Minecraft = a discussion around language

This week has been another wonderful week of learning for our students. This was helped by all students being able to logon to www.minecraft.net on Tuesday! Friday was a different story, but you get days like that.

Some of the most powerful learning occurs behind the scenes in the Skype group we have for the ProjectMIST student leaders. This is where they discuss issues and solve problems on a very broad range of topics. This weeks topic was that of language. As with any class there is always someone who wants to push the boundaries and the online environment is no different. To help support our students connect with our school expectations and uphold our charter the ProjectMIST leaders have installed a few plug-ins to help out. One of them is focussed on language and it has received a bit of a work out at times especially when students in game are new and are developing their understanding of the boundaries. We have one student who is still pushing things a little and is now splitting inappropriate words with a “.”. This is where it becomes important to realise that plug-ins are only the first intercept of a problem, the real formation of culture on a server comes from those operating it and those then using it. As a result the ProjectMIST leaders watch chat logs and follow up in conversation if something pops up that they are not keen on. Here is an example of what occurs:

Admin Student: oh can you please tell ********, to not do this: Quote: “<minecraft player> yolo id ga.y”

Main point being the “ga.y”

Can you tell him to use other words and not bypass the antiswear plugin..

Also tell him the more they bypass it, the more gets added until they have no way around it

Donelle Batty: Ok, Will do

Modded Student 1: mm yea he was talking to me when he said stuff like that i just ignored cause i knew Admin Student would find it

Admin Student: I don’t know why that word is in there, probably been used badly in the first half.

Donelle Batty: Yep

Modded Student 1:he also said and i quote “crap”

Donelle Batty: Once gay meant happy….

Modded STudent 1: technicly gay is not a swear depending on how you meant it

Modded Student 2: And, people like ****** don’t use it to mean happy anymore

Donelle Batty: That’s right

Modded Student 2: Although, if people didn’t use gay as an insult, which they shouldn’t at all, we wouldn’t have to block it

Admin Student: If it was still used as in meaning “happy” *****would not of said it ……”yolo id happy” …? Doesn’t make sence.

Modded Student 2: *not have said it

Modded Student 1: im aware of that but i could say im gay to express my homosexuality

Modded Student 2: Exactly!

Modded Student 1: id was a typo

Modded Student 2: But, people use it as an insult, because they’re silly

Student Admin: Yep. Thankyou for correcting me Modded Student 2, was having trouble with that, brain froze.

Modded Student 2: I don’t see how a word can have a sexual orientation… Anyway, I really have to record some things

Modded Student 1: in todays society its what it means but people use it to make fun of other people

Donelle Batty

Have you finished off our video yet?

Would love to see it

Admin Student: Jo, if you’re reading, Cobian has a new update

Modded Student 2: I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that, I tried to do a bit of work on it, but the videos have been corrupted for some reason

Admin Student: I’ll let you handle that one (directed to me re talking with the student who provided this learning opportunity)

Modded Student 2: Yeah…

Modded Student 1: Admin Student is the school server currently up?

This brief, four minute conversation, is a great example of the students commitment to their server’s functioning and the subject that they have created. It occurred at 9:04 pm on a Wednesday evening. As you can see it was a quick conversation that was surrounded by other topics as once they believed that the matter was dealt with they moved on to other focusses.

The student, who I spoke to the next day as a result of the ProjectMIST leaders conversation, was certainly taken back when I explained the behind scenes process and the fact that his peers were not happy with his behaviour. The need to be accepted by your peers is a powerful tool. The issues may arise again, the same student may be the one I need to speak to again, but nether the less this is an incredible learning environment. 🙂

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