Open Day at Project MIST
Today was a great day for those that have been developing Project MIST as they were able to open up their server to some of the Massively Minecraft miners for a trial. The day started of with an air of nervousness as some things required tweaking before we could let the miners on. Once this was done it was game on. The picture above shows two wonderful builds in our residential area which will stay as an example for our grade 9/10 students who will be participating in this throughout the year.
On reflection I am starting to wonder what we have really learnt through this adventure, and an adventure it certainly has been. We have had around 14 students who have given their time in different ways to get to the point where we can ask a group to test our ideas and our server. A smaller group has been extremely dedicated over the holidays and given vast amounts of their time to building both the background server components and the in-world features. But is that all we have done? Is that all we have learnt?
Today was interesting as it provided an insight into what a rich learning area Minecraft can be. Through the building of one of the houses the discussions that existed included that of how to help the owner realise his idea, the communication was fast and intense at times. Being able to share with others your idea and allow them to participate in the building is certainly a challenge on many levels. The conversation developed beyond just the building to other concepts and realities that were connected to the building. The design of older houses in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, cropped up as the miner wanted to create a house that had more floor space on level 1 and 2 of his house compared to the ground floor. This then led to discussions about WWII as personal connections to Amsterdam were made, the conversation then dispersed to comments about the Vietnam War and connecting issues. All this from building a house in Minecraft!
Not only does Minecraft provide a place for rich conversation to take place, whether it be about the past and possible futures or the technical side of building a server, it also opens up an avenue to learn other vital skills and understandings. These to date have include acceptance and appreciation of each others skills and abilities. The development of connections with others based on passion and the desire to obtain greater knowledge and skill. Life skills such as listening and delivering a message well have certainly improved. On a personal note I have learnt to be a learner and be constantly amazed at what I should be seeing from my students, they have now set a very high standard for themselves that they are capable of maintaining.
I am very interested in hearing what the miners have learnt from their journey and consequently am eager to see them share their thoughts on what they have learnt by being part of Project MIST and #Massively Minecraft