Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Exploring a New World

After months of being away from this blog (which in reality was for the TLVW's class), I find I'm in need of it again. I've decided to record the adventures I've been having in Minecraft for the same good reasons we were supposed to record them in TLVW (or at least I'm guessing this was the reason - I never asked). I noticed a significant growth as a gamer and educator (being so bold as to describe myself as such) between my first post and my last as part of the TLVW class. I'm sure I will notice the same as I record these adventures. Also, a place to both record and share successes and failures will surely help me avoid pitfalls next time, benefit someone else, and help me chart next steps.

To catch up on where I've been since I last posted in August... I attended a wonderful conference, Games in Education, in Troy, N.Y in August 2012. People I heard about through TLVW were there - Peggy Sheehy, Marianne Malmstrom, Joel Levin, Bron Stuckey - to name a few. I spent a wonderful 3 hours playing with MinecraftEdu under Joel Levin's watchful eye. I was pretty sure I would be "all world" since I'd been a gamer for 2 months. Once again, I was humbled by my lack of experience and the complexity of the game - which looked, oh, so simple. I was still fearful of attack by monsters who come out at night. Ah, well... some things change slowly.

I sat through an excellent panel discussion on using games in the classroom where we discussed WoW, Minecraft and Quest Atlantis, among other games. I had already been convinced that games were a fundamental way to reach, well, anyone - not just kids. This discussion was the beginning of my wondering "how." How do I get this to be of the curriculum in our school district? How do I create a program? It seemed most of the programs in place at schools began after school...

Fast tracking to January - in an "off the cuff" conversation, I told our district after school program coordinator, Bob, that we needed to look into MinecraftEdu. He jumped on it - scheduled meetings with me and my counterpart at the middle school, Dave, encouraged us to research it, purchase it and pilot it. This is where the next chapter begins...

1 comment:

  1. We have had Minecraft Clubs for the past few years but have struggled to "plug" them into the classroom content. It seems it takes a certain teacher really to make the jump. I like the idea of the AfterSchool Program. What a great way to engage kids at the end of the day. I would be amazing if somehow we can link it to the classroom learning. Next year our old tech is going back to the 6th grade classroom, this might be our ticket to really get something going.