← Why is climate change education important to our health? Shark Week’s mistake: authority and science education → Minecrafting the Classroom By Cristina RussoPosted: August 5, 2013 Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on pinterest_shareMore Sharing Services71 Minecraft “Ancient City”. Image by Eric Walker. I fell off my horse. I should have chosen more carefully — the magnificent dark brown and black horses were too wild, and kicked me off right away. The brown and white one seemed tame enough; I climbed into its back and we rode to the beach. I carried one block of cobblestone, a pane of glass, and a yellow flower. Upon arrival, I chose a spot. I was ready to start building my house. It was a peaceful day, chosen out of a “peaceful” setting, in a randomly-generated world of the Minecraft game. Over 11 million gamers play Minecraft. Together they create worlds and overcome challenges.
Education gamification Game designer and researcher Jane McGonigal vouches for an exciting concept: the powerful motivations that drive us to play games should motivate us in off-game, real-world scenarios. For example, encouraging a community to recycle, or persuading more students to learn science. According to McGonigal, games have such a strong influence because they: provoke curiosity, awe and wonder with fantastic scenarios and worlds empower individuals to develop and contribute strengthen the social fabric — players collaborate and join forces (for example, they build together or form teams to fight the enemy) create meaning — players work towards an heroic challenge of epic proportions (e.g., slaying a dragon a saving a kingdom) If only we experienced all those feelings every time we stepped into a classroom. Some people believe using a game could help us get there. The use of games in science education is not new. Among a slew of examples is the initiative by game company Valve called “Teach with Portals” – leveraged on their game Portal 2. In a laboratory classroom, kids solve science challenges to activate portals and travel between worlds. Worlds may even have different physical properties. In one challenge, students have to fill a room with gas particles to equalize its pressure — a lesson in ideal gas law. A community of teachers is already creating their own “Teach with Portals” lessons and sharing them online. It was reported that 1.3 million users downloaded the education-based Portal game, and that was only three days after the launch. Kids are not only playing science games, but they are using science to build their own games. The National STEM video game challenge was kick started by the White House and President Obama in 2010. It promotes STEM learning among middle and high school students by encouraging them to create their own video game. In this yearly competition, students hone their computer programming skills with the help of teachers and mentors. In 2013, 4000 kids submitted their homemade games. A Minecraft student player is ready to chop down a tree inside a “Tragedy of the Commons scenario. Image by Dan Short via source. “If a lake is generated in a snow biome, it will freeze.” Using Minecraft for teaching science Recently, Minecraft has joined the ranks of pro-education and pro-creativity tools. Its Lego-style, pixelated interface may look crude, but this block-building game gives players unlimited freedom to create. As evidence, Minecraft players show videos of their creations, which can be as fantastic as a replica of Star Trek Enterprise or a Beetlejuice rollercoaster. Besides creating, users can also collaborate and build worlds together. In the article “teaching scientific concepts using a virtual world”, Dr. Dan Short lists ways to use Minecraft in the classroom. In a biology lesson, for example, Dr. Short asks that players build a human body: block-shaped cells connected by arteries, Fantastic Voyage-style. He focuses on ecology and environmental science, so many of his Minecraft lessons involve building a community with limited available resources. Learn about Survival You can contextualize the concept of survival for students by having them play the survival mode, which demands players take into account resources, hunger, tools and more as they build and expand their world. Students have to explore in order to collect resources, and they have to process what they find, such as smelting ore to create metal. Doing this in the game can give students a basic understanding of how things work, and help them analyze the different components of survival and settlement.
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BrainPOP UK - a new movie a day covers a huge range of topics including all material available in french. Great support access the whole websites content via the app if you have an account - very cheap 600 pounds per year for 24/7 access for a large school. Great for introduction to a topic, revision, explaining a difficult concept as it breaks things down and simply explains concepts
Food chains and webs
Popplet lite - brainstorm with images and text - timelines, concept maps
idea sketch above, simplemind+ below - concept maps mind maps brainstorming
Screen chomp -tools that allows screen casting how to explain how to do something, explain a concept many apps do this - Show Me, Educreations, Explain Everything (paid) and screen chomp - can download screen casts
Creative book builder - create your own books using text, audio, video email completed works or save to itunes if too large. sound: garageband students have created the music and recorded voice
snapguide - easy how to’s share on web via an email link
APPitic is a directory of apps for education by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) to help you transform teaching and learning. These apps have been tested in a variety of different grade levels, instructional strategies and classroom settings. apps are catagorized into - themes, subject areas, booms, multi intelligences, and spanish !
STAV 2013 Powerful Apps for Powerful Learning
* Donna Mackinnon and Clare Rafferty
* We teach in iPad 1:1 classrooms @ yr 7 and 8
* On Twitter @DMac06025068 and @craff2008
•Donna’s Blog: http://dmackinnon.edublogs.org/
•Clare’s Blog: http://raffsrant.global2.vic.edu.au/
*This presentation can be found @ slideshare.net
titled: STAV 2013
(without the video material and student images :)
Powerful resources, engaging tools
There is an app for that.....
Teachers focus on task
rather than app
Apps for Creativity
Rubrics guide students and
support learning and
school a to z
Creative Book Builder
Websites to discover - Paid apps gone free or
reduced in price....
Image By Brian Metcalfe under Creative Commons:
The Best Teachers
Image licensed under Creative
Commons by Michael Mistretta: