Thursday, 14 June 2018

Incomplete Success.

So, a lot of reflection to happen after todays lesson in the somewhat beginners map. It was great to realise that students still don't read instructions in game when they start learning in Minecraft and it is going to take some time to work them out of that habit. How did I forget this?!

The invisible maze, too hard. We only had around 35 minutes once everyone logged in and joined the world, and about 25 minutes after we got everyone sorted. Unfortunately the M:EE update that happened meant that the map was not completed, as I did the final couple of hours worth of work in 1.4.0, not realising that the school was not on auto-update and hence still running 1.2.7. So I had to wind back to a previous version that was incomplete in terms of teacher controls. This meant that I missed parts of the startup routine for the challenges. The boating towards the challenges was also probably a bit much, and too far. Many students did not know how to row their boats, and their render distance was too low to see the start of the challenges.

The jumping puzzle was also too hard for Pocket Edition players trying to move to a keyboard and mouse for almost the first time. The final thing that I feel quite stupid about, is that I gave students worldbuilder ability when they get to the third challenge so that they could create an NPC. However it also means that they can cross border blocks, ignore allow and deny blocks.

I found this out as a student finished the second challenge, and got to the third challenge, with all the permissions included, ignored all the instructions and flew over to 'help' their friends in the jumping challenge. I cannot believe I didn't realise that, I spent hours checking all the border blocks and allow and deny blocks to try and 'prevent' them from breaking eachothers NPCs and such... all that time wasted!

So all of that sort of reflection (and embarrassment) aside, students did learn how to use the camera and portfolio, exporting as well. They also know how the border blocks work, and some would also know how the allow and deny blocks work. One really great thing about today was that the teacher really wants to learn how to create maps, and he has ideas already about the first map he wants to create. So next week, instead of teaching students, I am going to work with the teacher to support their map creation skill acquisition.

Once that map is complete, we will run the world together, or at least with me in the room as well. I did record the lesson today, but I had not set up the recording software very well, and it is a bit frame dropish. I will still edit parts of it down and post it on my YouTube channel for anyone interested. I did spend the afternoon tweaking the recording software so I can hopefully record smoother tomorrow.

Tomorrow I go back to the same school as last week to support a somewhat Minecraft experienced teacher to run her first M:EE lesson. The students will be creating ancient buildings, they have done the research and the planning, and this time I am hoping to be able to record and grab screen shots to share the great work that these students create.

I also need to revamp the map I used today, but I am not quite sure how much to do so just yet, I would like to run it with another group, giving clearer instructions about the challenges before I do too much with it. I think the basics are solid, it is just a matter of a few (hopefully) minor tweaks.

A bit of a bland post today, hopefully there will be more images tomorrow. I am going to try getting back to sharing the images of what I am talking about more, I have been a bit slack at that lately. Thanks always for reading, feel free to leave a comment below. Hey, I will even give you a task; share your thoughts about how you might get students up to speed on the EE specific interactions you might like to use in your class.

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