Thursday, September 17, 2015

Update on the Settlers - Ransacked by Invaders


Alas, there are no videos at this time. The students had so much fun building their settlement and we didn't want to stop for screencasting. So the teacher, Mr. Fletcher, is letting them show their creations during class.



This was the first time we have completed a project in MinecraftEdu mode. Usually we operate in creative mode to save building time, but Mr. Fletcher wanted it to be a more authentic experience. Students were given only wood and stone to begin with and a few more blocks as deemed necessary for survival.  That worked out very well. Students truly seemed conscientious of materials and also practiced their crafting - making new items from existing materials. That was exactly what the new world peoples would have had to accomplish as well.







But, Monday was their final day in the lab for building. Tensions built as they soon discovered that their fortifications would be put to the test. The world was first saved, then, Mr. Fletcher, impersonating invaders of that time period, ransacked the villages spreading fire and witches and monsters across the landscape.  One could certainly tell the exact moment when mayhem occurred as mixed squeals of terror and delight filled the room.   

I must make one more remark - I am amazed when kids are in here for a week and there are no behavior issues - in any class period. They are so engaged and have experiences that no book or lecture could ever hope to provide.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A new year, a new world

Mr. Fleetcher's 8th grade American History classes have returned to Plymouth to settle new territory. But this time, the world they are in looks a bit different.  I have been working on creating worlds based on real elevation data and was able to recreate the Plymouth, Cape Cod area for these colonists to explore. Students are staking claims and using only resources that they are given to build their colonies. In addition, they are creating constitutions. I have a couple of photos to share now and will post video after they complete their screencasts next week.