Wednesday, 24 April 2013

MinecraftEdu and Mathlandia Updates.

Well, again, I have let my blog posts fall away, I have been ultra busy testing the new development builds of MinecraftEdu, and now finally the latest stable version has been released. MinecraftEdu is now 1.5.1 compatible with almost no bugs.

Mathlandia is also coming along (at this stage I am sticking to the older version that I am sure works as MystCraft got a major rewrite in the 1.5.1 version and I am not completely up to date with how to use it yet). I have set up the buildings for the next quest, and am planning on running the next in-class activity on Wednesday and Thursday next week with both year 8 classes.

It turns out I have 3 quests to build, and not only am I adding in real learning about the topic(s) we are covering but also real life applications of these concepts, which is a new thing for me so I am interested to see how it goes. The basic concepts these 3 quests are covering are 1) perimeter and area, 2) volume and 3) perspective drawings. However I am thinking of leaving out the perspective drawings and adding in surface area instead, or incorporating it in to the volume quest.

This time I am also going to try to automate the 'end quest' item as much as possible, and I am also thinking that there might be a way to 'pay' the students based on how accurate they are in their calculations, but there is a bit of experimenting to be done before I can get that happening.

This was a short update, but thanks for reading, and look for more updates next week once I have completed building the next quest and when I have run these activities with classes.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Educational Ingress?

Yesterday I was involved (a small bit, I was there at least :D) in the creation of what I have been told is the largest field created in Australia in terms of mind units (over 1050000) in Google's augmented reality game Ingress. I originally signed up for Ingress after my brother explained it to me, but my reasoning was not necessarily to just play the game, I also wanted to see how I might be able to apply some of the principles of the game to my school, to create some sort of massive RPG that covered all 'interested' students at my school.

After being involved in yesterdays mega field project I am even more interested in getting something like this working in my school. I had not met any of the 'team' that came to my home town to help create the field, but we spent an enjoyable 2 hours together. More importantly to me was the teamwork, leadership, problem solving and communication skills that I saw in action. This is the reason I want this in my school, just by playing 'a game' students at my school could develop all of these skills, outside of class time, and 'want' to do it.

Why did the mega field get created, because we could, there were 5 teams of players over 2 days. One agent took the lead and organised the timing so that the opposing team would not know what was going on. Three teams on the day went to different locations ready to create the massive triangular field, an additional team actually went somewhere to create a distraction. The fifth team put in the hard yards the day prior helping some of our players get experience and level up.

So the field only stayed up for about 2 hours, but I can tell you the feeling when a good portion of Victoria was covered with this field was palpable in my group. I really think that this is an amazing game, and with a bit of tweaking for education it could make an amazing addition to schools and help improve so many skills of our youth.

Victoria before
and after. (A big thanks to agent ozmusic for co-ordinating and for taking the screen caps.)

As always thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment below.