After four weeks of learning and actually applying game based learning I have a new appreciation for educators who use Minecraft/MinecraftEdu in their classroom. I have a new appreciation for those that can build with these blocks and bring ideas to life. I have an appreciation for the kids who do what they do so easily. I basically applaud anyone who can do anything with Minecraft.
One thing that was reinforced to me was that with about 25-30 hours of build time in my world I spent easily 18 hours learning through doing things incorrectly. I learned so much from things that did not work or making mistakes. It was not always fun as there were times I became frustrated, but……
[Tweet “There is no formula for Minecraft. There is no formula for game based learning.”] The minute we try to craft a formula we have killed the spirit of what games and games based learning is all about. This is probably my biggest takeaway from all my learning and unlearning. I spent a lot of time trying to develop some formula to create this perfect world for teachers. In the end I was killing the essence of gaming and struggled to find this answer because it did not exist. It reminded me of my many conversations with educators where I shared that any time someone in education tries to sell you on a product that will solve all your issues you should run like hell. I was trying to do this very thing.
In the end I did create a world. It ended up being a hodgepodge world of ideas. I have plans to develop a new world moving the school idea to a separate world. My son and I are going to move the Jurassic World idea to another world that is not flat. However, this world we have started we are going to continue to build and develop for fun and see what comes of it.(see video below)
Looking ahead I have a few goals that I want to achieve before summer ends.
1. Figure out how to share my worlds so people outside of my local network can join. I have seen this done and want to learn how to do it myself.
2. Clean up my three project ideas and get them fully developed and ready to go. I have some lesson planning and project work to do.
3. Get a server up and running in our school so I can begin to train teachers in Minecraft so we can begin to utilize the tool when it provides a key learning opportunity.
Game based learning is an endless world of possibilities. I am glad that I have found myself finally tuned into the worlds and am slowly learning how to do things. The amount of connections based on Minecraft in the last few weeks has been huge and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow. Who knows where I will be by the end of the summer.
Perhaps I will learn how to do pixel art like my son is learning.
Here is my update on my world with ideas that I tried to implement along with my struggles. Suggestions are welcome!