Minecraft 05: Students Start Virtual Project Based Learning

"Reconstruct an ancient Greek structure to scale. Later, you will take a visiting student on a virtual guided tour explaining everything you know about the building and its' purpose in ancient times. Your visitor should be amazed at how smart you are."

That is the educational Minecraft project, in a nutshell. There aren't a lot of criteria. I told them it was more challenging than it seemed - there was lots to research about the building (dimensions, materials, purpose, design features) and a ton of math to calculate a scale that would translating metres to blocks.

Within 30 minutes, students were in groups, at the computers, in the library researching, clearing virtual space. The usually-disengaged students were right in there searching for a building that would challenge their already-considerable Minecraft construction skills. I overheard someone ask why a particular building had been selected. The reply was the exact opposite of what we so often hear. He said, "because it is hard!" Another group asked if they could creat their world on their own devices - they found a way to network between their DS's and iPods to collaborate using their own devices; Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is alive and well here. A small handful of students are aprehensive because they've never really used Minecraft, but they're helping each other through.

They have a physical space for their group in the classroom - a t-shaped desk arrangement against the wall near an outlet for the technology, a portion of a tack board and white board, as well as a couple stacks of sticky notes, and free access to traditional low-tech tools. This in response to our viewing a Gamestorming promo on YouTube.

At the end of the first day of school after the winter break, the students groaned when I told them it was 3:27 and it was time to pack up and go home. What a treat! Can't wait for tomorrow and another day innovating with my students.

1 Comment

  1. [...] See on Scoop.it – Focus: Online EdTechRT @milesmac: Minecraft 05: Students Start Virtual Project Based Learning http://t.co/UuYg4TpK #teaching #learningSee on milestomes.com [...]

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