VSTE Minecraft Monday teaches orienteering and prepares for upcoming Virtual Round Table

Learning2gether Episode 457


About VSTE
Skip down to Earlier Events that happened since the previous Learning2gther post

The Minecraft Monday event this month (Tuesday on the side of the world where I live) was quite interesting. It was a lesson in using maps to find your way in world. About of dozen of us convened in creative mode on the VSTE server where we were given a mission briefing using slides posted in Discord chat, an excellent illustration of how Discord can serve as a content resource for learning experiences crafted in Minecraft.

These slides basically showed those present how to bring up the coordinates of where they were exactly on their Minecraft server, and see which way they were heading in the Minecraft HUD (heads up display). They then showed what a map looks like and how to find youself on it, presented an explanation of how the XYZ coordinate system works in Minecraft, and finally explained how to get maps from cartographers in villages. It was apparently by trading for such a map that Jaz and K4 were able to discover the location of a Woodland Mansion, make copies of the map, and leave the copies in a chest in survival mode, showing where the Woodland Mansion was.

Having received our briefing, we warped over to survival where we found the chest at our arrival point. Opening it we each took a diamond sword and a map, plus bundles of torches and baked potatoes. Armed with knowledge of orienteering in Minecraft, we would use the map to navigate to the Woodland Mansion.  Armed with diamond swords we would fend off any mobs encountered, the torches would help us light up dark places where mobs congregate, and potatoes would sustain us in our journey. I looked around for ketchup but I didn’t see any.

According to a Google search on Woodland Mansions, they occur only in dark forest biomes. So we were on the edge of a dark forest and would have to penetrate it in order to cross from the top right of the map to the bottom left where the mansion appeared as a structure-like icon. The vegetation in dark forests is so thick that we could start out by hopping treetop to treetop. But once you fell to the forest floor you could hardly see and had to put the diamond sword to use slashing foliage. But on the map we could see where there were rivers and if you found one of those you could swim down it and work your way closer to the mansion.


Eventually we arrived. We were warned against going inside because there would be booby traps and a particular class of monster called illager, described here:

Suffice it to say they would be lethal. I see Dak went inside and encounted a Vindicator illager


Having found the place, Jaz made us weightless so we could fly around and look in the windows. The picture above was taken as I peered into all the windows.

Here are some more shots of the interiors

When I was killed later by a common zombie I discovered that this server had a /back command which would return you to your point of demise. I also discovered when I was slain that I respawned at the mansion. Interesting. I took a picture of its coordinates, but having a spawn point there would allow me to commit suicide on a later visit to this server and then revisit the mansion.

But I wouldn’t want to do that without permission or experienced companions, as that would spoil it. The reason they didn’t want us newbies going inside is probably that they want to systematically approach such places and mount an expedition that would lead the explorers to its treasures. But once they had neutralized the mobs the place would be only a giant house in the woods, nothing particularly useful or challenging. There’s one on the EVO Minecraft server in the vicinity of the 2019 spawn point (or was it 2018, the one where Dak built a huge boat). But it no longer contains any traps or surprises or treasures or its unique variety of guardian monsters.


When the sun went down, we were teleported to the village where the cartographer and other villagers lived in safety, since a huge wall had been erected around it, and golems employed to patrol the area. In the picture below, I’ve just arrived at the village, still carrying my map.


Still able to fly, I rise up to get a better overview …


Here are Jazmar and K4sons at the village …

Some of the villages seemed a little intoxicated (purple bubbles). If you right click on them you find that many have items to trade, as in the menu here:

There was a whirring sawmill blade. I asked what would happen if I stood on it. I was encouraged to try it and see. Nothing happened. In the next picture a golem is standing on it.

This was where Minecraft Monday ended, and some of the teachers there went off to meet their students online, which they apparently did in the evenings in this time of IsolatioN. But Jaz and K4 and I stayed around to see how Minecraft would behave when observed through a shared screen in Zoom. We wanted to test that because we would be giving a performance (not a presentation, that word causes anxiety) at the 2-day Virtual Round Table conference May 8 and 9, http://virtual-round-table.ning.com/

So we experimented with the screen share and I made a recording in Zoom. In the recording you can see the village at night where the villagers were mostly sleeping but the golems were on patrol, and we ventured outside the gate to attract some zombies. That may have been unnecessary since inside the compound at night, phantom birds attacked, and the movie has footage of K4 dispatching them with her enchanted bow (the kind that fires unlimited times with only a single arrow in your quiver, as long as you keep up the enchantment). K4 got a couple of them, it appears.

About VSTE

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

To join the VSTE Minecraft server
please email K4sons@gmail.com or lwalconc@gmail.com.
If this is your first time, we need your Mojang Minecraft user name and your real name.

The VSTE Place IP address is

  • (choose multiplayer and add a server: Name VSTE Place IP
  • We are currently using version 1.15.2.

As a reminder, this server is for educators. If you are using your child’s account to participate please do not encourage your child to use our server.

This Google doc has more info about the server:

Communications in-world

  • To chat in Minecraft type T which brings up a line you can type in.
  • For voice we use Discord. Install it on your computer or mobile device. Our Discord channel is VSTE VEPLN Chat server. We can send you an invite to the channel through Minecraft the day of the meeting. If you have a discord account and have it live, just click the link we post and you will be able to join us.


  • Discord is a voice and screen sharing application that will run on your computer or mobile device.
  • Download and install it for free. 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/cBFFzU
  • It helps us to be able to play Minecraft in one screen and listen via Discord with earbuds or headphones.

Earlier Events

Sun May 3 noon UTC – Weekly Webheads Sunday Revival Meeting #6


Mon 4 May 1430 UTC TESOL Virtual Seminar with Liz England and Amira Salama – Navigating your TESOL career path

Registration: https://bit.ly/2VAKOgH
You have to sign in to your TESOL account in order to register for this event.
It is possible to create an account as a non-TESOL member at https://www.tesol.org/

DATE: Monday, 4 May 2020

Registration Deadline: 30 April 2020

  • TESOL Members: Free
  • Global Members: Free
  • Nonmembers: Free

I experienced difficulties while attending this. Music was played while we were waiting for the event to begin and the music kept disconnecting and reconnecting, same with sound quality when the event began. I found it very difficult to manipulate the text chat window due to lag. The even was scheduled up to midnight where I am, so I am very pleased to find there is a recording, here:


That link requires login. If you were registered for the event, you would have created a password. Once you are logged in you are directed to playback here:

If you were not registered for the event it might be impossible to see the recording (at either link) since both require a login and the registration deadline was April 30.

This blog is written and maintained by Vance Stevens
You are free to share-alike and with attribution under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

The date of this update is May 6, 2020 10:00 UTC

2 thoughts on “VSTE Minecraft Monday teaches orienteering and prepares for upcoming Virtual Round Table

  1. Pingback: Monthly VSTE Minecraft Monday for June – Advanced Cartography | Learning2gether

  2. Pingback: 20th Weekly Webheads Revival Sandbox – Minnie demonstrates DingTalk for language learning | Learning2gether

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