Monday, March 26, 2012

Round 2

Minecraft Club met last week for the second time.  During this time we went through the second half of the tutorial map, giving students a chance to practice copying simple shapes and get used to right/left clicking to create/destroy.  Some of the shapes required the students to build simple scaffolding to get up high enough for completion.  One student figured out that you can place a block under your feet if you time it right during a jump and was able to teach the trick to the classmates sitting next to him.  As soon as they got through that they were quickly exploring, trying to see who could get to the top of the nearby mountain first.  Next week I'm entertaining the idea of a survival island senario or possibly making a treasure hunt map for them (idea from http://minecrafteduelfie.blogspot.com/2012/03/just-in-time-vs-just-in-ca...).

Right now the schedule at the after-school only allows for Minecraft once a week, but that might be changing due to popular demand.  Also, I'm intrigued at the potential Minecraft poses as a tool in tutoring, if I could somehow use the program to help students have a better concept of arrays or something like that.  I've got the tool, why not use it?

There were a couple of technical problems we encountered, which may be due to the limitations of the computer I am using to run the server.  When students try to break blocks they sometimes reappear at random, making resource collection frustrating.  There were also some lag issues when trying to place blocks.  The thing that I don't understand is when they left the tutorial area of the map and tried to continue building: they could place blocks to their hearts' content, but they were unable to break any blocks unless I put them in creative mode.  In creative mode they could build/destroy without problems.  I'll do some experimenting this week to see if it was an isolated problem or what-not.

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