A group of enthusiastic students have embarked on a learning journey that has enabled them to create a new course at our school for 2012 and beyond:
Minecraft as a subject at our school
It all began in Quest Atlantis, an online 3D gaming/learning subject run by Ms Batty. She approached us and asked us if we had played/heard of a game called Minecraft and what we thought of it from a learning point of view. This then grew into the idea of making Minecraft a subject at our high school.
The next day we organised an un-official meeting in our library to find people who would like to join in. After a few more un-official meetings and some brain storming we organised our first official meeting with Ms Batty. We established that our best chance of making this work was by organizing a presentation to our principal to get her support.
We spent the next few weeks organizing a PowerPoint, videos of Minecraft creations and researching other examples of “educational Minecraft.” During this time we came up with a name for what we had been doing. We called it Project M.I.S.T (Minecraft In School Transforming education.) After a very successful presentation to our principal and one of our assistant principals, in which we got their 100% approval, we began brain storming what exactly we wanted students to get out of our subject.
We decided that creativity, leadership, teamwork, collaboration and working in a community were big things that we wanted to focus on. We started making rubrics, a charter and a LAN server.
We came across significant difficulties with our server, but after having some of our members join a Minecraft server and learning about how a good server runs and how to get people involved with an online community we were able to overcome most of these problems. We now have a lot more experience for when the subject begins. We also learnt about how to “avoid stepping on each other’s toes.”
The main reason we were motivated to do all these things to make Minecraft a subject in our school is that we enjoy it and see it as a tool rather than a game. There were a few problems though. Everybody had the same overall intention, but with different views and ideas of how it should be. This ended up making many arguments and having many disappointed people because their ideas were not used. Also, we had a few clashing personalities in our group.
There were some good things though. We got a group of us onto the Jokaydia Minecraft server and joined the community. It taught us many things, like how a server should be structured.