Thursday, 29 November 2012

So Much Win!!!!

Well, even though I did a blog just a few days ago, there is more today after this week.

First of all, the lesson on Tuesday went very well and I can see clearly that the students are really enjoying using MinecraftEdu in their lessons. This was the first lesson where they would work in groups and it worked very well. One group didn't really want to cut down their trees, but they spent a lot of time underground mining stone. Other than that group, the students generally had quite an even spread of wood, dirt and stone.

This is one of the girls in the class cutting down a tree happily. It's good that as the students have finally got a hang of the controls, they can get around to playing the game and really use it properly to learn.

By the end of the lesson most areas looked a little something like this:

... so as you can see most groups seemed to fully clear the main area and started getting right underground to get stone.

Besides all this, there is one more thing that is really interesting that I only really found out about today and that is who my project supervisor is. I got the main 7-9 grade maths teacher who was one of the teachers I wanted most. Now my project can really get going, I can have my meetings with the supervisor and start on the essay.

Other than that, everything is going as normal. The next MinecraftEdu lesson is in about a week and a half so until I start making the world for then I probably won't be posting here much.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

So Much To Say! So Much News!

So a lot has happened while I haven't been updating this blog but that's because of me taking a break off of MinecraftEdu lessons while there's been a break between units and because of not much happening in general about my project. However, over the course of this week just gone and this week to come, a lot has and will happen based on my project. This week just gone was sort of getting back into the swing of things but it wasn't actually that important to me as it was things that I have already done. Stuff like my Topic Theme and Approach Plan - a form which was supposed to give me a basic idea of what my project would be about, but I had already done that, and choosing my Area of Interaction. This week coming up, however, will be a LOT more important! On Tuesday two things are happening towards my project. Firstly, I am doing the first MinecraftEdu lesson of our new unit - Data Handling - which I will talk about soon. Secondly, I have to hand in my Personal Project Proposal. This will be looked at by all of the MYP teachers (probably on Wednesday) and in their meeting they will choose who each student's supervisor will be. I will probably find out by the end of this week or sometime next week but I do have a few suspicions for who I might get. As I have started my project already, this isn't too much of a big step but it does mean that my project will officially start in the school's eyes and I can begin to do other things with my project like writing the essay and having my supervisor meetings to help improve my project.

As for this Tuesday's lesson, there is a bit more to say. This unit has the potential to be one of the most fun out of the whole project as there is a lot you can do in Minecraft with Data Handling. The part that we are using Minecraft for is Sorting, so they will be collecting materials and then sorting them into different chests. The materials that they will collect will be dirt, wood and stone.

Not only will this be the first MinecraftEdu lesson of the new unit but this will also be the first lesson where they don't work by themselves. To start to try and do some teamwork building they will be in groups, working together to collect more materials than other groups. This was nicer for me to build not only because it was cool to be trying something new but there was less to build!

I am quite happy with this week's world and I have tried to integrate the Teleport Block again. All the students will spawn in the same area but then they have to find the sign which has their name on it both to get teleported to the right area and then to see who else is in their group.

You can see here that it is definitely less to build then all 20 odd lanes like I had in previous worlds. At the end of each of those areas there is a friendly message telling each member of the team what to do.

The idea is that they will walk on top of the teleporter and it shoots them off to their area. Now hopefully, if they read the message properly, they will wait for all members of their team at the other end. If they don't happen to read the pretty sign then the 'Freeze Students' feature may come in handy...

Each area that they are taken to is exactly the same. I used the handy //wand tool to just copy paste the areas around the map. I have some trees, tool chests and general dirt and stone structures that they can knock down and collect.

Usually a superflat world generates so that you have bedrock, two layers of dirt and then a top layer of grass. To make more resources available to collect, I decided to make the two dirt layers stone.

Then, I had an idea that I would do something a bit more fun. In one of the trees in each area there is a chest and in the chest there is ONE diamond.

If the team finds this diamond, the unit after, each member of the team will get diamonds tools instead of iron. I will see how this goes down but I will probably end up doing this for every unit as a fun thing to do.

That is about it for everything except while building this map I did discover a glitch within the game that might need fixing. If you place down a Teleport Block in an area and then //copy and //paste the area, when you right-click on the block in the new area to change the settings, it chucks you off the server. Don't know what the MinecraftEdu team can do about this but I hope if they see this they will take a look at it. You can still //copy //paste areas with Teleport Blocks in them but to use them you have to go around breaking them and replacing them in the right spots.

Sorry for such a long wait for this update but now that my project is really starting to kick off, updates should become more regular.