Minecraft – what has been happening lately
Sometimes I feel that I could blog everyday about the things that occur with the students that are using Minecraft in our school. Unfortunately, time is a factor that gets in the road a little – how dare my time need to be given to other things lol! Oh well…there is more to life than just Minecraft ;).
We were thrilled to note that The Sydney Morning Herald picked up on the idea of Mincraft in Education, I have to admit that we were a little disappointed that they had not localised the article by mentioning the wonderful things that Massivelyminecraft, Quantum Victoria and we are doing along with others in Australia including the exciting news that NSW Dept of Ed has opened up Minecraft to its students – well done Nick Patsianas. It constantly impresses me that the people who are using Minecraft in education in Australia are connected, twitter is a great place to share what we are doing and keep in touch. Our network is always growing and the best thing is that people share freely. We would not be where we are now if it were not for the support of others. This is the awesome part of Minecraft that I have come to appreciate and value beyond all else, the relationships and consequent support and care for each other. My students are participating in a real world that incorporates the use of technology to support their learning and so am I. The people at the end of the Twitter hashtag and usename are real, those that are blogging are real, those that spend time Skyping are real, the tools enable valuable relationships to form and grow. And when we play on ours and other servers those we see are real and how we interact is real!
So what else are we planning for in the next few months… There is a #aisitic12 conference occurring on the 29 and 30 October that we are joining with two other educators (@MikaIB and @townesy77) to demonstrate what we are doing with Games Based Learning. We have also been asked if we would like to present at a Teachmeet for TASITE on Mon 05 Nov, the focus of course is Minecraft. We are also planning to run a session with the staff at our school where they will get the opportunity to join our server to explore, play and mine. We think it is important that they get the opportunity to find out first hand what these students are doing. This session will be led by the students.
A couple of weeks ago we we were invited to a local high school and shared with some staff there what we are learning and doing in Minecraft. We have offered them them the opportunity to get a small group together to start working with our students on our server so that they can start considering if this is something that they would like to do. We are also in discussion with another local high school about start up ideas for them.
We have had an inquiry from a primary school about 45 mins away who are interested in whether or not using minecraft might offer new learning possibilities for a child with Autism. How did this come about…through the Support Teacher for Autism and the Principal being aware of what we are doing and suggesting to the child’s teacher that this might be worth investigating.
This is where the community that we have developed is so vital, regardless of whether it be face-to-face or supported by technology. It is through this community that we are able to solve problems, and provide more options. Not every situation is the same and so what we are doing at our school is not necessarily the answer for others, but it could be part of the answer. For example the planning that we are doing for Grade 8 and the work that Nick Patsianas is doing in NSW has led to a possible solution for one of the high schools we are conversing with. These connections go beyond just knowing and being aware of each other to support others we need to ensure that we do it well and build on the relationships already in place. So with the primary school that has indicated an interest to support a child with Autism we know that one of our lead students has a direct connection with that school and will be invaluable in furthering this link.
Our last piece of exciting news is that we were interviewed by a reported from The Examiner on Monday this week after he read about what we were up to from a piece that was put in our schools weekly newsletter 🙂