Beyond the Glass

Reflections on education in a connected world. Jackie Sakatch

Wow – That is Cool!

After summarizing my digital project, reflecting on being a connected educator and providing an overview of my learning throughout #eci831 I realized that I had written some blog posts that where important and I wanted to document that growth as well.

ds 106 Haiku it Up!  – The ds 106 assignment bank provides suggestions for daily creativity.

Playing with Puppet Pal 2 – An app that is fun and easy to use to create stories.

Fun with Makey Makey – An opportunity to explore the maker movement.

Minecraft –  I was curious about Minecraft and wanted to know more about how to play and how violent the game was.

The Scoop on & Flipping with Flipboard – Two different ways to curate.

Reddigifts for Teachers 2013 – My first unboxing video.  I received a great gift for my classroom.

A way of sharing classroom activities – Smilebox

Giving the Greatest Form of Communication –  A powerful video about generosity that I was able to connect to the idea of open access at the end of #eci831.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Petras Gagilas

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Minecraft Screenshots

I have wondered awhile about the game Minecraft.  Last Christmas my son was planning Minecraft on his iPad when my sister, who is a high school administrator expressed concern that we were allowing him to play Minecraft.  I was confused from what I had seen watching Ben play he was using blocks and materials to build a community in a virtual world.  It seemed to me it was like portable LEGO.  My sister explained that in her experience teens can become obsessed with the game and not think of anything else.  Ben described to me the two mode creative and survival and we agreed that he would only explore in the creative world.

Alec Couros challenged us to participate in Open Access  week so I planned to participate in this Connected Educators experience:

Minecraft Open House (ISTE, Games MOOC, rgMOOC, Inevitable Instructors)
1 PM – 3 PM ET.  Minecraft Open House.  Minecraft is a simple, easy to use virtual world that has been unlocking higher order learning skills in kids (especially creative skills) at an ever-accelerating rate, providing outlets for students who were falling by the wayside, and was one of the most popular applications at the most recent ISTE conference.  We’re honored to have ISTE’s virtual worlds group, as well as several other games in education movement leaders, join us today for an open house where you’ll get a chance to explore the environment, ask questions, and discuss it with experts in the field.

Unfortunately our van broke down and I was not able to be at home during the live event.  On the positive side I was able to watch the  video.

The people in this video made Minecraft look so easy.  The video outlines a Minecraft challenge website.  I enjoyed listening to the mother of two twelve year old girls talk about the different modes in Minecraft and the responsibilities of parents.  The girls talked about how they would love to use Minecraft in their classroom to complete assignments and explain their thinking.

I was curious about connects to a grade one/two classroom.  I visited the Minecraft teacher blog after reading the article How Minecraft is being Used in the Classroom by Andrew Webster.

I then bought myself the Minecraft app and tried it for myself.  Ben was very excited that I was interested in exploring Minecraft.  He sat beside me as I created my first world.  The next thing I know Ben had clicked on the egg a bunch of times and their were ducks everywhere.  Then he showed me how to make them disappear.  He showed me how to move around the world and how to access the resources I had available.  Once I was left to my own devices I somehow managed to get stuck under the ice and water.   I tried again and was able to create this structure:

2013-10-27 16.18.48

I will admit that Minecraft is not the game for me and I am not really interested in experimenting in this environment.   I think that it is a fine game for Ben to play.  For now I will continue to ask that he play in creative mode.  If a student in my classroom wanted to show me their learning in Minecraft I would accept their assignment and ask them to explain share how they used Minecraft to help them.

I am wondering if anyone has experimented with Minecraft in their classroom.  I am also wondering if you have concerns about Minecraft what your concerns are.


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