Remote Learning Success Stories!

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  • Thomas Baldauf

    Hi,

    before the shutdown we used Minecraft mainly as a creative tool - we built modern archtiecture like new forms of museums or theatres. 

    Now I started using Minecraft with my IT class. Doing some basics in redstone and curcuits. I try to make them visualize basics concepts of IT, especially how hardware works (e.g. a keyboard grid - where you don't need 200 different curcuits to know which key was stroked - but use lines and rows to determine). So basically we try building 3D representations of how the inner kinds of computers work and make them through that process grasp the idea of hardware and how it works way better.

    Greetings

    Thomas from Austria

     

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  • William Dergosits

    Hi!  

    I teach in a Co-Taught, special education classroom and found that the virtual platform was great for connecting students with varying social-emotional needs.  I also found that many of my struggling or reluctant learners were very fluent in Minecraft since they were playing at home.  This gave them a great opportunity to shine in "school" with their peers and engage in their academics. I am new to this but saw that the students had a great interest and figured I would learn alongside them. 

    We started out as creative exploration, but since we have all been moved into our homes, it has been a great place to stay connected with friends as well as a fun new classroom.  Just last week invited the rest of our grade (we are a small rural school with only about 60 students per grade level) to join us online and are just starting to build our virtual school.  This has been very well received as many of the students are looking for that sense of community right now.  I am excited to see where this takes us and sure there will be many more adventures while we navigate this uncharted path.  

    William from New York

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  • GOH

     Venture into Digital Worlds instead of the Real One!

    Recently many educators are currently switching to virtual or home-based learning due to temporary school closures. At times when distance learning is necessary, Minecraft Education Edition (MEE) can be your virtual classroom. We are from one of the Under Enrolled Schools in Perak, Malaysia which consists of 24 students per school and it is located in rural areas. However, Minecraft Education Edition has a difference among them. My students and I have been using Minecraft Education Edition as part of teaching and learning process in school.

    During school closure, my students and I have worked hard with our recent Minecraft Signifying Seasons and Minecraft Better Bedroom (Minecraft Monthly Build Challenge). The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. Minecraft stimulates my students to look out a window, they explored, learned and created their remarkable representations of four seasons creatively. Despite of having hard time like this, tasks can still be accomplished remotely. There are no limits to what, where, and when my students can learn when they engage themselves into Minecraft world.

    These challenges has made them to think critically and creatively to build their world. For example, they built their better bedroom based on their own imaginationa. I am so surprised with their interior design layout. Personally, this is so meaningful for me. Proud of them.

    Captivating learning without pressure

    Showing their progress is already a great success for me as their teacher during remote learning. For me, perfection is meaningless if students didn’t show interest on what they are learning. Minecraft Education Edition does help me leave an impression on students and shakes up the remote lessons. Most importantly, Minecraft helps my students captivating their learning without pressure.

    Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my story. 

    Greetings

    Goh Kok Ming from Malaysia

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  • Kristopher Sandberg
    We began our remote learning immediately after the March Break and were completely overwhelmed with the response from our students. We have three teachers involved at times hosting multiple worlds to keep up with the student demand. We created a Team that interested students across our school board could join. Here we communicate join codes, daily challenges and troubleshoot problems with students and parents. It is also a place that has connected students from different parts of our city and has created new friendships. Each day, students are working together collaboratively on a challenge. Their willingness to invite people into their builds and share their love and knowledge of Minecraft EE with others has been amazing. We have also been able to connect with parents and have received a ton of positive feedback. Parents comment how it's a great start to their day to see their child laughing and working with someone on a challenge.  This daily Minecraft EE world has provided some necessary structure and routine in their children’s lives. Teachers are reaching out to us and noticing improved attendance to online meet ups and an increase in the number of assignments being completed for their homeroom teachers.  We also have a lot of first time users and the activities allow them to differentiate and build at their own pace.  Sometimes we join in and will have eyes watching what we are doing and then they will go of and try the same thing.   It has really helped us stay connected in these difficult times.
     
    Cheers
     
    Kris, Ryan and Dan from Thunder Bay
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  • Christoph Peters

    Very inspiring! But actually, are these examples about successful distant learning really multiplayer worlds? I cannot imagine that most students are able to connect from home to a MC:EE server which is not a dedicated one. They must be all in a VPN or something. From my 50 students I’m teaching in MCEE only a few managed to successfully connect to a multiplayer world. It is a frustrating experience. We put the school computer hosting MCEE multiplayer outside the router in DMZ without virus scanner and firewall, actually against all security standards just to higher the chances. We remotely - and painfully - instructed many diverse parents how to apply port 19132 forwarding in their households. 

    Now the usual experience is like there are 9 students, 3 of them successfully connect and start to enjoy the multiplayer while the other 6 students SOMEHOW can’t connect. How can I orderly teach under these circumstances? The MCEE multiplayer was never made for this scenario. It is practically impossible to use multiplayer over internet with a class and heterogeneous network. If I’m wrong, kindly let me know how to do it. I’m very interested.

    My success story is based only on single player worlds, each students uses single player but selects the same template or world. Then I give a challenge or lesson. The nice thing about this is there is no disturbance among the students which might happen during multiplayer. In single player some are more focused on the topic, others more absent. But every time we start the student ask, can we try a multiplayer connection. From the last 20 sessions I can tell, only one time we were able to successfully run a multiplayer world. Now I always tell my students, no it is not possible, let’s wait for an update about dedicated MCEE servers from the Minecraft officials. This missing dedicated server reduces the potential of MCEE by a great extend, respectively  under distant learning.

    Kind regards,

    Christoph

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  • Eliot Lash

    I just ran my first Minecraft workshop last Friday for my local Girl Scouts STEM Center. We are not a library or K-12 school so unfortunately don't qualify for an EE license as far as I know, so we are using Java Edition. I was pretty disappointed about this initially, though perhaps this is a blessing in disguise based on the post above as it's been a smooth experience for me getting my own Java server running on Amazon AWS. I am using a Discord server to enable voice chat.

    I'm a software engineer by trade, so my workshops tend to focus on coding and systems thinking. I've led some Scratch workshops at the STEM center to teach game development. In Minecraft, I have been trying to focus on teaching an engineering mindset with an emphasis on building redstone contraptions. I put together an album to show off some of my project ideas here:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/V5YRcKUnwXKr9idA9

    Last week was redstone 101. This Friday will be a roller coaster design challenge that I am hoping will be engaging while still pushing them a little out of their comfort zones.

    The first workshop went pretty well. I only had 3 students in attendance but I wanted to keep it small as a trial run.

    The main issue I had was girls (mostly the middle schoolers) getting distracted by the wide array of options available in creative mode and a few instances of greifing my demo builds. I don't think they were malicious, but they got carried away fooling around with TNT and spamming spawn eggs. So I set up some command blocks to ban these items for next time.

    They were also less disruptive while focusing on their own builds, so I plan to focus more on interactive projects in the future instead of demos/lectures. The middle schoolers also didn't seem very interested in logic gates. Maybe it's how I was presenting it, although admittedly it's a dry subject. I'm going to try peppering them in inside more engaging projects. Like next week I will try to sneak in T flip-flops as part of a design for an automatic cart switching station.

    Though I'm not using EE, I really hope to connect with like minded folks here as I think we all share common goals even if we're using slightly different tools.

    Eliot from Sacramento, California

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  • Laylah Bulman

    When our schools and clubs were no longer able to meet in person, we knew we had to create community wide challenges to bring students together under a common purpose and to express themselves creatively. The answer was Minecraft Education Edition. With the partnership of my colleagues and Minecraft educator leaders, Steve Issacs and Erik Leitner, we created challenges on MEE and Flipgrid that all related to COVID-19: Design your Dreamhouse (kids we’re stuck at home all day so we knew they were dreaming about a better place!), build the Covid-19 virus, build a library or other interactive media space for people to learn about the virus, etc. The response was incredible, especially around designing your dream house. Then, we expanded the challenge to Include students in Mexico. We had 1700 students sign up in three days! After that initial excitement, we got even more creative. We created a MEE Face Off based on the NHL, for kids missing the Stanley Cup. They designed jerseys, arenas and logos of their favorite teams. We are now extending into summer with a MEE Masters challenge, based off the LEGO Masters TV show. Kids will have challenges around re-creating a famous work of art, they will code and they will design a game. As you can see, our challenges are based around student interest, student experience and competition. And they just love it. We’ve been able to meet our academic/scholastic goals, but more importantly we’ve been able to create community, foster creativity and let kids express what they are feeling under quarantine as well as learn about COVID-19 to share with their family and friends. - Laylah from the North America Scholastic Esports Federation 

     

     

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