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This world is an open platform for student building. However it works in a broader context of integrated 'real world' activities. Students complete 'real world' tasks in order to earn 'in game' credits. These credits are then used to purchase tools and building materials. In practice I have used this world in a unit of work around history, though it could be used for almost any integrated topic.
In our history unit students were tasked with researching buildings from a variety of historical periods that fit into the categories of religious structures, military structures and civil structures. Through completion of teacher assigned research tasks, students earned 'in game' credits and developed a familiarity of these structures characteristics, the way these buildings have changed in design throughout time.
Students were then tasked with completing 3 buildings in MinecraftEDU. Each building needed to be influenced by a different time period and needed to serve a different function, being religious, military or civil.
- We used this world set at survival so that ongoing purchase of food meant students needed to complete real world tasks in order to just survive. However this could also be used with the default MinecraftEDU setting.
- In order to make use of this world it is useful to have a guide outlining XP points and levels. I used http://pernsteiner.org/minecraft/levelcalc.html to calculate student XP and levels. It ended up being a relatively straight forward task to assign student bankers to carry out the payments.
- The upper level of the market has a collection of command blocks that can be used to assign students with XP
- The lower level of the market makes use of command blocks to remove XP in exchange for items.
- Items that could not be issued by command blocks are accessible to students in the second level of the market. Entry to the second level comes at a cost of XP.
- Entry to the building areas was controlled by students. If the 'minecart gate' is not set to open, a command block teleports the nearest player (the one attempting to gain entry) back to the market. This allows students to control who comes and goes in their building area.
The following are ausVELS standards. Curriculum standards from Victoria, Australia.
Building social relationships
Students demonstrate, through their interactions in social situations, respect for a diverse range of people and groups.
Students describe the impact of bullying.
They accept and display empathy for the points of view and feelings of their peers and others.
They identify and use a variety of strategies to manage and resolve conflict.
Working in teams
Students work effectively in different teams and take on a variety of roles to complete tasks of varying length and complexity.
They work cooperatively to allocate tasks and develop timelines.
Students accept responsibility for their role and tasks.
They explain the benefits of working in a team.
They provide feedback to others and evaluate their own and the team’s performance.
The individual learner
Students identify, with support, their preferred learning styles and use strategies that promote learning.
They monitor and describe progress in their learning and demonstrate learning habits that address their individual needs.
They seek and respond to teacher feedback to develop their content knowledge and understanding.
They identify and explain how different perspectives and attitudes can affect learning.
They negotiate learning improvement goals and justify the choices they make about their own learning.
Students actively develop, monitor and refine protocols that create a positive learning environment in the classroom.
Managing personal learning
Students develop and implement plans to complete short-term and long-term tasks within timeframes set by the teacher, utilising appropriate resources.
They undertake some set tasks independently, identifying stages for completion.
They describe task progress and achievements, suggesting how outcomes may have been improved.
They persist when experiencing difficulty with learning tasks.
They seek and use learning support when needed from peers, teachers and other adults.
They practise positive self talk.
They demonstrate a positive attitude to learning within and outside the classroom.
Chronology, terms and concepts
Sequence historical people and events.
Use historical terms and concepts.
Historical questions and research
Identify questions to inform an historical inquiry.
Identify and locate a range of relevant sources.
Perspectives and interpretations
Identify points of view in the past and present.
Analysis and use of sources
Compare information from a range of sources.
Locate information related to inquiry questions in a range of sources.
Explanation and communication
Develop texts, particularly narratives and descriptions, which incorporate source materials.
Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies.
Design, Creativity and Technology
Investigating and designing
Students contribute to the development of design briefs that include some limitations and specifications.
Individually and in teams, they use a range of methods to research and collect data in response to design briefs.
They generate and communicate alternative design ideas in response to a design brief and use words, labelled sketches and models, to demonstrate that they are aware of environmental and social constraints.
Students take account of the views of users/consumers and produce step-by-step plans and/or modify recipes for making products and/or simple mechanical/electrical systems.
They identify evaluation criteria from design briefs and use them to justify design choices.
Analysing and evaluating
Students reflect on their designs as they develop them and use evaluation criteria, identified from design briefs, to justify their design choices.
They modify their designs/products/systems after considered evaluation of feedback from peers and teachers, and their own reflection.
Reasoning, processing and inquiry
Students develop their own questions for investigation, collect relevant information from a range of sources and make judgments about its worth.
They distinguish between fact and opinion.
They use the information they collect to develop concepts, solve problems or inform decision making.
They develop reasoned arguments using supporting evidence.
Students use creative thinking strategies to generate imaginative solutions when solving problems.
They demonstrate creativity in their thinking in a range of contexts and test the possibilities of concrete and abstract ideas generated by themselves and others.
Reflection, evaluation and metacognition
Students use a broad range of thinking processes and tools, and reflect on and evaluate their effectiveness.
They articulate their thinking processes.
They document changes in their ideas and beliefs over time.