Yes, outwardly this post is about Minecraft – it was the something new that I recently tried. But really this post is about you and the last time you tried something new. Something that was totally unknown and scary. Something that you didn’t already know how it would end when you started. When did you last do that wild and crazy thing?
Full disclosure, I have sons who have already tried to teach me Minecraft. However, I was in the position of quitting the lesson when I was pushed to my limit. With my children, on the Xbox, that rapidly occurred. I told them I could not do this and I didn’t want to try anymore. Not a stellar parenting moment, but an honest portrayal.
Yet, as an educator, I knew Minecraft had value for students. So when our district moved to a Microsoft (Microsoft purchased Minecraft in late 2014) license which included Minecraft licenses I knew this was my chance to really learn about Minecraft. I schedule a team away from the office, and it’s easy excuses, to learn more about it with a Minecraft education expert.
I had to psych myself up for this. I am not a gamer. But it was worth my humility to learn about the game for every teacher who would have to encounter these same issues and craft training to support them. I spent three hours that morning learning to move, something I didn’t realize was such a cognitive load for me, learning to mine, learning to build. I learned about Classroom Mode and how teachers can manage their students efficiently. The idea of Code Builder is also fascinating as students could build and then experience the code immediately (Tynker is also an option here).
I created a house, my first Minecraft build! With that, painfully slow, build I gained a new appreciation for the dexterity, mental visualization, and time dedicated to such construction.
Our district should move forward with this roll out in a slow, methodical fashion. Look for a future link HERE to my professional post with technical details. But seek out your own chance to be exhausted in a good cause. The cause of learning something new.