19 Feb 2016

Minecraft Community First Session

Just had the first session of my Minecraft for Social Studies Project today.  I have three classes, Alpha, Bravo and Charlie.  Each had an 80 minute period to do this.  

The main idea is to practice developing their citizenship skills in a virtual world.  I am using pocketmine to host the server and get the entire class on one world.  It is pretty basic in terms of features but enough for them to all stomp around in a world.  The idea is for them to make their own community.  One big thing I have chosen to do is turn PVP on, so they can kill each other in the game and make them respawn at the start again.  I am going to put no rules on how the world and community is to work, if they want order then it will be up to them

Engagment was at an all time high, as you can imagine with a group of yr 9 boys playing games on ipads.

Half way through the session today I stopped the server for a community meeting, something I intend to do regularly.  This is a chance to resolve conflict, make plans, tell stories about what they have been doing.

Alpha and Charlie both started off how I expected by running around killing each other for a little while then people started trying to make progress with mining and building and achieving something more.  There were still some stuck in the killing others phase and this was the big talk during the community meeting of trying to sort out laws around being peaceful.  As soon as they jumped back in the world most of them forgot the rules but they were moving in a positive direction.

Bravo was different.  The majority of this class got into the killing and competition phase and got almost the rest of the class on board.  There were a minority that were getting angry with being killed all the time.  Their focus during the meeting was how do we organise more fighting.  So not heading in such a positive direction for their community.  So we will see how all this unfolds.

I am planning on doing 1 of these sessions every two weeks so will get a few in for during the term.

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