Wednesday, 24 July 2013


Who knew. Edmodo and Google Docs can be paired. Found that out just this morning, that makes sharing documents with students much easier. It also should mean that the students only need to log into Edmodo to access their files. The one disadvantage is that they cannot create docs in Edmodo, that still has to be done in Drive.

However it does hopefully mean that delivery of their payslips should me much easier, as I can just share it with them in Edmodo. The payslip document has begun to take shape, I spent a couple of hours yesterday messing around trying to get a functional spreadsheet that gives the students the info they need, but also gives me a summary sheet so that I can more easily put the relevant information into the game.

Now to work out the easiest way of sharing just one page of the document with students, or whether to export each payslip and share individually as a pdf.

Many hours later.....

There is no simple way to share a single page of a google spreadsheet with students, however there are a couple of options I now need to consider. One option is to have a master file set up that then 'pushes' the data to students. The issue with this is that I would either have to have a different master file for each week, or students will get the every week appearing on their sheet. The second option is to have a master file each week, that is exported to pdf, split into individual pages and then each individual page is dropped into a shared folder for that student.

Many more hours later......

Most of the problems have been solved, and the convoluted set up should be offset by the ease of use throughout the term. I have decided to have a different master file for each week and each student will have their own document with a different tab for each week. The data will be automatically pulled into their document from my master document for that week. Gee, even the explanation seems convoluted to me and I am writing it. Maybe I will try drawing a picture.

I hope that terrible drawing helps explain what is happening. Now this post has taken me a whole day to write, in between testing and trialling many things on google, and my teaching. However I have more to write, today with my smaller Wednesday class we started discussing the income and fines the students can be given.

What I found extremely interesting is that students were vicious. Not towards each other, but in terms of the fines, they knew what behaviour they didn't want to see in the class, either virtual or real, and were pricing their fines to try to ensure that these behaviours do not occur. To give an example, deliberate destruction of anothers' property virtual or real will incur a $1000 fine + repair costs. To put this in perspective, the base wage students will be earning, having done no work at all is $100, if they complete their budget this will net them another $400. So the absolute minimum of work will get the students $500 for the week.

There are of course additional opportunities to be earning money, doing any homework for maths will get them $3000 for the week. Completing worksheets of varying difficulties will get them upwards of $1000, multiple sheets double the reward. So 2 sheets you get the $1000 for the first and $2000 for the second. Getting no fines for the week also gets you an extra $500. So with my smaller group we have come up with a list of 17 penalties or fines, and only 10 ways to earn money. This will possibly need to be rebalanced.

One student at the end of the lesson came up to me and said "I am not going to go into business with student X, as they are not going to do the work, and I will have to pay for it all." Interesting, another said when we were talking about how much the work was worth said "This will be the only time I ever have done work." Even more interesting, this is a student, whom I taught last semester. I use taught very loosely here, he perhaps actively worked for a total of 2 weeks in the 20 or so he was in my class, so it will be very interesting to see how long this works for this particular student.

I am going to get all this up and running ready for the students to log into the world and receive their first 2 weeks pay on Monday. Then they can start looking at blocks of land which they want to buy and build a house on. I will probably in the next couple of weeks be running a Minecraft maths activity similar to what I did with my year 8 maths students, be it on area, volume, perimeter or even probability and the reward for students will be extra cash, that they will have to add into their budget for that week.

Stay tuned for more updates, and feel free to leave a comment below.

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