Minecraft – more fun!
Minecraft certainly allows us to have fun with our learning and demonstrate appreciation of what we are learning. Over the last couple of weeks there have been some great moments. We have a small group of students from the primary school next door who have joined us on our server. It is so much fun watching what they are doing and the way that they are going about it. I personally find listening to them is the key to where we go with regard to their learning. The first thing the students had to do was create their community, a village in survival. They have done a great job with this and it is continuously growing and changing. After all that is what happens in real life; a village, town or city constantly changes as it grows. I was then asked what their next project would be so I chose to listen to what the students were interested in. A number of them had seen the Titanic built in Minecraft before and seemed to quite like the idea of the challenge. To do this they decided to investigate the Titanic as they wanted to build a replica. They undertook the task of researching information about the titanic, the picture demonstrates where they are up to. A couple of students from this group are now investigating the internal fittings of rooms in the Titanic and plan to create one or two rooms. The conversations around this type of build are incredible. The students are unpacking history, using literacy skills to gain understanding, and are developing their collaborative skills.
But was this enough for the students, building the Titanic in creative? No! They decided that they would turn it into a game, where they have set up a mobs spawning room and they can take on these mobs earning (in game) money as they remove them. The money that they are earning they are using to purchase the required supplies to make the Titanic. This is making them work hard and think more carefully. One student suddenly found out what it was like to be in debt, as he overspent on resources. He now has to pay off his debt before he can purchase more.
The students can purchase from the spawn area as the shop has been created there for them.
Sometimes the students do take a break from their Titanic building and choose to do other things, to our surprise we found an area that they had set up to make avatars of each other. The nicest bit about this was that they chose to include the avatar of their grade 9 support student and me 🙂
There are other cool things occurring with learning at the moment. The new grade 9 class has just started and they are certainly getting into the idea of collaborating and peer to peer learning, a student has supported me in learning how to create a TNT cannon. He then pointed out that as I now had that skill I could help him create his collaborative build.
The other thing that the ProjectMIST students are getting their heads around is the move to the new version of Minecraft. This is a tricky moment as we have to test our plug-ins and ensure that things will work well. I am so glad that is their job and not mine. I am sure that falconcadet will update you all on the excitement that this has created on his blog http://minecraftinschool.wordpress.com/ once he has installed the new version.