Gotta strike that perfect balance!
This week has been full of game designing– both lesson plan wise and also within the actual game of Minecraftedu. I will say, that picking up Worldedit again has been crazy fun! Yes, so what if I sing “Let it Go” as I cover the Minecraft-scape with snow! It’s cool! (See what I did there? *tee hee*) Developing the actual game for our module has been tasking and it has given me a greater appreciation for those who actually develop games. It takes me hours to reformat something that someone else has already created. So the next time I play a game that I beat within 20 hours, I’m not going to complain; because it probably took the developers months (maybe years) to develop that game time! However, I firmly believe that putting the time into developing is well worth the effort, as the modern student is used to a particular quality within their game. If I put a half-effort into my creation, they will model that same level of effort. I want the most out of my students.
The lesson planning themselves have also been interesting in their development. This is my first time working, what is essentially, a full-time job and doing grad school. I have nothing but respect for those who have been doing this all the long! We’ve been utilizing an emailing system to communicate across our development group. However, I’m finding that by the time I get off work and can actually turn my grad student brain on, I have about 15 emails to work my way through. Things get jumbled, or even lost, and I feel like I’ve let my team down because I’m not as on top of it all as I like to be. However, things are coming together; and I’m very proud of the hard work that the rest of my team is putting into this project.
I’ve been modifying the Task for our second week of this module, making sure that it has a solid link to a Common Core Standard. The biggest challenge in the course is making sure that the task captures the main components of gamification. Is the task challenging enough, yet obtainable? Does it allow for an experience of consequences without real-life ramifications? Will it be engaging? Does it lead the students to the mastery of the objective, or is it just busy work? I feel that we’re just about there, and it’s exciting!
Speaking of excitement, I’m really looking forward to how this GiverCraft Language expansion is going to turn out. If all goes as planned, we will have Literacy students learning some Japanese words from Language students. And, in tandem, Language students teaching Japanese words to Literacy students. I’m a strong believer in that you learn better when you teach something. With students crossing Minecraft cultures and trading, I think we present a unique environment for this learning to take place. Fingers crossed!
Extra Credits. Gamification. Accessed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dLK9MW-9sY