Sunday, 11 December 2011

The End of Classes :(

For the first year of my teaching career I actually do not want classes to finish, I would like to spend more time testing MinecraftEdu with students in class. But unfortunately, whether I want them to or not, classes are going to end for around 6 weeks over the summer holidays.

So for my final class for my year 7s I was thinking about a competition for the kids to take part in (if they want). So my plan is to start a brand new world, no night, health or monsters. Each stack of blocks will be worth a certain number of 'points' and they will have 30 minutes to gather their blocks.

They will be allowed to work in a team if they choose and hopefully the winners will be a group of students who worked well together, if there is one thing I want to get across to the students it is that when you work together you get more done, so 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts' or something like that.

So what are my plans with the edu mod over the Christmas holidays? Map making mostly, whilst testing out all the new features that the devs add in that time. At this stage I have no idea what maps I am going to create, or what they are going to teach but as I go through my courses for next year I will be thinking 'how could I use minecraft to help here' or 'how can minecraft be used to help make this concept clearer' or maybe even 'how could the kids create something in minecraft to demonstrate their understanding'.

I have had a sneak peek at my timetable for next year and as a Science/Maths teacher I also have been put down to teach Humanities, which I am super excited about, I think the possibilities of using Minecraft to teach Geography, mapping, History and whatever else is is the course are going to be huge, so I hope I can keep that class then I can bring a whole new faculty into the MinecraftEdu fold.

I also need to make time to sit down with a couple of other members of staff at my school who are interested in using Minecraft to teach. As part of this I will be doing a fair number of tutorials on the features of the edu mod. I will also be recording more tutorials on Minecraft, probably mostly on redstone and some of the cool stuff that you can do with it and what applications those have in a classroom setting as I think this is one area of need for teachers using Minecraft in their classes.

I am hoping to get the time to work some more on my 21 question map, I need to create a script of some sort that will make putting the questions into this map much quicker than the current timeframe of around 2 hours. After talking to a couple of people I have a much clearer understanding of what I need to do to make this work. I am leaning towards using Excel as it is multi-platform, while Access might be easier and faster to generate, it will only work for those on Windows machines. Once I have this working I will put my map up for download by anyone who is interested, with a video tutorial on how to adjust the answers so they are correct in game.

I feel like this is a bit of a boring post, there are no screenshots or links to videos, so I hope you stick around because there will be more of those coming soon.

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