Thursday, January 30, 2014

Test One

The new machines are in - Dell 7010s.  Shannon came over and helped install the software with me on the 32 machines in preparation for Monday's first Video Game Design club since the new year.  The students bolted in the door asking about Minecraft - "did we get it, is it installed, can we play it?"  I couldn't blame them - I was ready for the first test as well.

We ended up getting 16 people on client machines and had no lag, even though the graph was pegging usage at times.  We ran tutorial world as several of the students had not been on before.  I had forgotten to modify the folder so that it would run in our district, but that was soon remedied. The problem was I had to configure each machine while kids were screaming "me next".  

We all were on and able to play together for about 15 minutes before club time was over. Chants of "Can we come during advisory, lunch, or before school" were prevalent.  The students were mostly male, but 2 females played with them.  We have decided that our first project is going to be constructing a virtual model of our school.  We are having a meeting tomorrow after school to plan and decide how to divide and conquer this architectural endeavor."

On a side note, I have been exploring the building tools for the teacher.  They will definitely help build worlds quickly and I am excited to start building a world for an upcoming science lesson soon.   I also had an ice day to experiment with qcraft.  The world built with that mod is truly amazing.  You really need more than one person to make it work correctly, but I made it through by myself.  This could really be an eye opener for middle school students to start to understand quantum physics.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Refreshing

The new computers are in so we will start loading the new version 1.7 on the computers next week.  The students are really excited to start learning Minecraft and developing Apps this semester.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lesson Time

Update on the world investigation.  Ryan (my tech aide) was just here and got him to help me figure things out.  He played with Decimal Island and in a matter of a few minutes he was in the store.  (See I knew it would take a kid )

When asked how he got in, he broke down the door. (of course - I think I follow too many rules!)   Once in, there were little slots divided by glass panes with holes in the floor of each section.  There were signs above each one.  It was like a multiple choice question with the answers above.  If he jumped in the correct hole, it told him the gave the correct answer and gave him chicken.  If he j umped in a wrong hole, it told him he was incorrect and gave him rotten flesh.   (will work for food )  You have to play this in survival mode so you have health and get food.

Then he showed me how to use command blocks to create such a device.  There is much potential with this.  A semi-programming tool to create if,then situations.

Adventures in Minecraft Worlds

I tried playing some of the Minecraft EDU  worlds this weekend.  I was totally lost in Mathlandia.  There really aren't any instructions.  So I tried decimal island - that one was better - a few instructions and you can get the worksheets to fill out too.  However, I could never get into the store to buy the equipment to do the math. It has a huge treehouse that has a signs of all the items and prices for each, but that's it in the treehouse. I found another building which looked like it should be the store - with iron doors. It looked like the steel plates should be active, but I couldn't make them work.  There were no levers or stones to activate the doors. Those 2 were included in the new build  (1.7)

I then tried downloading Path to Percentages world from world templates. That was going pretty good.  This web site at least explains sort of what's going on.  My husband says I'm missing the point of the game - to discover what to do.  But as a teacher, I don't have hours to play to figure out what to do.  I guess I need some kids to play these worlds to figure out what to do.  

If we create worlds, I think we should create a 'cheat sheet' for the teachers to use to know where the things are in the world to help the kids who are newbies like me or for our training of the teachers.  They won't use this if they or the students are lost and they can't do an activity.  For example - I couldn't find chests to open to get food, so I drowned on Decimal Island.