Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An Eye Opening Experience

Third Graders Provide Eye Opening Experience

I had one kid in my class that was always talking to me about MineCraft.  He just seemed possessed about wanting me to know that he was doing "stuff" with it.  He was talking about 'mods' and 'events', and I just couldn't get a hold on it.  So, last night I started to check it out.  All of a sudden, I'm in a new role - finding out what and how my kids are learning and doing in technology.  I would never have thought to check it out if our Tech Comm had not had some video about how role-playing games provide new and very different (personalized) learning experiences for the 'learner'.

So, this morning, I learned a bunch!  First, I asked my 23 3rd graders what kinds of 'devices' they have access to - what a surprise!  15 of 23 kids have access to a laptop, tablet, iPod Touch-like device, or a smartphone!  These are 3rd graders!  Then we talked about 'apps' and games.  I asked about which were role-play and which were 'player' apps.  They wanted to tell me about which were multi-player and more platforms that they might use; PlayStation, Wii, Game Cube, X-Box.  They also wanted to tell me more about what goes on the inside the games - the various parts.  I let them go to make a list for me of what they could think of and talk to each other.  Kids were asking kids about various games and apps.  I then realized that my World Golf Tour is just one of those apps that I learn from; places, options, weather, ball flight dynamics, geometry, etc.  Wow!

Anyway, I thought, "How can I get just 10 more devices so that every kid in my class could have one in class to go in their way, and maybe contribute to a class effort?"  Got any ideas?  

By they way, do any of you have a Movie Star Planet account?


  1. Mike, that is an eye opener, that 3rd graders in teh CSD have that kind of access. In the library when I ask fifth graders who has internet at home and what kind of devices do they have access two, I usually find maybe two students who have no access at home. I now ask middle schoolers to take out their handheld devices to practice some google research strategies (because I only have the 9 computers). It is often about half of the students that have an internet connected device on them! When I can get them online, practicing the searching skills that I have just reviewed, they are much more engaged. We need to keep this in mind as we begin creating our district plan.

  2. Great story! Minecraft has so many possibilities. They call it the sandlot and it really is. And Stan is interested in learning more about Minecraft too! I myself have only barely scratched the surface of Minecraft but I know how to get better at it now whereas before I had no idea how to even get started.

    Ideas for raising money? Have fundraisers? Sell stuff that the kids create like Mitch does? Find donors? Write lots of grant proposals. It takes lots to maybe get one or more.

    As for Movie Star Planet, never heard of it. Is it cool?