Thursday, 8 May 2014

Much better today.

Well, taking the attitude mentioned in my last post into my class today worked amazingly. Explaining to the students how I felt after yesterdays class, the time and effort I put in to create this for them, as well as explaining that I showcase all of these things to the world and that this was kind of like a trial for these guys to see if they liked learning like this before I keep making these activities put them right on track. I explained that I was not going to help them with any in-game tasks, that my response would be to teleport back to spawn and re-do the tutorial. Their response was quite interesting, at first there was a bit of outrage, but once I said that all the information they required was in the game for them, if only they paid attention, they seemed to be ok with it.

I will say however it is very easy to say that I will not help, but it is an almost impossible task for me to actually follow through. I want these kids to succeed in this activity, and will do what I can to assist them to gain that success, especially if they are trying their best. So after todays lesson I am confident that the vast majority of students now know how to use the in-game tools they need to complete the upcoming tasks. Two students completed all the activities I had ready for them today, those students got free time in a Minecraft world of their choice. The rest are somewhere along the path reviewing their understanding and knowledge of perimeter.

After viewing the survey results, I asked, prior to the lesson, one of the students who was not excited to be learning in Minecraft, and did not think it would help her learn for a bit more information. From what I could gather, the reason she was not excited was basically because it was going to put her out of her comfort zone. So I asked for her feedback again today, what was great to hear is that her understanding of the game is now enough for her to begin to feel a little more comfortable, and she can see that this may help her learning if she continues. WIN!!!

So over the weekend I will complete the rest (hopefully) of the tasks that I want the students to complete in-game, check the journals that students have already submitted to the 'Central Database' and make sure the students are following along with the tasks ok. I did notice today that one student in particular had a pretty major flaw in his understanding of perimeter, one which I had not noticed from his work in class. The great thing about this is that it is an easy misconception to fix, and he will be right on track to launch his space shuttle in no time at all.

A much more positive post today, sometimes I forget that these students are not as 'experienced' as I am at this kind of learning and obviously I set my expectations too high, or did not explain them clearly enough to students To be honest, it was probably a combination of those two things, I am obviously a bit out of practice at this whole Minecraft teaching thing, especially with students that have not been in this kind of class before. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a comment below.


  1. Your recounts are fantastic and very insightful into the reality of using minecraft as a teaching tool. Students are excited to use it but still need to achieve the outcomes that drive the experience. They also need to read and this is where the space can sometimes be the culprit as they all are so excited they storm off, as though in a race through Dream World. I find the Freeze Students setting extremely handy in MinecraftEdu!

    1. You are right, the freeze students button would maybe have helped in this situation. To be honest, it just hadn't crossed my mind in the 20mins we spent in-gane for that first lesson. Thanks for the reminder about it :D