted stop animation by taking photos with the ipad. The opportunities are endless!

  • Tracy Tindle

    Hi all

    Im currently working on a community engagement plan/research as part of my studies with The Mind Lab/Unitec into the use of gamification in Kiwi classrooms.  

    There is currently no research about the use of gamification in NZ classrooms so I would love you hear what you are doing?  

    If you have 5 minutes to complete my google form, I would really appreciate it.  I hope to gather what people are doing and provide a place where people can share their gamification ideas and collaborate on new ones!  

    Website (currently in production) - http://gamemyclass.weebly.com

    Survey link-https://docs.google.com/a/wellsford.school.nz/forms/d/194AjdWkIGVH0lI_KpE3GSA58wpWwiEHzwO_4lmK49JU/viewform?usp=send_form

    Thanks

    Tracy