Monday, August 1, 2016

ABCs and the Gift of Time

July 26-28 was three days full of really enjoyable professional learning. My co-presenter, Andy Forgrave, and I ran a course called "The ABCs of Minecraft" at ETFO headquarters in Toronto. Even though our numbers were small, ETFO still allowed the course to continue. Our 10 (which became 9) participants had a fabulous time and my big "aha" was that providing adequate time to explore, play, and discuss was a huge advantage, and one that may help our participants use Minecraft for their own pleasure and purpose later on.

I've done a lot of presentations about Minecraft over the past five years. (You can see for evidence to support this claim.) We have never conducted follow-up research to see who has listened to us talk and then proceeded to play Minecraft or introduce it to their students. I suspect that this cohort (as well as the colleagues who were involved with our TLLP project) might have a better chance of retaining and using the skills they learned because they had three days to digest and practice them. For instance, during our time together, we spent a large amount of time discussing the significance of a user name and "skin". The participants pondered over their own Minecraft names and spent time searching for, modifying and creating their visual "look" in the game. We also had time to spend in-game together - we shared a lot of laughs at our first attempt at getting a group photo while in Minecraft: a cow photobombed us and people kept walking into others or falling in the pool. We finally got the photo, only to realize one of our members was missing and we had to do it all over again!

Photo bombing cow on the right!

Our actual group shot together

Jasmi, Gumby, a creeper, and Samir together in paper/plastic form
The group plans to reunite on the Gumbycraft server in the near future so we can socialize and gain more experience playing. Thank you to all the class members, the amazing Andy (who played "good cop" to my "bad cop" - see sheep photo below for an example) and all the ETFO staff members who made us feel so welcome.

Participant: "There's a sheep in my boat! What should I do?"
Diana: "That's a great question! What do you think you can try?"
Andy: "There's a sheep in your boat? You should ..."

1 comment:

  1. LiraGrim!!

    Well! I don't recall offering a quick response to "the sheep in the boat question," --- perhaps your ellipsis reflects that I regulated my reply on that one??