Somehow John Miller arranged for the #awesomesauce folks at Minecraft EDU to come to our tiny little town on their TeacherGaming Tour 2015. So this afternoon I sat in a packed room with eager teachers – waiting to find out what the buzz was about – and some really great tutors – 6th and 7th grade students.
For a few years now, my students have begged me to include Minecraft in our classroom. They know they can hook me with most things tech. And for years now, I keep telling them that I don’t get it. I’ve tried it, and quickly get bored, or in the case the other night, die within 5 minutes. The ‘regular’ Minecraft isn’t for me. I’ve seen some of my students create some great worlds during Genius Hour, I just don’t have the patience for that. So when John shared the opportunity to do this, I jumped on it. I mean, this many kids can’t be wrong!
So there I sat, between 2 tutors. Apparently, I looked like I’d need more than one. Axel and Lauren were a great help. In 2 hours we were taken through maps and tasks. First we started off with just getting use to the controls and how to manuver our people. On a side note, I was glad NOT to be Steve! I got to pick out a character.
Once we were use to manipulating our people, we were given tasks to complete. We navigated through mazes, built structures with partners, and coded turtles – which could help us navigate through the map. See, it is pretty cool!
You know it’s a good training when they have to ‘freeze’ you in order to get your attention! Yeah, we were frozen a few times so that we could learn how to operate things from the teacher end, and talk about how to use it in our classrooms. At one point I was frozen right in the middle of my turtle running the program I coded. It was then that I made some strange unintelligible sounds. I really wanted to see if I programmed the little guy properly.
So clearly, I’m beginning to ‘get it’! Boy will some of my students be happy. Formers will say something like, “Sure, now you get it AFTER we’re gone”. I’d like to explore this more and see how I can incorporate this into my 5th grade classroom. I think, and it’s been proven, that there are great possibilities with this. I’d also like to explore some of the maps (worlds, mods) that are available.
It was a great workshop, my only complaint: we only had 2 hours. Wish we had more time. Thank you to everyone!