Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Journey is Still Going

OK, so I thought between reports and end of year I would not get much of a chance to get more things happening in MinecraftEdu for my classes. But boy was I wrong. I spent almost my entire day in the computer room yesterday working with kids on MinecraftEdu.

I used my 3d modelling map with year 9 in the morning and year 7 in the afternoon. The year 9 group had the task to build a nerve cell, the year 7s had to build me a cell. Here are some screenshots of the work they produced.

Year 9

 Year 7

As you can see the interesting thing is that the students are still thinking in 2 dimensions, even though I used the phrase 'make me a model' most still built them mostly flat.

So that was yesterday, today I yet again got my year 9s onto MinecraftEdu, this time I had build a very quick, in principle map, to teach them the concept of neurotransmitters, synapse and receptors. So they all were put in a room, they couldn't get out. Then I stood on a pressure plate that opened a door for them and they could spill into the 'synapse', then they needed to go and stand on pressure plates 'receptor' to try and send the signal on.

I think it worked quite well, I did record the lesson from my view, as well as the audio as I worked with students, so I will go through the footage and if it is worthwhile I will upload it to my youtube channel. (EDIT: I think it was worth it, check it out here)

This is going to be a fairly long post, I got the new version 0.97 yesterday, which adds functionality with Minecraft 1.0.0, and also adds the '/placeamount' command which allows the placement of up to 30 blocks with 1 click, and, wow does that make building maps quicker, it does make a mess if you click the wrong spot though, so that brings in the '/undo' command, which at this stage only undoes 1 placement, but I was on a server with one of the devs last night and he is hoping to add an unlimited undo.

I think that has brought you up to speed with where I am with my journey now, I have given the year 9 group the task of creating a 3d tour map, but they need to work as an entire class. I will update you on how that is going, as it has not started extremely well, but I think with more prodding they can do it.

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