Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Finally Reconnecting With the World.

I have been awfully quiet so far this year, I am very limited in my MinecraftEdu class time this year, much more so than last year. The main reason I have been out of action though, in terms of my blog, is because I have been disconnected from the digital world at home for nearly 5 weeks. So for about 2 weeks prior to heading to Austin for sxswedu until a few weeks ago I had no internet, or very limited internet, at the places I have been living.

I am finally moved into my new house, still a lot of boxes to unpack, painting and general maintenance things to be done, but the internet was finally connected properly a couple of weeks ago. So I am finally feeling reconnected with the world. It was an interesting experience having to disconnect when I left work every day and not having access at nights or on the weekend. You would think this would mean I would have a whole heap of time to make maps….. but unfortunately this has not been the case. The new house has required a bit of rearranging of walls, trees and taps, which has been enough to keep me extremely busy when I get home.

Now that I am connected again, I have just had 2 weeks holidays from teaching. I have a plan for a lesson soon… I always have a plan. I am going to 'merge' the 2nd and 3rd quests from Mathlandia last year into one map, and by merge I mean I am going to 'throw' those maps out the window and start fresh with a blend of adventure and quest based map activities. I will include building activities and also a few ECAAS (those question things in the Path to Percentage Perfection) where students can explore and consolidate their understanding of area, perimeter, surface area and volume of the various shapes we have talked about and also show their understanding.

I had a great idea for getting students to explore the area of a circle, including mechanics to get the students to estimate the area, receive the number of blocks they estimate, fill in the circle and report back on how accurate their estimate was and then get points based on how accurate their estimate was that they could put towards a prize at the end of the task. Now while I think this is an amazing idea, and will probably build the mechanics just to prove to myself that I can do what I thought I could, I think it will take too much of the limited time I have to incorporate MinecraftEdu into my class this year to complete the activity in class.

So why spend the time building it? I think the mechanics might be useful for other things too, especially the teleport mechanics that determines the station to teleport students to based on which ones are available. I might also set it as a homework task for students who are interested, based in vanilla Minecraft rather than MinecraftEdu of course. I cannot wait until my new study is complete and I can get really stuck back into the 3d printing and map making that I am really beginning to miss now.

That is really all I have for now, I will hopefully do some more posting as the new map comes along and give updates on the progress of the building. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment below.

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