Recently I had the opportunity to go into a number of Mine Craft world created and monitored by Lucas Gillispie. Up to this point I had found Mine Craft entertaining and full of educational possibilities. Lucas showed me a world that was incredible! Students were actively engaged in creating their worlds, some had leadership roles in the world, others were aspiring to become higher ranked, and all of them were completely invested. As with any virtual environment there are some technical requirements and considerations with using Mine Craft. Some of the schools has classroom computers and servers provided for the students to use, other students had access at home. The students were using the school computers to create worlds and explanations for learning activities. In the classroom setting, students were watched over and encouraged by their instructors. In the virtual world, the instructor and helpers would observe the conduct and happenings in the worlds. It was interesting to think of the impact the environments had the schools they served. At first glance it may seem like a nice program or a fun club but the schools that have implemented Mine Craft as a learning tool have had huge success. One example is the art world created by art students The “epic” sized creations and creativity was amazing! Students also implemented math skills and geometry to design and engineer their projects. The response to each of these situations of using Mine Craft in schools was positive. As a Seminary Teacher I don’t see very much feasibility of using Mine Craft in my apartment but I can see the impact and progress they make in learning. As virtual worlds become more available I can see more integration in the classrooms. The big picture take away most meaningful to me and the people in my educational community I believe is the success that Mine Craft and virtual tools can bring if properly used as learning tools. The accessibility and entertainment of Mine Craft make it have so many possibilities for education. I would like to see some more school integration in my community of tools like Mine Craft because students have a desire to “play” these games and if carefully tailored video gaming can go from a waste of time to an effective educational experience.
-2.2 Audiovisual Technologies
Week 3 I feel like has been a very important week for the development of the project. There were two parts to this week. The first part was to develop a project idea. I scanned through various projects and as I mentioned on the last post the idea of creating a scouting activity would be great. I offered to team up with anyone in the class (collaboration) and Zach Fodor liked the idea and we ran with it. A few tweaks and this is what we came up with.
After putting the idea together the next part was to come up with a driving question. Zach and I had the same philosophy of using technology to enhance the experience in nature. The driving question we came up with was “What technological tools will enhance my experience with demonstrating, documenting and explaining various subjects of nature?” I think this question will be appealing and relevant to teacher and learner. This generation of students are so technological and sometimes teachers try to restrict its use that it just causes frustration for them. I have found that students will embrace and enjoy the idea of using technology and teachers won’t feel like they have to fight students to enjoy learning.
Other items addressed were the content standards students will be able to use and the 21st century skills that will be taught and addressed. The standards we used were adopted by the San Mateo Education Standards which I think is appropriate based on the goal. A visual project organizer was also created to help visually see the steps to take.
Overall, the project seems to be coming along well. I am really happy to be working with Zach, he has really helped to put it all together.