12 september 2014


So finally I have it but unfortunately I had no chance to test it before yesterdays class. But why wait? It's like Christmas, if you have a chance to open the present you do it, right?

I'm so happy and thankful to be a part of the MinecraftEDU beta cloud server test I can't describe it. It has already helped me a lot and also make me concentrate on the important things: the learning. And there's a lot of learning going on...

The only "problem" I have with using Minecraft is that I'm not fast enough to come up with new challenges. On the other hand my students are not that good with documentation so next week they will practice that part, video documentation of some subject (or previous Minecraft quest).

According to my Masterplan I'm also in line with the goal of the course qualification requirements. 

I'm also damn sure I've chosen the right way of learning method because today I'm the replacement for my colleague T (the one course I hijacked) and dear Lord it's boring. 51 (!) steps in a lab environment (virtual box). The students are sleeping, yawn and doing else stuff but goes away to the tasks when I remind them of they have to pass my colleagues course, not mine.

So, what have we been doing on my course?
Well, the course name is "PCs and Peripherals" so that's what we been doing. We've taken computers apart and together again. When you know that step the students have gotten the next challenge: install a OS that is working with the generation of that computer and some problems occurs with the new generations of keyboard/mouses that doesn't work with the old ones. Problem solving! They have been installing WinXP, Ubuntu and Edubuntu and are not allowed to leave the machine until the problem is solved!

We have also been solving quests and missions inside Minecraft, digital working redstone clocks and more. Yesterday we started to try out the MinecraftEDU and what a nice experience!

Sooner or later my students will face the programming wall (Python, Java, PHP/MySql, Javascript) so I thought why not test "the land of turtles" world, an already made map in MinecraftEDU which includes ComputerCraft and in a funny way test programming (with turtles, robots).

In the forenoon and the real deal (computers) there was three strong students as my helpers, they did everything fast and also helped their classmates. In the afternoon the roles were reversed, the weaker students (who according to other teachers will fail and drop off the education) ruled! They problem solved, improvised, were creative and also shared their knowledge with the others. 

So, when learning is fun (and learning is multiplayer), you can move mountains!

I also use mindmaps to engage and awareness the students what they are learning. And as important, make them understand they are learning more than just the subject (computers). In fact, we're practicing the the key competences for lifelong learning which was the unintentional learning that occurred in my first project using Minecraft.

The best part yesterday was my colleague M who have been a bit suspicious about Minecraft suddenly saw the potential and was thrilled over the fact we could use, learn and understand logic gates within Minecraft. They are waking up slowly but better that way than never :)

The best part today, I realized I also catch the weaker students with my way of learning. In my colleague's class there's a couple of students who doesn't understand the text (dyslexia) and the way to save that student is to pick him out of this course and put him in mine :P

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