Ok, so I am leaving Texas tomorrow morning (ridiculously early) and what an amazing adventure this trip has been. The presentation was mind blowing, we had people lining up out of the door trying to get in, they were turning people away after they jammed as many people into the room that they could. Apparently people were turned away, went for a wander around to see if there was anything else that intrigued them, then came back and took their chances in the line.
The presentation itself was great, we had mostly teachers, about 100 of them if my crowd counting was right, with 30 laptops all running MinecraftEdu. The people that attended, at least the majority, were complete beginners, had heard of Minecraft, either from students or their own children, but never set foot in the game. After a very quick 30 minute rundown by Joel and myself on what it was, what it looks like, what is possible we let them loose in the tutorial world.
With around 8 helpers roaming the room offering support where needed and answering questions things went so smoothly, if someone was stuck for more than about 2-3minutes I would be surprised. What I found very interesting, although I should have expected it, was the noise, exactly the same as a normal MinecraftEdu classroom, solid working noise, collaboration, discussion, sharing and supporting each other. So after letting them learn how to play we changed the maps available to my Animal Cell map, and the World of Humanities map. I really wanted to show the Animal Cell map because it demonstrates very clearly how different the game can look from what is default, and also the curriculum is very clear, easy to see, as it is with WoH.
I honestly believe that every teacher in that room walked away with at least some idea of how to play Minecraft, and some real good food for thought as to what is possible. There were questions from all over asking about implementation, lesson building, specific subject suggestions, it was crazy. There has been an article written about our presentation here. Our session was also recorded, audio only, for a podcast, and when/if that gets released I will share also.
Thanks for reading, and a big thanks to all those who attended or supported us in the session.