As I have mentioned previously my two Year 8 classes have been using Minecraft as part of our work on ‘The Early Christians’ unit. This is my first attempt to use and document the use of Minecraft in my classes after a brief experiment with it at the end of 2013.
So after six weeks of observing what has happened?
The most obvious point is the high levels of engagement across all students. The boys formed their own teams with some preferring to work on their own.
The task was to recreate the world of 1st Century Jerusalem and incorporate the story of the Early Christians into their worlds. To build content we spent the first 10 to 15 minutes of each lesson looking at some aspect of the lives of the Early Christian communities.
There were some basic issues at the start of the project around connectivity. Fortunately a number of boys were able to solve this issue very quickly by suggesting the downloading of the multi-player app from the App Store. Having experienced users in the group was a great benefit to me who knew very little about Minecraft.
We have been aware for quite some time that students had been creating their own Bluetooth networks in class and playing Minecraft during some lessons. I guess by harnessing this energy and diverting it to a project connected to a specific subject it is beneficial for all. Certainly there have been very few ‘discipline’ issues over the past six weeks. Engagement and enthusiasm have been very high and the students have been literally running to the class to start their work.
Here are a few images from early in the project.