What happens in Project MIST when I am not around…
School holidays have not stopped our miners, they are moving full steam ahead organising their work around time away to do normal holiday activities. On return from my own holiday activities I find out that there has been a little trouble in the minecraft world. Having all miners opped means they are able to perform all commands, this requires fair play to ensure that those working are having their builds interfered with. Yet, as we all know there does come a time when someone wants to push the boundaries. Some would say that pushing the boundaries is a negative and needs the teacher to step in and deal with the behaviour…..is this the right approach?
As part of the development of Project MIST the students are creating their own culture within the game and it does require fair play and respect for others. This is their culture not mine. They have decided that these two things are important. In saying this it now needs to be enacted. A couple of miners expressed concern about everyone being fully opped as we left the 2011 school year and the possible problems this could cause. My response was provide them with the privilege and we will deal with problems as they arise. It is about starting with trust. Putting this in context these students know each other quite well and consequently already have formed opinions about how each other will participate. Was I asking too much of these young men considering that in the adult world we form opinions as a result of past behaviours and base decisions on them when it comes to trusting others.
So what has happened? We have had some unfair play where some miners thought it would be funny to nuke another miner while he was trying to work. Did I step in, no. I was away when this occurred, but is it my place to step in and determine the consequences when it is their game and community? How was this dealt with by the miners? Those with ultimate privileges within the game chose to remove opps for all. This was explained in their Skype group. Some miners have expressed in this meeting place that they are finding it difficult to build in the dark and in the rain so are finding it annoying with the opp removal. A solution to this has been found and is being put in place. What do we walk away with from this moment….. The miners are now starting to take on different roles within the group at appropriate times, being willing to stand up and stop a behaviour is a brave thing to do. This is not the only incident that has allowed a miner to show courage and commitment to the values that underpin the culture that they want in this learning environment. There have been some unsupportive comments that have been expressed at times and these too are becoming less frequent as the miners fall into line with the values and culture of the group.
Sometimes I question if they really need me!
The other interesting things that have been happening behind the scenes include the organisation of an open day for Project MIST where a number of miners from Massively Minecraft will come onto our server and test it out. This will be an very important milestone for us as it will provide a good understanding of what works and what needs improvement. This is definitely something that needs to happen before we unleash Project MIST to 26 grade 9/10 students in just over one month!
This open day will be filmed for a number of reasons the main one is to provide and example for our new Principal to provide her with an overview of what we are doing. This concept has come from the miners as they believe that it is important to have the support of those who make the decisions – smart thinkers 😉
Above and beyond this there has been lots of building going on as you will see below 😀