DEC Scan Journal : Volume 33 Issue 2
2014 Volume 33, Issue 2 36 Contents Editorial Currents Teaching & learning Research Curriculum support Share this Resource reviews the Minecraft Experience wiki. Here you see challenges set, some even as assessment tasks, with students teaming up as necessary to choose their own ways to realise the challenge and demonstrate their learning. 101 Open Ended Minecraft Challenges Offering students a pool of interesting challenges allows them to follow their passions within curriculum designed tasks. Take a look at the crowd sourced list of challenges building in 101 Open Ended Minecraft Challenges, started in my 2013 3D Gamelab camp and open to all. As learners discover the tasks that motivate them they will also begin to build their identity in the game world community. The learning areas are not explicitly stated in the tasks but outcomes can be seen embodied in student products. were important to them and their peers. We thought that they would just want to build artefacts but very quickly these students wanted to program interactivity, design their own objects and avatar clothing, offer player rewards and even refine the system itself. They found ways to learn all they needed including, roping in peers, teachers and real world programmers as mentors and advisors. Their products were much admired by other learners and more importantly perhaps by the teachers and parents who were in awe of their design, skills, dedication and teamwork. It’s not just the paths that were their own; it was also the destinations. These students took their work in the virtual world to places I would never have dreamed. I realised that had I set the tasks, tools or teams I would have lowered the ceiling on their potential motivation and learning. Lived curriculum Another tool that begs for this need to resist channelling is the game Minecraft. This sandbox genre game allows learners to make it do and become what they want. This particular game is probably played outside of school by more than two thirds of the learners in your classrooms. It is far less well known and understood by the adults around them. At the same time, This desire paths philosophy is not about marooning learners to some digital Lord of the flies scenario. In all the cases cited here and in the previous edition of Scan (Scan 33.1), the teachers were co-players with their students. Curriculum is not abandoned but is used instead as a springboard for creativity and innovation. Additionally, there are important general capabilities such as citizenship, social and emotional learning and leadership that are all enhanced by engagement in open virtual world/game implementations. Once described as soft skills these capabilities are described by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) as an integral part of 21st century learning (ACARA, 2013). Game spaces afford what I have termed the lived curriculum (Stuckey, 2013). The lived curriculum is about participatory and experiential learning where students interact and refine their engagement with concepts and each other. A multiplayer learning space designed for desire paths will afford opportunities to experience citizenship, social emotional learning and leadership. Students given the opportunity to engage in in-game community will develop life competencies in self management, self awareness, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making (CASEL, 2013). To my mind there are two ways we can adopt desire paths; either open the pathways and/or open the destinations. The first is a more moderate way to experience the effectiveness of the idea, and the second is a deep dive to wholly embrace the concept. Let’s look those two sets of possibilities played out in Minecraft, but the value could hold true for many other tools and media. Opening up pathways Knoxcraft Educator: Mr Michael Beilharz, Knox Information Communication Technology (ICT) Integrator Knox Grammar School: Mars colonies project on Minecraft Take a look at what was achieved in Knoxcraft (Knox Grammar School) projects and challenges described on As learners discover the tasks that motivate them they will also begin to build their identity in the game world community.
Volume 33 Issue 3
2014 Issue 1