There have been some quiet time for me because of my teacher practice and getting my bachelor of education ready. Many thoughts have gone flying in our networks, but my work hours have been a few.
I just came from a meeting where we discussed about Minecraft use in polytechnics and to be more precise: in operations management and product-life management. It seems that Minecraft has lot to give for those areas too. Of course when we place many creative persons into the same room the results are not often poor. Final question will be how we can get games and Minecraft into teachers education? There is many great ways to use them, but few (for my information) to take up the challenge. Interested? I’m ready to take this idea abroad!
I read about some EU-project which takes place over the national borders and it’s goal is to get some more games to schools. The current slogan is: students are motivated with games, there is lot to learn in games so why don’t we use them more in scools? There was a female with a gun on a teaser picture.
When I thought about these arguments I didn’t get the flow going from the elementary school teacher perspective that I master quite well (from my opinion). A lot of questions remain: what’s the value of those things that can be learned from games? What should I teach about the games or teach with the games? What about curriculum? It gives me a lot of headache and I still need to take more things to teach into my classroom?
Many of there questions have been asked from me too.
When it comes to Minecraft’s educational use the answering to these questions have been driving us forward. How to give direct tools to curricular based teaching and learning and how to replace some of the teaching material that are in use right now. How to get the game easy to use and how to wake the teachers’ interest in games?
Before this blog text morphs into a commercial leaflet I think I start to open up our thoughts a little.
The curriculum is quite the straight forward edict that gives us the basic contents for our teaching. Based on this it’s quite easy to make material about those areas of curriculum that are synchronized with the game. Creativity and pedagogical perspective are great tools. At the same time the game replaces the material and methods that have been in use before to get the same info trough to the children and many times the teaching trough games consisting the same curricular areas can be fulfilled in the same time frame.
User friendliness is something that the games rarely have when it comes to pedagogical approach. Often playing itself is quite easy, but what about the student directing, control, evaluation and taking the extra branches off the tree so students can focus on the current task. But there is more: what about the appropriate tasks and are the teachers ready to take the planning on their shoulders?
When it comes to the user friendliness we have to make some more effort. That’s why we take the whole interface into redesigning. Not the client interface (learners), but the teachers interface (teachers tools to control the learning process inside the game).
And the last one: we have to get rid of the ICT-troll that hides under many teachers’ desk.
I think that with these tools we are far more close to get the games into classrooms as something else than a little ‘spice’ between the more hardcore learning.
Thanks for all of you that have already taken up the challenge!