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#7578312 Mar 25, 2013 at 01:28 PM
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Minecraft Mobile! Minecraft is a behemoth. Are you playing or using the PE ( Pocket Edition) and how are you using it? Minecraft Pocket Edition
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#7580730 Mar 25, 2013 at 11:16 PM
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My students LOVE Minecraft, and I'm really interested to hear about how people are using the app. I would like to get more of my students involved with Minecraft, but I don't really play it myself so I lack that basic understanding. I keep meaning to get into it, but I haven't had time...
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#7580799 Mar 25, 2013 at 11:34 PM
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Now that I've actually finished watching the video, I've found Trish Cloud's suggestions for using Minecraft in lessons: http://peminecraftwiki.cmswiki.wikispaces.net/Lesson+Ideas#

I really identify with how she says her teachers are too overwhelmed to deal with all this new information. We are in the same place, and I wonder about how to bring these new ideas in.

Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#7582329 Mar 26, 2013 at 09:25 AM · Edited over 9 years ago
Guild Officer
187 Posts
#7580799 missrithenay wrote:

We are in the same place, and I wonder about how to bring these new ideas in.



I don't envy K-12 educators right now. I know there are quite a few constraints. You're not alone, though!

I love curriculum ideas. Here are some I found while running around the net. I noticed that most teachers are using the PC version, though, which is more expensive than the app. I didn't find much on the app, possibly because many people simply call it "Minecraft" instead of "Minecraft PE".

http://gamingeducators.pbworks.com/w/page/47733045/Curriculum%20Ideas
This listing is rather stream-of-consciousness, but that's not a bad thing. It really helps to see someone else's thinking processes.

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/minecraft-in-classroom-andrew-miller
This link is more on the order of a blog article, but he does have some additional suggestions about how to use Minecraft.

So, how can we adapt these ideas to Mobile Minecraft (Minecraft PE)? What do you see that would work on mobile devices? What wouldn't?
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#7583512 Mar 26, 2013 at 01:47 PM · Edited over 9 years ago
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I have had Minecraft downloaded onto my iPad for many months, I just moved a few weeks ago to an Android phone (had Windows based, at least it wasn't a Palm... lol) and downloaded the Minecraft PE edition DEMO. The full version is $6.99, not a King's Ransom, but the demo is fine. I do have a full version of Minecraft on my PC and play it a lot in preparation for immersion of this MOOC in the summer. I have found the iPad version easy to use,not as easy as the PC edition where I have more controls and move-ability. For me, squishing the worlds into a few tiny square inches diminishes my enjoyment.

I thought this was interesting at a college level, the applications for Minecraft are easier for K-12 . . . there is a quote worth mentioning: "It can't hurt to take a step back and look at games with the same academic scrutiny with which we observe other mediums." I think we are not only looking to use Minecraft but we are also looking to see if this really fits the academic rigor that is required.

Ohio Students learn from Minecraft & Second Life
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#7583727 Mar 26, 2013 at 02:28 PM
Herald
60 Posts
My son plays Minecraft PE on his iPod. I've been wanting to try the game, so I added it to my iPad. He and I stayed up until midnight last night playing it. I have to admit it is extremely addictive! If I were a K12 teacher, I could imagine thousands of uses for it. I'm struggling to think of any that would fit my college comp. and lit. classes. But I'll continue to consider this as I play and learn more about the game.
a.k.a. Tanya Sasser
English Instructor
Jacksonville State University
@TanyaSasser
Remixing College English
“I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one who must walk through it.” ~Morpheus, The Matrix
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#7585438 Mar 26, 2013 at 08:01 PM · Edited over 9 years ago
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We have Minecraft PE (paid version) on two tablets and an iPhone. We also have an account for the PC. All three boys (ages 12, 8, 6) really enjoy playing both versions but I think they get a kick out of the touch screen controls on the tablets/iPhone. However, the PC version is easier to use and modify.

Modding is a big thing in our home. As a matter of fact, my oldest son is now learning to code just so he can create his own mods. Modding allows them to add things to make the worlds more personalized but there is also a lesson on discernment as well. They can't download a mod until I approve it, which I do once they can explain why they need it, if its the correct version, a complete mod, etc. We've had some very interesting discussions on what is good/bad in the online world through downloading mods.

I have asked them to build things from their lessons, like Noah's Ark using the dimensions mentioned in the Bible. The next step, I think (and they've been asking to do) is machinima. However, as I am not familiar with the tech required to do that, I haven't introduced them to it yet.

Anyway, to add to the resources shared in this thread, I thought I would add one directly from the Minecraft Wiki:Projects/Minecraft in Education. Great ideas for a variety of subjects.
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#7585816 Mar 26, 2013 at 10:03 PM · Edited over 9 years ago
Guild Officer
187 Posts
Mina Zedword: [quote_post7583727]
If I were a K12 teacher, I could imagine thousands of uses for it. I'm struggling to think of any that would fit my college comp. and lit. classes.[/quote_post7583727]

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Taselian:
#7585438 Taselian wrote:

Modding is a big thing in our home. As a matter of fact, my oldest son is now learning to code just so he can create his own mods. Modding allows them to add things to make the worlds more personalized but there is also a lesson on discernment as well. They can't download a mod until I approve it, which I do once they can explain why they need it, if its the correct version, a complete mod, etc. We've had some very interesting discussions on what is good/bad in the online world through downloading mods.

I have asked them to build things from their lessons, like Noah's Ark using the dimensions mentioned in the Bible. The next step, I think (and they've been asking to do) is machinima. However, as I am not familiar with the tech required to do that, I haven't introduced them to it yet.


********************

I could see a fit for technical classes (the modding that Taselian mentioned). I can even see it used for a video editing course (machinima), and even the discussion of ethics could be scaled up for a Philosophy course.

Hmmm, for English, it would be a challenge. Perhaps it could be offered as an alternative subject on a paper where students could write their narrative paper based on their experiences in Minecraft over a specific amount of time? Or perhaps Minecraft PE could be used as the basis of a "warm-up" exercise in class, where one person plays it while the other documents the experience? (Can you tell I don't teach writing? XD )

But yes, it's much more suited to K-12 uses.
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#7585823 Mar 26, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Artisan
58 Posts
My students and sons all love Minecraft. I have played around with it and downloaded the lite version today so I can play around with it and see if it has any uses for me in the library. I know some librarians have used it in gaming clubs, creativity workshops, and in a minecraft build competition (where students could show off their skills & imagination to win prizes). My students recently archived it for the Library if Congress' ArchiveIt project where students archive websites under topics for future generations. (More info here: ArchiveIt .
To each his own game ;)
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#7586101 Mar 26, 2013 at 11:56 PM
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108 Posts
There are some great ideas here. When I first started messing w Minecraft I was really confused until I thought, this is ridiculous. I have a whole classroom full of experts. So I grabbed a kid and had him give me a tutorial, which he was really excited to do.

So if nothing else, Minecraft has given my students the chance to see me learning and to feel like experts about something!! I was really taken aback listening to him, though, bc this was not a strong student, but the language he was using was problem solving language - the kind I would be thrilled to hear from him, say, in math class.

Moral of the story? Games = good.
Don’t do work that just exists within your classroom... do work that changes the world. -Will Richardson

http://www.gamifymyclass.blogspot.ca
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#7588744 Mar 27, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Herald
60 Posts
After spending last night playing in it some more, I think that, in terms of my students, it might be better suited to literature classes. I could imagine, for instance, having students settle an area and record their experiences in much the same way the early colonists did. Perhaps we could have two settlements: one for those students who already know how to play Minecraft, who could function as the natives, and one for noobs, who could be the colonists. After spending two days working collaboratively with my son to build and fortify a base camp and hunt and gather food, I can see a lot of similarities between both the colonists' struggle to survive and their fear of the natives.


Minecraft Home Base by tasasser, on Flickr

It might be interesting to also figure out a way to reenact incidents that threatened the social fabric, such as the Salem Witchcraft outbreak and the exiling of Ann Hutchinson.

I'm not sure how I could integrate it beyond the esrly colonial period, though (i.e., the Revolutionary period, Irving, Poe, Hawthorne, etc.). If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to discuss them!
a.k.a. Tanya Sasser
English Instructor
Jacksonville State University
@TanyaSasser
Remixing College English
“I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one who must walk through it.” ~Morpheus, The Matrix
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#7590381 Mar 27, 2013 at 07:21 PM
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[quote_post7585816]
Hmmm, for English, it would be a challenge. Perhaps it could be offered as an alternative subject on a paper where students could write their narrative paper based on their experiences in Minecraft over a specific amount of time?
[/quote_post7585816]

There is always physics and chemistry. Do real world physics exist in MC? How can you find out? What about the chemical properties of the substances used to create new items? I think there is a plethora of things you could do at both K12 and HE with this program.

I could also see the MC PE being used in a reality based type game, like an ARG maybe. Particularly if it is location based. Not sure how that would work but I have a feeling that it would. Wonder if we could make one?
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#7590420 Mar 27, 2013 at 07:34 PM
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#7588744 Mina ZedWord wrote:



Minecraft Home Base by tasasser, on Flickr



So after my sons saw your image, they asked me why I was looking at PE. I let them know I was learning more about Minecraft in education which quickly prompted them to run off, find their tablets, and hand it to me with PE all set up and ready to go. Apparently they approve of this topic! :)
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#7590899 Mar 27, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Herald
60 Posts
#7590420 Taselian wrote:



So after my sons saw your image, they asked me why I was looking at PE. I let them know I was learning more about Minecraft in education which quickly prompted them to run off, find their tablets, and hand it to me with PE all set up and ready to go. Apparently they approve of this topic! :)



I could certainly see my family playing Minecraft together in lieu of Monopoly (it's more fun to collaborate than compete).

BTW, we learned the hard way to add the torches to our beacon tower so we could locate it easier when it starts getting dark.
a.k.a. Tanya Sasser
English Instructor
Jacksonville State University
@TanyaSasser
Remixing College English
“I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one who must walk through it.” ~Morpheus, The Matrix
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#7593316 Mar 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM · Edited over 9 years ago
Fiero
26 Posts
Okay, so I have a confession to make. I have never seen Minecraft before (I've heard about it, but I must have been stuck under a rock for the past 10 years because I have never looked into it until today). Wow, I feel so relieved to get that off my chest.

So in researching about the game I came across Jacob (a six year old playing the game) and his parents taped him playing Minecraft:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrhPhZU-M-k

One of the conversations I have been having with other math instructors is the "need" for algebra for students who are not focusing in a profession that is math heavy. Being a math instructor I cannot urge the importance of math for many of the science, computer, engineering, etc. fields. However, recently it has been harder and harder to justify algebra to students who don't care about the content.

If you think about it, we don't force scale memorization or interval practice for all students, since they will be listening to music throughout their life. We teach basic concepts of notes, rhythm, harmony, and those that wish to create music move to the higher level of understanding.

Do we need to force content on those that don't need to have it?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I talke to math teachers who state that the concepts of taking an abstract idea and then applying it when and where you need it is a skill you will use in any profession. In fact I state that to my Algebra students. It's all about building a tool box, and knowing when and where to select your tools to work on a problem.

However, if that is the learning outcome, there is nothing worse than algebra to help students achieve the transfer of deductive problem solving. And in the same light as we saw with Jacob there is nothing better than games to teach deductive reasoning.

Granted, I am not saying we should remove algebra, but just as I don't beat a dead Creeper in Minecraft either we shouldn't keep trying to teach algebra to someone who isn't understanding. (And yes, I had to look up the name of the monster). Take the course, but if you don't do well, have other areas to place your focus. If we mandate that everyone must achieve a content learning they won't use it just create self fulfilling prophesies.

In our society if someone changes their mind and wants to improve their skill later there are plenty of options. My 58 year old aunt just graduated with a nursing degree last year. If someone needs the math later, let them learn it later when intrinsic motivation will be higher.

Sorry for the long post. There are just a lot of solutions games like Minecraft could offer if we could see past the importance of ourselves (experts who feel their way). I know math teachers would rather have algebra teach deductive reasoning, but do we really live in 1700s where we have no other method to teach deductive reasoning?
"A game is a problem-solving activity, approached with a playful attitude."
~ Jesse Schell ~
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#7595197 Mar 28, 2013 at 07:24 PM
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#7593316 Sam G wrote:



Do we need to force content on those that don't need to have it?



That is an excellent question, Sam. My feeling is that kids, regardless of future careers, should have a solid understanding of basic maths and geometry. They should be able to know how to balance a checking account, pay the bills, and understand a mortgage rate. This is all very practical information.

On the other hand, as my youngest son has taught me, math is beautiful in an of itself. And the teacher who loves math and is excited about it can find ways to reach those students who are not math-lovers through some other means. Like Minecraft for instance.

I think it all goes back to hard fun, flow, and fiero. Students who are "bad" at math may just have never had that feeling of being engaged enough to care about it. To find the beauty in a math equation and solving it for that epic win (even if, by your standards, it's a minor one). They need that push to find their own reward system aka Chatfield. At that point, it may not matter if they go into the sciences. If they have that engagement and sense of reward, then they will continue to engage in the higher maths through sheer love of it.

So while I don't disagree with your question, at this time we cannot change who has to have the higher maths and who doesn't. Maybe in the future we will though but, for right now, it's teachers such as yourself that have that passion and understanding that you can use any tool at your disposal to reach students who are otherwise disaffected.
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#7595701 Mar 28, 2013 at 10:09 PM
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111 Posts
#7593316 Sam G wrote:

Do we need to force content on those that don't need to have it?

I know math teachers would rather have algebra teach deductive reasoning, but do we really live in 1700s where we have no other method to teach deductive reasoning?



Wow, your post has a lot of good stuff. I agree with a lot of it, especially the point where if a student is frustrated, bored, or otherwise doesn't "get it," it's probably not the best tool to teach deductive reasoning. One the the most important parts of learning is that we want to learn, and ultimately we want to teach ourselves. I think of learning in kind of computery terms.

Passive learning (like listening to a lecture, or even just holding onto knowledge just long enough to pass a test) is like RAM. It's not really permanent, and that knowledge is probably gonna be gone before too long without a practical application.

Active learning (like being motivated enough to look up something for oneself, asking questions, doing research papers with genuine interest) is like writing to the hard drive - you're going to remember what you've learned more or less permanently.

Games are a great tool for "tricking" ourselves into active learning. I taught myself multiple digit multiplication before first grade because - you guessed it - I had a game to help me do it. (I got an Apple ][c as a present for my 4th birthday - BEST PRESENT EVER. I still have it, in fact.) When I was doing that "game" multiplication, I loved math. I enjoyed math for quite a while when I was younger.

By the time I hit middle school, I hated math. Now, call me crazy, but I think how it was presented and taught may have had something to do with that.
Here's to all the educated people who don't hate games!
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#7595946 Mar 28, 2013 at 11:58 PM
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Man, great ideas here and so much to think about. I find myself agreeing with everyone!

I mean, I, as an adult, can see the value in learning algebra or life science (as I try to convince my 8th graders) for the sheer love of math, problem solving, and the wonder of life OR for the skills I'll develop learning algebra or life science. Doing any number of activities and presentations will give me opportunities to learn new things, maybe even things I'll be able to use later.

But there's the other side of me that believes in offering kids choice in HOW they gain those skills by offering different content choices. I am not strong in math but why can't a kid who cannot or will not "pass" algebra take a course say in balancing a checkbook or learning about buying a house or how to use a credit card to build a good credit rating without going into debt? I like the idea of learning what we need later in life WHEN WE NEED it instead of having it force fed when we're young.

So I'm stuck in the middle because I can go either way.
Al Gonzalez
Middle School Science Teacher
educatoral.com
Twitter educatoral
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#7598173 Mar 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Fiero
26 Posts
I'm going to start a different thread as this conversation is heading away from Minecraft PE! I think discussing some of these questions will help understanding about how games like Minecraft can play into curriculum development for K - 20, but does go off in a little different of a direction.
"A game is a problem-solving activity, approached with a playful attitude."
~ Jesse Schell ~
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#7603021 Mar 30, 2013 at 05:58 PM
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#7586101 missrithenay wrote:



So if nothing else, Minecraft has given my students the chance to see me learning and to feel like experts about something!! I was really taken aback listening to him, though, bc this was not a strong student, but the language he was using was problem solving language - the kind I would be thrilled to hear from him, say, in math class.

Moral of the story? Games = good.



This is in general the approach and attitude we need to be taking: reveal ourselves as not having all the answers and getting the help we need directly from the students.... Then we're all learning together, tapping each other for the expertise that we bring to the class. I don't understand why this is such a barrier for teachers....
____________________________________________________________
Richard Smyth, Ph.D.
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"Perhaps my best years are gone. But I wouldn't want them back. Not with the fire in me now." --Samuel Beckett
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