Minecraft is a busy place

It feels like I have not been here for a while as there has been so much going on. Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the PLANE Festival of Learning. There were many highlights and a big one for me was to be able to meet many of the people that I have connected with via twitter. It was really nice to meet Nick Patsianas who has been working with my students in Minecraft, both in game and as a contributor to our conversations via Skype. He helped me and a student of mine present at the Festival – greatly appreciated!

I will blog about PLANE a little later but for now it is time to hear what wonderful things will be happening on Tuesday at the #AISITIC12. Minecraft will be showcased in a session called Game Based Learning. This will be a collaborative learning session where you will hear from Megan Townes, Michael Beilharz and students from Riverside High School and Riverview School.

The planning of this session has been rather interesting as many of us have not met face to face before so we have used a range of ICT to communicate our thoughts, including a side chat in a Plane Teachmeet last night via Adobe Connect. Today was the second Skype chat we had between the Riverside and Riverview students. It was exciting to watch this chat and the things that have come out of it. Both groups of students have been busy in the mines working on an area for teachers at the GBL session where they will be able to play and explore Minecraft. They have designed tutorials and examples of what they want their learners to get out of the session. Much of this has happened outside school hours when they have gone onto our server and played, tinkered and discussed what the teachers should learn. Supporting the students are a number of teachers and tech minded people who have been busily ensuring that the technical issues are ironed out to ensure it is successful for them.

How exciting that we now live in an era where young people can collaborate and create together for a purpose, where they are not held back by physical walls, ocean and land. Ok, maybe sometimes firewalls get in the road…..

Interestingly @danhaesler mentioned the following in a tweet today and I think it is worth thinking about:

In an age when kids can engage with anyone of any age anywhere in the world, why do we only allow them to work with kids in their own class?

3 Comments

  1. Great to read of your adventures as we are just at “the foot of the hills” in ours. The students are so eager and keen. Not just because we chat gaming and tech but their voices are heard AND respected. Their reach is far. Therefore increased opportunities to receive feedback and accolades. Yesterday one of my students posted a pic of his drawing on instagram that he sketched, at home, on his desk. Perhaps 5 years ago a few people may have viewed it. But yesterday he had over 30 views and 6 affirming comments within a few hours. He is a talented artist but who knew? Not many. They do now and he has the drive to share more and improve. That is the beauty of online communities such as minecraft. So excited to learn more.

  2. dbatty1 says:

    You are so right Jeanette, their voices are heard, taken seriously and respected. Online communities are great places, great places for collaboration, learning and most of all fun 🙂

  3. Great stuff, thanks for the update Donelle!

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