Internship Reflection Week of 2012-05-07 [37] (Minecraft EDU)

Some notable stuff this week.  After 3-4 weeks of waiting my student LD finally has an internship at a local GameStop store.  Like most high schoolers, he is very enthusiastic about games and although he has had other internships, he has not really clicked with any of them.  You will recall that in week 35 we filled out paperwork for him to be mentored by me on Tue and Thu, but in my post for that week I explained what is not ideal about that situation.  We are very pleased that LD has this opportunity, and he will be there on four Thu between now and the end of the year.

This week the last two sessions of the Math SAT prep course that I have been teaching were wrapped up.  Thanks to the class for the thank you card and the gift card to Barnes and Noble!  I was also able to take my last batch of data for my Action Research paper in EDU6173.  Initial look a the data seems promising.  B. was also able to come by and observe the class, and give some feedback.  Pretty cool.  It was an enjoyable class, but a lot of preparation work, collecting sample test sections, writing solutions and handling the paperwork.  I realize now that I haven’t returned the small bit of homework that a few students had given me.  Need to get on that.

Although the class followed the book, and although we did a lot of exam-type questions.  There wasn’t a lot of intensity around homework, or following up on what people were weakest on, and helping them move to new levels of proficiency.  I fear that the post-test that we will give on Monday 5/14 will not show much improvement.  Perhaps for a few, but not uniformly.  I might attribute that outcome to a lack of real differentiation of content among the students, or a mismatch in the learning activities we did and their best learning styles.  If I had to teach the course over I would engage students individually with content more suited to their needs.

This week I was able to secure a copy of MinecraftEDU for our computer lab, and was able to test it on Thu in a small group and then roll it out to my computer gaming elective on Fri.  We started in a survival mode, group cooperation game, and many of us newbies had a chance to learn from the more experienced folks at the school.  Of course, a couple of students are completely hooked, and wanted to spend a lot of their time today playing.  The work will now be involved in harnessing that interest and turning it around for educational or learning plan goals.  Here are some articles / web sites that I am reading as I prepare MInecraft lessons.

References

Levin, J. (2012) . Gaming teacher case studies. Retrieved May 4, 2012 from http://minecraftteacher.net/post/22352613926/gaming-teacher-case-studies

Millstone, J. (2012). Teaching with Digital Games in the Classroom. Retrieved May 4, 2012 from http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/Cooney-Center-Blog-234.html

Watterson, A. (2012) MinecraftEDU: Minecraft for the Classroom. Retrieved May 4, 2012 from http://hackeducation.com/2012/03/15/minecraftedu-minecraft-for-the-classroom/

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