Learning2gether with VSTE at their monthly Minecraft Monday

Learning2gether episode #420
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Minecraft Monday Sept. 9 at 8 PM Eastern time (12 am UTC)

The first Monday of every month is Minecraft Monday. It happens at 8 PM Eastern time, in Maine USA. Unless that Monday is a holiday in the USA; then it’s the second Monday (like the Monday after Memorial Day in September, for example).

So on the second Monday in September 2019, at 8 in the evening on the eastern seaboard, USA, a group of miners, all educators from the looks of it, and mostly teachers of other young miners, met before bedtime for their monthly Monday play-date. By then I (Vance in Penang, Malaysia) was just waking up the following morning, Tuesday midnight Sept 10 UTC. So for me and folks in Europe and parts east of there, it’s Minecraft Tuesdays.

2019-08-20_15.15.24.png
The event was announced by Kim Harrison (a.k.a. K4sons / Thunder in SL) as an informal discussion about ways to use Minecraft at school while building in the creative side of VSTE Place.

Basic directions to join VSTE Place, VSTE’s Minecraft world 

To participate in Minecraft Mondays, you must have a computer Minecraft account from https://minecraft.net/en/. There is a one time fee of $26.95. Download and install the software. Choose multiplayer and add a server:

  • Name VSTE Place IP 69.175.17.26:25565
  • Our server is protected. You will need to be whitelisted to enter. For that, email Kim Harrison at K4sons@gmail.com from an educational email address with your real name and Minecraft account name.

Discord

Discord is a voice and screen sharing application that will run on your computer or mobile device. In order to talk with others in VSTE virtual environments, you need to download and install it for free. It helps us to be able to play Minecraft in one screen and listen via Discord with earbuds or headphones.

Create an account.

  • Many of us use the same name for our Discord account as our Minecraft account to keep things simple.
  • Our channel is https://discord.gg/nDX4mZv 

Discussion and links from the group chat in Discord

     Someone asked if people in the group were planning to use Minecraft with their students next term. I was quite surprised that one or two in the group answered in the negative, giving reasons of reduced funding for licenses and adequately powerful computers for students to use to run Minecraft, and poor to negligible technical and admin support, which again are additional symptoms of under-funding for staffing and overtime for after-school activities. If schools could fund creativity through increased staffing, it seems to me they would. It seems to me a step in the very wrong direction when a school system can’t support the efforts of teachers to integrate into their curricula something as creative and promotional of critical thinking as Minecraft. As someone else said in the chat, he thought you could teach anything in Minecraft. The point was discussed, and someone else pointed out the learning was in the discussion following the meaningful play, and that it takes a teacher with experience and the instincts to be able to convert game play into meaningful discussion, and from there into learning outcomes that jibe with the curriculum.
     Again, this is just my opinion, but it seems to me that the nation has a crying need to be led by someone who can let the people’s elected congress decide where the money gets spent and stop draining it off arbitrarily (from schools, from disaster relief, from the military e.g. military schools) on pet, cosmetic, and ineffective partisan projects, and someone who would appoint as secretary of the Dept. of Education a highly qualified person who was passionate about and seriously attuned to education, not ignorant of its nuances, and who rose to her position only through her wealth and whom she had graced with it.
     Anyway, it would have been unseemly to have raised all this in the chat, but I did mention that though I was not planning to use Minecraft with students this year, I was planning to use it with teachers, as I have done for the past five years, in the upcoming EVO sessions (Electronic Village Online, https://evosessions.pbworks.com). I invited those present to check our website (I say ‘our’ because two present at this event, Kim Harrison and Beth O’Connell) have been moderators of our EVO Minecraft MOOC sessions. I posted the URL for more information in the Discord chat, http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/.
     Speaking of discussion afterwards, as people were departing, I lingered to talk with someone named SunTzu about the comic books he was generating from his work with students in virtual worlds. Called Second Life Adventure Comics, SunTzu said he’d be “willing to do one for educators if we can come up with an interesting story narrative and visuals and hopefully have a purpose to use it”. See his work at
https://sl-ac.weebly.com/
2019-09-10_1702SL-AC.png

     SunTzu uses Gyayzo to get the screen captures for his books, https://gyazo.com/f09ad6d02347442005b72ae974bda5e5. To read the books click on the links at top of the images that say SCAC 19-01, 02, and 03 (the book icons also appear hyperlinked, so clicking on just the text above the icons was not intuitive).

     To visit SunTzu in world, follow this SLURL in Second Life
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gulls%20Wing%20Marina/81/195/22

 

What happened on the day

Here are some of the screen shots I made while engaged in this event. There are more screen captures uploaded to the Discord chatroom for those who wish to talk with VSTE teachers.

Most of those present just started building, all in creative mode, with unlimited tools and resources at their disposal. We start with an overview taken from across the way looking back on where the building was taking place

2019-09-10_08.25.08

And moving in closer as the building was getting under way

2019-09-10_08.25.34

Mainecakes made a turtle pond, complete with turtle she’d either spawned or lured there. Once done, she set about decorating the area with some of the plants available in creative inventory.

K4sons set about making a saddlery shop. Some of the local mobs came around to have a look. I right clicked on one. I could have grabbed a few dozen lumps of coal from inventory and traded them with him for the emerald he had concealed under his cloak.

SunTzu and Beth_Ghostraven created a crenelated castle and when they moved to the second floor, the ground floor started attracting spiders and zombies, who tend to emerge during periods of relative darkness, such as rainstorms. In the screenshot below someone has slain a zombie and left its rotten carcass there for someone else to collect. If you accumulate such carcasses you can trade them with villagers for things you can’t find otherwise in Minecraft.

JazMar created something with impenetrable doors, so I had to catch him/her working with screenshots made through the windows. At one point a skeleton took up a position near one of the doors. He turned and faced me as I moved around him. However, as we were in creative mode, he did not attack. But then Beth appeared on the scene and took her sword to him. Before succumbing to that he got off an arrow that caught her on the bum. Ouch!

And when Dak arrived, he set about constructing one of his signature neo-monolithic structures. Asked how he could do it so quickly, he said he had done it so many times before. He is indeed a prolific and experienced builder. I followed him through the roof on the staircase leading to the ground floor, where I watched Dakotah making hasty improvements to the decor there, ignoring a llama and a neutered skeleton who had taken up residence downstairs.

I created my own monstrosity on a plateau behind where the others were building.

2019-09-10_08.46.29

 

At the end of the day, we all gathered, as you do, for selfies and photos. There are more group photos in the Discord chat room. Those who are members can get there using this link: https://discordapp.com/channels/154391510064824320

Coming up at VSTE

Next week, in Second Life at VSTE Space we will talk about the books we read this summer.

Basic directions to join VSTE Space

If you don’t have a Second Life account, you can get one for free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here: https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/  Here’s how

  1. Download and install the software.
  2. While your Second Life viewer (software) is open click this link http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Soulgiver/155/144/58 and voila!
  3. Look for an avatar on VSTE Space and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.

We now have office hours every Saturday from 9 am to 11 am Eastern time.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Soulgiver/155/144/58

Thanks to VSTE for hosting the event and reposting this article on their blog, https://vste.org/minecraft-monday/


Earlier events

Sep 8 1200 noon UTC – Webheads 21 year reunion with original members Vance, Michael, Felix, etc

https://learning2gether.net/2019/09/08/writing-for-webheads-21-year-reunion-with-original-members-vance-michael-felix-and-dan-bassill/

 

Sept 1-30 2019 4th annual Virtual Worlds MOOC (VWMOOC19)

The fourth annual Virtual Worlds MOOC (VWMOOC19) will take place from September 1-30, 2019. The theme of the current MOOC is peace through learning and connecting online for instruction and learning via web technologies such as Second Life and Virtual Worlds. The MOOC will focus on connecting online for collaborative learning and teaching around the world through Virtual Worlds.

Sign up to access the live sessions, reflect, and receive a free certificate here: https://moodle4teachers.org/course/view.php?id=114

Syllabus:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10OnlkCliEnZllijiSkKLNkqf4vQSLKgihqun_keXTpA/edit?usp=sharing

The opening ceremony was on September 1, 2019 at the Chilbo Nature, Craft and Sculpture Garden Dance Floor:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Madhupak/212/239/91

 

Fri Sept 6 – Ending Week 1 of the 4th annual Virtual Worlds MOOC (VWMOOC19)

The 4th annual Virtual Worlds MOOC is ending week 1. Participants are expected to have introduced themselves and responded to the discussion forums.

Don’t forget to reflect on one of the 4 live sessions of the week.

Today’s live session at 12 noon SLT or 3 PM EST will be led by Sheila Webber (avatar: Sheila Yoshikawa):

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An Information Literacy exploration of Infolit iSchool island (Click to join the Zoom session, if you can’t join us in Second Life)

We will tour exhibits and examples of student learning, all connected with Information Literacy, on Infolit iSchool, including “What information/literacy means to me”; Health Literacy exhibit; Seven Pillars of Information Literacy. We will also discuss ideas for a new exhibit on the Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate City. Jointly with Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable, starting the tour at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Infolit%20iSchool/226/27/22

You’re invited to view the recordings and reflect on one of the live events here: Reflect on the Live Online Reflect on the Live Online Events of Week 1 Forum

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Learning2gether with VSTE at their monthly Minecraft Monday

  1. Pingback: Minecraft Monday

  2. Pingback: Nick Kortesky demonstrates Grammar Cube, his 3D representation of English verb tenses | Learning2gether

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