March 22, 2017
by Shane Asselstine @hikarikishi Most of us have used a word processor, spreadsheets, or email at one time or another in our careers. Yet, the integration of these technologies can be a challenge for so many. Minecraft is no different, and I would argue that it is even more intimidating that the previously mentioned technologies as there is an even bigger chance that you have never used it! Over the past several years I have had the honor of presenting on Minecraft, game based learning, and virtual learning environments to countless people from the UK to South America. They come to learn about the value, they see the work being done in my classes with students ranging from 3rd to 6th grade, and they ask questions. Many of them ask this one question, "How do I get started?" It is a deceptively simple question and with a much more complex answer, if only because we are all at different points. So I tell them, "You most definitely want to get in and start playing the game, but you also need to understand that we all started by punching that first tree or digging that first block of grass." For one reason or another you have come here to read this post and that is a very good sign that you are ready to get started! One of the things that have helped me balance where I am in Minecraft and the effective integration of it in my classroom comes from frameworks like SAMR, Bloom's Taxonomy, and Rigor and Relevance. You can learn more about them from the links provided at the bottom of this page. For the rest of this post, I wanted to share with you how Minecraft could look within the different stages of a framework to build a successful integration. Substitution / Quadrant A This is probably going to be the first stop on your journey, it's not something to be ashamed of. I feel we all must start here to get a deeper understanding of what we are doing. The basic idea behind this is that you are taking a learning target and bringing it into Minecraft, with very little change to how you would do it in a traditional lesson. The learning target is probably simple, straightforward, and comes from a single subject area. In the sample lesson, students will simply be demonstrating that they can add and subtract utilizing Minecraft materials. The goal here is to get in the game, and have your students teach you a thing or two, while still making the lesson far more engaging than many traditional methods. The settings for the maps below will help the lesson flow and provide opportunity for new players to get their feet wet. The activity easy and can be completed several times, providing time for you to visit each student. Minecraft Map Settings
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