Well I had my first Minecraft lesson today, I started my year 7 Science class running through the tutorial world. I don't think it is the latest version of the world as I found a place where the kids could escape and plugged it quickly before they could. So I will probably have to make the students 'start again' once I replace it with the newest one. It is my own fault for being lazy, when I re-install the latest version on the school server I don't tick for the inbuilt worlds to be installed as they are already there. So I guess I will have to fix that before the next lesson.
The lesson itself started in chaos, for some strange reason, all of the computers MinecraftEdu should be installed on didn't have it installed, so there was a bit of running around finding the install file, putting it somewhere on the network where it could be accessed, and then running the kids through the install process, but even that was surprisingly simple and very successful. So double thumbs up to the development crew for making the classroom edition such a simple install that 12-13 year olds can do it.
I explained to the students that I was going to record what was happening in the lesson today to show other teachers how it works and hope that they want to join the 'fun'. So they were very well behaved, there was one student who was running around looking for a way to escape the boundaries, he was unsuccessful, but we had a good laugh about it anyway.
We didn't get very far through the map because of the time spent installing and connecting to the server, but the students had an absolute ball. I have to hand it to Joel and the others that built the tutorial map, so far it has been a great way to teach the students the basics of Minecraft.
It will be a week until we continue our journey of learning Minecraft as a class. After that I can get stuck into some custom maps for geography and mapping and some very quick 'concept' maps for some of the trickier Science concepts I need to cover this term.
I will be checking the footage from the class and will most likely upload it to my youtube channel if you are interested in seeing the students have fun, get frustrated and get helped out by their friendly teacher :D