Stephen’s maths classroom
Stephen Elford (@EduElfie) gave us a fascinating insight into his passion for minecraftEDU. He has successfully used minecraft – an online reality game that has captured the attention and engagement of students globally – in the maths/science classroom. See his youtube channel for actual demonstrations Successful application sharing in Blackboard Collaborate enabled participants in real time, or whilst viewing the recording to see the exact nature of this amazing world and its potential for learning. Participants came from Pakistan, USA and Australia.
The teacher controls in minecraftEDU
You can watch this fabulous presentation by clicking on the link to the recording below or watching the video version at video version of this session on blipTV which Peggy George of Classroom2.0LIVE has created for us. Thanks Peggy!
Educationalists can join the google group on minecraft Do you have sites to share or networks to join?
The students are nearly driving me mad! They want to come in at each recess and lunchtime to continue learning in minecraft! It is now going viral! My 9/10 students have been allowed in on several occasions, but I am concerned about the others who want to come in and who have not been through our group discussion of appropriate behaviour and citizenship in minecraft etc. Their students love to show their friends how to play minecraft.
Almost a week to the day, one of my most experienced minecraft players came up to me at lunchtime and asked why the year 7 students were allowed into our world. It appears that the Quantum minecraft was not working (which is where they are supposed to be) and the technician suggested to their teacher that they could go into the school’s minecraft server.
Unfortunately, they raided Nathan’s place which he had so proudly built and shared its space with they other 9/10 ICT students. He had left tools for them in his chest, built a stove to cook food on and left signage everywhere to explain areas. To his consternation, the younger students had raided his house, broken his windows etc. I told him to come in at lunchtime to explore the extent of the damage only to find out that the year 7s were back in the world, using another computer lab in the school for access.
I quickly worked my way to the computer pod and let forth my wrath on the students who were all in there. They sheepishly said they were trying to repair the damage and put the place back as Nathan had left it. It took them all lunchtime to dig for sand to make more glass to repair the windows. They also replaced the tools in the chest. But rather amazingly, Nathan went down and then taught them more skills in the game! Faith is now restored in each other
The technician talked about trying to run another server so that year 7s and 9120s could work in a different world, but after discussion with the other teacher involved, we want them to learn to live together in this world. Some of the lessons learnt today would have been quite difficult to teach in a theory type class, but they have become poignant in the game.
It is obvious that we need to work with the students and develop a code of conduct and then just keep on learning together how to build collaboratively and live harmoniously together.
Do you have any advice for us? How do you manage school communities in minecraft. What experience could you share with us? Have you used or developed a set of protocols?
After hearing so many positive comments about Minecraft, I was keen to introduce it into my year 9/10 Gaming elective. Over the last 5 years, I have chanced upon, deliberately chosen to experiment with and used a network to learn how to immerse technology into the classroom. However, with minecraft, I faced my first real technical, unsurmountable hitch that was completely reliant on the technicians doing it for me and I had now lost control!
There were troubles getting minecraftedu in a useable form, allowing students to log on with individual usernames. Year 7 students were working on minecraft with Quantum Victoria. All stops were pulled out and our technician worked with the games developer from Quantum, but due to the problems, I was told by both my principal and technician “It is only a game!” Fortunately, contact with minecraftedu has now allowed us to use a BETA form and the game was ready to play last week.
Here is how it played out last week:-
- Surveyed the class – 2 of the 10 students who are playing minecraft are experienced – the rest are completely new
- I had a quick 1 hour lesson on minecraft from the technician. That was ‘mind’ overload, but I was really impressed with the nature and potential of this game. As a teacher, I was shown some of the control that I had over the students.
- Quick decisions were made to simply throw my year 9/10 students into the world and just let them go! The night beasties were deliberately turned off to give the newbies are start in life in minecraftedu
- The lesson started by sharing the logging on process. From the newbies the first question was “How do I move?”
What I saw:-
- The newbies simply explored during the 100 min class time – they dug down, killed pigs, got lost, bumped into each other, had to respawn, drowned in water etc.
- The experienced proceeded to build shelters/homes, gather tools for building, hunting etc
- The kindness and generousity of one of the experienced lads who quickly built a house, added light torches, a stove for cooking and put many tools for others to grab in his tool box. The other students made use of his tools and added them to his inventory.
- Another experienced player, went straight to the temple and grabbed all the hidden treasures there for his own inventory. Greed was starting to make a play.
- Students helping each other, sharing what they learnt, answering the questions of others, spending time to mentor.
- One of the newbies, went wandering far exploring (but he is an experienced gamer). Decided to add to huge cactus to his roof top so that he could find his space again.
- Engagement for the complete 100 mins
What I heard:-
- lots of questions initially
- sheer silence at time
- lots of laughter
- shouts of excitement
What I felt
- a sense of pride and achievement in the students
- a sense of collaboration amongst the students
- community building
- collaborative group work
Day two – unfortunately illness in the family prevented me from being with the students for this class. When I questioned them as to how they went:-
- the boy who put the cactus on his house couldn’t locate it at all, so started building again. He does not want to build near or with the others
- the girls excitedly told me that there were creatures that came in the night now that they had to fight off. They commenced a building of their own and were intrigued to see ‘admin’ floating above them and chatting to them in their world. (That would have been our techie). They didnt know what to do next, so started to find tutorials to teach them. One of them spent several nights at home learning online about it.
Overall Result: – I am having problems with the number of students who are wanting to come in at every possible recess or lunchtime to keep ‘playing’ with minecraft!