28 augusti 2015

Math with MinecraftEDU

Yesterday a 18 yo student came to me and asked "are we going to play Minecraft the whole course? You see, I've grown tired of play Minecraft (and now play CSGO)" and of course this student had arrived an hour late so he had missed my lecture. 

My first reaction:
Play Minecraft?! Am I really that unclear or don't you listen at all? The Minecraft part of this course is to have a real code project to analyze, problemsolve, plan, make pseudocode, flowcharts, document, test (inside Minecraft and ComputerCraft), evaluate and report. If you're only playing Minecraft you're doing wrong! And the first step to do right is to start listen.

Second reaction:
Unfortunately it came one hour later, but really? Do you have the guts to go to your other teachers and say the same thing? Hey you teacher, I'm kind of tired of using paper and pencils, I don't want to do it anymore!!! Good luck with that...

If you had followed my lecture you would have known there's two ways of practice this task, to learn make documentations. Either Minecraft or Codecademy - your choise! 

Everyone else who had choosen Codecademy learn php (as it says in the task) but this student learn html/css instead. Nope, 18yo and can't read nor listen. But still, he's doing something.

Minecraft in general
To use Minecraft in the classroom really is a challenge and because of two things 
  • Youth of today move between games really fast and this autumn CSGO (from 2012) is a much more popular game.
  • Teachers have just taken the giant step, from paper and pencil to a game learning enviroment.
Therefor, as the enlighten teacher, you have to make the students understand to accept a boring (?) game and to encourage the teacher to continue try new pedagogy ways.

Math with MinecraftEDU
We, the upper secondary vocational institution where I work, has this fall started to participate in a university study, we have the control groups and Åbo Akademi University (Special Education/Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies) collect the data and will present it in a master's thesis. Because there are no, or very few, studies it will be exciting to see what this leads to.

The purpose of the study is to examine how a game (Minecraft) in education affect students' math skills, interests and anxiety.

As I'm the one teacher with experience of the Minecraft environment I also participate in the classroom. It's a bit of a challenge and slightly exhausting, at the same time as I coach the teacher in the game environment I'm also an extra teacher, for the students, in the classroom.

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