Thursday, 6 February 2014

Updates on KerbalEdu and Mathlandia.

I got a hold of the first (as in very first) pre-alpha release of KerbalEdu the other night. WOW, it is going to make it so much easier to get information out of the game to help the teaching of 'rocket science', and this is only the beginning. You can read the official blog of KerbalEdu here: ( but I will say that both the 'troubleshooter' and the extra information you can get about your rocket as you build it are amazing. They should also help students get past many of the issues I saw in getting rockets/planes airborne so that, at least in my class, I can teach them about the forces involved, even to the point of getting into space and removing 'gravity' from the equation, which without spending a heap of time in class, that I could not afford, would not happen.

Mathlandia, oh dear!!! The students were not enthusiastic at all when I threw the idea out there about using Minecraft to help their learning and having a server to play on outside of school. So instead of working on the map as a whole, I have decided to break the map apart, make each lesson a standalone map. There are 2 reasons I am choosing to do this;

1) I should have done it from the start so it was easier for other educators to use/tweak.

2) This way, since these students don't want a substantive world to 'play' in I can just keep each as a standalone lesson and not worry about any of the other server issues I was worried about.

So what now? The first lesson in Minecraft will be the probability lesson, where we explore the difference between experimental and theoretical probability. I have 'split' all the Mathlandia lessons out of Mathlandia, and am in the process of making the adjustments they need from running them last year. The advantage, I guess, of the students not wanting a consistent world is that I need not worry about 'rewards' so much in the game, which makes the submission of work so much easier. I still remember that horrible time I had checking each students' work as they wanted to get their ruby so that they could go back to the main world and get paid for their work.

A short update today, thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment or suggestion below.


  1. As it directly relates to my World of Humanities, I'm very curious about your students' strong reaction in NOT wanting a persistent world. How did you present it? And what exactly did they say? And what do you think were their main reasons/concerns?

    1. I know it is 12months on Eric, and reflecting on this, and the group I have this year. I think it was just their lack of interest 'in the game' if that makes sense. My current group that is going to complete Mathlandia with me this year are ecstatic about the persistent world and have already begun building their houses. In fact only 5 minutes ago when we got into class, someone said "next week are we going back into that world, as we already started building our house." So I think it is just a cohort that was not enthusiastic about the possibilities, possibly because it was 'not cool' to like computer games.