Can Minecraft Teach Team Building?

Dilworth, Marianne

CO

Kiang, D. (2018, February 13). Can Minecraft teach team building? Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=156&category=In-the-classroom&article=Can+Minecraft+teach+team+building%3f 

 

  1. Don’t damage other people’s things.
  2. If you break something by accident, fix it.
  3. Keep the world beautiful.

The above rules were developed by a group of high school computer science students when their teacher assigned them a game of Minecraft. Their teacher, Douglas Kiang, describes the reasons behind this unusual curriculum decision in his article “Can Minecraft Teach Team Building?”

When Kiang realized that his students still didn’t know each other two months into school, he knew he had to find a team building activity. Minecraft, a hugely popular video game, involves creatively solving problems while gathering resources, experiencing combat, and building structures in a 3D world. Kiang found that students working collaboratively in a virtual world, developed real-world lessons in relationship building; they developed the ability to negotiate and compromise.

Kiang interesting article shares how Minecraft can be a valuable learning tool for students. Video games are often frowned upon as a waste of time that simply builds hand-eye coordination. But video games like Minecraft and other player versus player (PVP) games, are really online stories that encourage peer interaction, personal responsibility and community building.  Even though the students did not play the game during school hours, Kiang found that their Minecraft participation acted as a “catalyst” for dynamic discussions that enriched classroom learning. 

Advertisements

How AR and VR Can Make Students Laugh and Cry Out Loud – and Embed Them in Their Learning

Michelle Furtado

ID

McMahon, W. (2018). How AR and VR Can Make Students Laugh and Cry Out Loud-and Embed Them in Their Learning. EdSurge, 28. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-08-28

This article discusses a teacher’s experience using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) hardware and software to teach English lessons in a College class. The teacher purchased forty AR headsets and used them to create lessons in which students could experience literature in innovative ways. As an example, for a study of poetry and lyrics he had them visit a U2 site which demonstrated interaction with a worldwide community in song creation and performance. Students were then asked to share their experiences and reflect on them. Students reported a higher level of emotional engagement in their learning than they had without the technology. After the lessons, the students were challenged to create products that would be useful using the software and hardware. They had to write up their proposals and present them to a panel of venture capitalists.

The article is a useful one, given the movement toward AR and VR technology. Students are already interacting with the world through technology with such games as Minecraft and Fortnite. This article discusses the value of incorporating immersive technology into teaching. The problematic portion is, of course, the current cost of such technology. While this may not be a viable option today in most k-12 public schools, the cost will probably come down in the years to come. AR and VR will no doubt allow more lessons to achieve the Redefinition level of SAMR technology integration.

Dangers of Technology in Education

Sasaki, Lori

ET

Ravitch, D. (2017, December 29). 5 Risks Posed by the Increasing Misuse of Technology in Schools. EdSurge. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-12-29-5-risks-posed-by-the-increasing-misuse-of-technology-in-schools?utm_source=EdSurgeLive&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=01-10-18&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTkRaallUWm1PVFkzTlRBeiIsInQiOiJXQ1wvRU1ZNUVDUEwzdGxoN1pxU2dnRnRoS21GUUVoWDhFWFFQMTZvbE5HWTZNMjlBQTk2NVl3enZOcTRNbnMrYUJcL09LVWJCWXFFWU5mbVVHWEQ5RGRJMWlsdUJZSUdXeHh6TVVBWSs1dzNsd2JVejRNME5STHRadHNEbzZNTmlpIn0%3D

In this article, Ravitch addresses potential impacts of misuse of technology in schools. She acknowledges the creativity and inspiration that teachers can have using technology, but places the blame on the tech industry for not doing enough to counter the fears of an increasingly tech-centric, impersonal, cost-driven education.

This article was a good reminder about the powers ($) and hidden agenda behind the proliferation of technology. With the rapid rise in the ubiquitous nature of technology, it is easy to forget dangers such as eroding student privacy and an increasing reliance on computerized assessments. There are definitely companies profiting greatly off of the incorporation of technology into every facet of education, and this article is an important caution flag to consider technology in the context of all that we value in an education.

SAMR – 8 Cool Tools You May Have Missed at ISTE 2017

MaryLee Helm

IL

Common Sense Media. (2017). 8 Cool Tools You May Have Missed at ISTE 2017. Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/blog/8-cool-tools-you-may-have-missed-at-iste-2017?utm_source=Edu_Newsletter_2017_07_04&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly

The tools shared in this article move the learner on the SAMR model to Redefinition as they allow for learning to be student-centered and tasks to be completed in new ways. Students get to think outside of the box and have a tool in which to share their learning with others.

I was not able to attend the conference, but am always looking for emerging technologies that can be utilized in the library. This article offers a list of programs to start “playing” and possibly, introduce in a co-teaching lesson or through a genius hour period.

Inna Levine

Creating our future: Students speak up about their vision for 21st century learning. speak up 2009 national findings: K-12 students & parents. (2010). ().Project Tomorrow. 15707 Rockfield Boulevard Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92618. Retrieved from http://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/1238189801?accountid=143640


IL

For the past 7 years, the Speak Up National Research Project has provided the nation with a unique window into classrooms and homes all across America and given us a realistic view on how technology is currently being used (or not) to drive student achievement, teacher effectiveness and overall educational productivity. Most notably, the Speak Up data first documented and continues to reveal each year the increasingly significant digital disconnect between the values and aspirations of the nation’s students about how the use of technology can improve the learning process and student outcomes, and the values and aspirations of their less technology-comfortable teachers and administrators. Students, regardless of community demographics, socio-economic backgrounds, gender and grade, tell year after year that the lack of sophisticated use of emerging technology tools in school is, in fact, holding back their education and in many ways, disengaging them from learning.  The Speak Up 2009 national findings paints a vivid picture of this continuing digital disconnect and also, advances the premise introduced with the data the previous year that by listening to and leveraging the ideas of students we can start to build a new vision for 21st century education that is more reflective of the needs and desires of today’s learners. With the 2009 year’s findings, the researchers give voice to a new genuine “student vision” for learning and in particular, the student’s experience-based blueprint for the role of incorporating emerging technologies in 21st century education, both in and out of the classroom.

When we let technology do our thinking for us

Anthony Devine


When reading The Shallows, Nicolas Carr referenced the work of Van Nimwegen & Van Oostendorp (2008). Basically, Van Nimwegen & Van Oostendorp show that the more a tech interface guides a user to do a task, the less the user actually internalizes and learns the task. In other words: the easier that technology makes a task, the less the learning “sticks” in our brains. Or, to use the term in the title and the term Dr. L. prefers: the more technology guides us in a task, the less ability we have to transfer what we learned in that task.

I think this has implications for education technology and for information literacy. When designing learning experiences for students, we should be mindful of the danger of having students do things that simply do not require much thinking, much internalization. And as to information literacy, we should be careful to let our social media feeds to our thinking for us when it comes to what information to perceive as valid/invalid.

Technology is fantastic, but we still need to think for ourselves.

Resources:
Carr, N. G. (2010). The shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains. New York: W.W. Norton.

Van Nimwegen, C., & Van Oostendorp, H. (2008). The questionable impact of an assisting interface on performance in transfer situations. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. Retreived from: http://dx.doi.org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2008.10.008