I finally started playing. I figured out how to login, create my server, find the tutorial world, and begin playing. Now, when I told my son I was playing a tutorial world he laughed. He laughed and said, “Well, when I started playing I was not given any instruction!” He wears that like a badge of honor and I have several times now about how the no tutorial/manual idea forces kids to explore both within the game and outside. I can see the value in that now.
I followed the lines in the tutorial and learned the basics. Maybe for old peeps like myself this is a good thing. I checked books out at the library, I have been watching videos online, reading blog posts, and talking with my son to learn how to do things in the game. I still suck at it, but I am learning bit by by or should I say block by block.
When I think about bringing the game to the classroom I do believe that starting with the tutorial would be good for a staff inservice. We often run PD where we have breakout sessions and I could easily run this as a session. I would have the teachers do the tutorial to get comfortable. This would be a blast and fun way of learning.
I found the tutorial good. I did not finish it all. I quit right when I got to the crafting part of the tutorial, but I have a live built in helper in my son who wanted to help. He taught me how to craft
I recorded my tutorial journey where I talk about my thoughts and ideas to education while playing.
Whether or not I would use it with students would all depend on the project, the goals, and comfort levels of students. If we had a project where not everyone would be building, then perhaps it would not be necessary and it could be a resource for those who want to learn. If the project requires a lot of building I would expose everyone to at least one day of tutorial(even the experts) just to ensure we were ready and then I would set them free. I see the tutorial as more for teachers than students. You could easily tie theIowa Common Core 21st Century Skills into the tutorial by having students blog and share their learning through various means.
I would not change anything with the tutorial. Actually, if anything, I would have students work to build their own tutorial for others to use and learn from particularly teachers. I think you could make it really personable that way if teachers knew students were the creators and students knew they had an audience like their teachers.
The other idea would be to build a checklist of basic skills that students would need to complete the intended project. Students could showcase their skills through blogging, video, screenshots, live on the overhead, etc. Once they demonstrated their skills, they could earn a badge and move into the actual project.
These are just a few things I am learning and thinking while exploring the tutorial world.