Reflections on EVO Minecraft MOOC – Jeff Kuhn on Minecraft: An Introduction to What’s Possible

I finally caught up with the session I missed on Sunday night. Jeff Kuhn presented a lot of interesting information about the wonderful builds people have developed in response to historical events, literary texts and a whole screed of other ideas for developing and designing projects. He also mentioned a few mods I have heard about through previous experiences – Tekkit which has an engineering focus, Computer Craft which allows scripting in Minecraft and of course MinecraftEDU, which I have already installed as my after school club server software. MinecraftEDU will allow me to help teachers set up specific worlds for class projects during the year. My job will be to learn as much as I can to support the maintenance of this server in such a way that student projects are backed up and saved for presentation purposes. The thing I love about all of the game and online scripting communities, such as those which have been centred around World of Warcraft,  Minecraft and Scratch, is the way in which they demonstrate many of the features of the Octalysis Gamification Framework. The James Gee described affinity groups which grow around the games allow participants to really demonstrate aspects of the gamification framework which those “chocolate covered broccoli games” do not. Aspects such as Empowerment and Social Influence are core drives for such affinity groups. In these cases, as Jeff Kuhn describes in the presentation, if we introduce students into the Minecraft server, they will probably become the experts and we the learners. This is not unheard of in gaming guilds and it was the way in which my after school Minecraft server was started! So I have concrete evidence that big G games such as Minecraft actually do support community development based on competence. I also love the way Jo Kay has continued to develop Massively@Jokaydia I aspire to develop the system of challenges and student development that she has been able to support on her whitelisted server. When I visited as a guest, it was as a n00b, which is as it should be! There were a couple of players who had admin titles and they welcomed everyone to the server – I think they were pre-teens! I also admire the servers set up via edurealms by Lucas Gillispie. He also has challenges and encourages teachers and classes to participate in the many projects he has developed in conjunction with people like Steve Isaacs and Peggy Sheehy (WOW in School). Just this morning I discovered some new content which might be helpful to teachers planning to use games in the classroom. The Institute of Play has so many resources to share and they also created templates which are editable if teachers are looking to get a handle on quest based learning through games and designing. I have learned so much in the last few days – sometimes the sheer volume of information is overwhelming and I bite off more than I can chew. However, I remember that in the long run it is for the students!

One thought on “Reflections on EVO Minecraft MOOC – Jeff Kuhn on Minecraft: An Introduction to What’s Possible

  1. Wow, you’ve got a lot of knowledge to contribute to #evomc16. Thanks for the post.

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