Reflecting on the 3rd week which the aim is to explore other communities of Minecraft and networking.
I’ve recently connected on Facebook to Francisco Tupy who runs a page on FB called Minecraft Skool. He is also a Microsoft Inovator Educator Expert. Francisco Tupy believes in the benefits of games in education, especially Minecraft. He’s not an English teacher though, but it’s great to find someone in my country already using Minecraft. You can read more about Francisco, here. He was featured in MinecraftEdu tumblr.
According to Francisco Tupy, there are 3 moments we should keep in mind when thinking of using Minecraft with our students:
- playing time
- talking about experiences and ideas
He pointed out couple of interesting things in the Campus Party event last month. One is that we don’t necessarily have to play in class to be able to bring the game into the classroom. He affirms that talking about games creates an equalizing point in the discourse between the teacher and the students. As I can’t really work with MC in the class yet, it might be a way to start. I know some students play it, and I know I have students that are crazy about games.
Edu or not Edu? Which one to go for when I can actually add it to the curriculum?
I’m all for Minecraft, but not sure how I feel about MinecraftEdu yet. It seems though to have a good supportive community for teachers and a great library and resources. Without really having the chance to use Minecraft with students and/or with MCedu, I have little to say at this point. But I can’t wait to be able to play with students. For now, I have subscribed for a realm where I play with my son. If students become interested I can create a world for us there. We’ll see. 🙂
Public servers – communities out there!
I decided to look for servers run by parents that welcome families and kids. I didn’t really know what I would find, but I was certainly surprised to see how intricate and organic the system within a public Minecraft server could be. Interesting how the world is filled with regions, different maps, signs to guide us and tutorials within the game. In the first server I visited, I felt completely lost at first. The second one looked like the real world so it was more familiar to me. It was so organized with rules and possibilities. We chose a world in survival mode.
In our first visit, my son and I were guided by one of the moderators to his donation shop to take whatever we needed and told us to set home there to go back anytime. Couple of days later, I was visiting the shop to leave things in the chest instead of taking. I learned how claim the land to prevent being grieffed. It felt like I was in a new city as I didn’t know where to go, who to talk to and what the social conventions were. I learned in a week a great deal and in every visit to the server, I learn something new from someone in the server I had never met before. Couple of days ago for instance, I didn’t know how to teleport myself to Emanuel. I had tried /tp but it didn’t work. As I had already set home in the most popular mall, I could just tp there, but Emanuel hadn’t. So we went around the city trying to find the mall until we bumped into someone and after a quick chat, he/she asked if we needed anything. As soon as I shared what I was looking for, he/she jumped in to help me find it. In another occasion someone claimed next to my initial claim to extend my house and gave me permission to build on it. It’s pretty nice how it works. How we help one another within the game as well as the possible negotiations to buy and sell. They also run a forum outside the game.
I want to continue learn from players around the world and understand how these communities of practice evolve themselve to the point of becoming what they are.
As for using MC for educational purposes, I intend to continue actively engaging in EVO Minecraft g+ communities, learning from other teachers and sharing what I’ll be doing with my students from March on.