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Crafting in the Classroom: Minecraft as a Learning Tool
 

Crafting in the Classroom: Minecraft as a Learning Tool

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For the CT Educators Computer Association (CECA) Annual Conference, October 2013

For the CT Educators Computer Association (CECA) Annual Conference, October 2013

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  • Minecraft is like Legos, except that you play in a massive world (much larger than Earth) and have access to numerous resources.
  • Switch to game to show the basics
  • Just googleminecraft hosting services. Minecraft EDU offers discounts, school-friendly tools and versions, and server software
  • Be sure to visit Mitch Brotherton on Twitter. He teaches his entire math class in Minecraft, and had his students create a math theme park.
  • Used to explore the volume of rectangular prisms. Minecraft is made out of 1x1 cubes. Made 4 empty rectangular prisms, created a cart for recording length, wedth, and height of each prism. Students then had to calculate the volume. Students use blocks of contrasting color to fill the holes. This is done in layers to calculate length and width. At first, they counted all the blocks, but by the end, they could calculate by simply filling in along the edges.
  • To determine how the mass of Earth relates to the mass of Minecraft Earth. Done by calculating the acceleration of objects due to gravity and the radius of Minecraft Earth, and then modified Newton’s law of gravity. He fired a button out from a dispenser and recorded it dropping against the backdrop of a measurement board, then analyzed the frames of the recording.
  • Students made models of plant and animal cells in Minecraft. Use different colored blocks, water, and redstone to show the movement of RNA.
  • Created tracks out of redstone and then asked kids to time how quickly the carts could travel along certain distances. This led to a discussion of units of measurement. Students had to set up several different experiments to get the average speed. Students recorded data and made predictions. Some students built two courses and then a gate that released two carts at exactly the same time.
  • Students made four pens withtwp sheep each, then dyed the wool of those sheep 4 different colors. Then had to preduct what would happen when the sheep were mated. Then they switched up the colors and mated a green with a gray, etc. The colors changed. Some colors always came up—discussion of dominence and recessive genes. The students were able to determine that 1 out of 4 times, mating blue and black, a blue sheep was born. Experiments continued to determine which colors were often dominant over others and then what percentage of the time certain colors dominated.
  • Students had to create a city tat would attract and keep residents: services, planning street grids, buildings and services in town center, services and building in outlying areas. Had to work as a team in order to complete the task. The town had a mayor.
  • Teams of two worked on Civil War battlefield maps. Researched battlefield via National Parks Service website, then had to rebuild the museum and film a tour of the museum. Had to explain the battle, the significance, commanders, dates, casualties, etc.
  • Students recreate a medieval village, based on real English cities, and then take on the roles of rules, farmers, serfs, merchants, etc. The teacher created challenges for the students based on the medieval world.
  • Students recreated scenes from their favorite books, then submitted screenshots and a passage from the book that connected with the scene. In a more complex activity, students read survival literature (Hunger Games, Hatchet, Treasure Island) and then discussed the books and the survival methods. Then the students were dropped onto a desert island in Minecraft in survival mode. The students had to work together to survive, and they teamed up and spread out, trading resources and negotiating for materials and space. They continued to discuss the experience while relating it to the books they had read.

Crafting in the Classroom: Minecraft as a Learning Tool Crafting in the Classroom: Minecraft as a Learning Tool Presentation Transcript

  • Crafting in the Classroom: Minecraft as a Learning Tool Sarah Ludwig CECA Conference October 21, 2013
  • What’s ?
  • The Basics • Use blocks to build • Destroy blocks to dig and find resources • Combine resources to craft tools, food, weapons, clothing, and more • Interact with the environment; biomes include desert, forest, tundra, and swamp
  • Modes of Gameplay • Multiplayer – many players join one server • Single player • Peaceful – no monsters, players can’t fight each other • Easy, normal, hard • Survival vs. creative
  • Setting up a Server • Minecraft EDU • If you have an IT partner, direct them to the Minecraft Wiki (minecraft.gamepedia.com) • Minecraft server hosting services
  • Basic Activities • Games • Societies • Challenges • Training
  • Minecraft in the Classroom
  • Math
  • Line Plot lesson for 6th grade math, credit @MrBrotherton
  • Bar graph lesson for 6th grade math, credit @MrBrotherton
  • Volume lesson, credit Amanda Northrup, teachingandlearningcommunity.blogspot.com
  • Determining the mass of Minecraft Earth, credit Richard Townley, www.minecraftforum.net/topic/1685915-minecraft-science-mass-of-theminecraft-earth
  • Science
  • Cell model, credit Chris Miko http://www.craft-academy.com/
  • Minecart velocity lesson, credit Bob Kahn, middleschoolminecraft.com
  • Sheep genetics lesson, credit Bob Kahn, middleschoolminecraft.com
  • Social Studies
  • City project lesson, credit Linda Gielen, http://saaminecraft.edublogs.org
  • Battlefield Map lesson, credit Linda Gielen, http://saaminecraft.edublogs.org
  • Medieval role playing, credit John Miller, http://mrmillersblog.com/
  • Language Arts
  • Writing Activities • Activity log • Tutorials/user guides • Planning • Character profiles • Short stories based on gameplay • Adventure map
  • Book report, credit Spencer, student of Bob Kahn, middleschoolminecraft.com
  • Recreating scenes from novels, credit James Burling, http://jamestburling.com/minecraft-summer-reading/ Image courtesy minecraftcastle.blogspot.com
  • Skills Addressed: • Problem solving and troubleshooting • Collaboration and teamwork, leadership • Planning, spatial reasoning, construction • Digital communication and etiquette, ethics • Could improve cognitive learning, memory, and problem-solving ability (source)
  • Educational Resources • Minecraft in Education: https://sites.google.com/site/kidsnetsoftminecraft/r esources • MinecraftEDU Wiki: http://minecraftedu.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main _Page • The Wonderful World of Humanities: http://minecraftedu.com/wiki/index.php?title=Wond erful_World_of_Humanities
  • Thank you! Please feel free to contact me: sarah.ludwig@gmail.com @sarah_ludwig