My daughter Vera (Minecraft: AquaVera) goes in pre-school and the teachers use the old fashion, more traditional way of teaching. I still think they are trying to do the best possible, after their circumstances (no computers). Now when they have a project to build the kids own houses with cardboard they're also out, walking to see how everyone lives. I also believe young people needs a mix of learning methods, but as she anyway had this project and she wanted us to play Minecraft we agreed it could be awesome to build our house (and apartment) inside the game.
Suddenly, while building our house it hit me, I'm using the SAMR model: what can I learn from this?
These are my conclusions as I have come to when using Minecraft instead of cardboard house project. SAMR is based on the technology to improve or transform (four steps) way to learn and to define the data. And the picture is from EdTechVoice.
We replace paper and pencil with technology.
We build our house and apartment in Minecraft, the technology works as a direct replacement for other tools, with functional improvement (to be built and watch it in 3D at scale, etc). I started with the foundation and after building a wall, she understood where we were and what we were going to build.
We have went out and taken pictures of the house in order to re-create the best possible way, the technology also makes it possible to major changes in approach (of our build).
The collage of images above are some of the nearly 40 she took when we were out and thought about how we make the model better.
AquaVera has filmed how our house looks like and together we have shoot inside Minecraft to show our build. The technology enables tasks that are not possible without technology.
We have together been thinking what we had learned, when and why.
Vera told me, as a result of taking pictures of our house (phase 3) she has a better idea how to paint the cardboard project and from phase 4 she now has an idea how to create her model so it look as our flat. You could say she has become better at analyzing information and that's her learning. Build phase was fun, but we've done that before.
In both cases she looking forward to play with the models, both methods are in her opinion fun and gives her different points of view. Young people need both variety and help to evaluate their newfound knowledge.
I have learned that from small steps be able to see a whole picture and how I can then use the experience in other contexts. Also, this particular type of discussion is the most important in the educational development.
It creates insights, it creates confidence to teachers / trainers, it enhances learning for students. This type of discussion is in my experience the essence of educational development!