I am honestly not sure who reads this blog anymore now that I am out of the classroom. My class website was created to be a communication tool between myself and my students and their families. I left my classroom to be a teacher on assignment last December…I can’t believe it has already almost been a year. It still feels like only recently that I left my classroom.
The transition was not an easy one. Being a teacher on assignment was a completely new experience for me, and one I am learning from every day. I have been wrestling with what purpose my website would serve now and I am still sorting it out. It bothered me that I hadn’t posted since April, and I had been meaning to post again for a while. What finally brought me back to posting was one of my long time passions…employing Minecraft for educational purposes and showing other teachers how to do that as well.
Minecraft has been around for 6 years now. I have been aware of it since it was 3 years old and a few boys in one of my 3rd grade classes had Minecraft fever. Lots of educators around the world are using Minecraft in their classrooms now, but while many educators are quite skilled in using Minecraft for education, there are still a lot of us who want to use Minecraft with our students but don’t know where to start.
From late 2014 til recently this year (2016) I ran my own Minecraft server as a part of my Master’s practicum. Talk about a learning experience! I offered a Minecraft Club for 3rd through 5th grade at my school. Since Minecraft is not district approved, I ran it as a distance learning experience with students using their own Minecraft accounts and logging in from home to my hosted server. At most I had about 15 students and in the end as things got harder to manage, I ended up with about 5. I closed my server just over a month ago. It really was a great experience for all of us and I was sad to shut it down, but in the end no one was using the server anymore.
Recently I attended Minecon in Anaheim, and that really made me miss Minecraft. I am in a position as a teacher on assignment to propose teaching tools and Minecraft is one I recently brought up to find my directors receptive to hearing more. Both of those factors made my desire to have my own server again strong. I am approaching it differently now. I am not running a club, but running the server for me to learn and experiment, and for Xavier (my 11 year old son & 6th grader) and I (as well as any interested previous club members) to come and create. No agenda, no lessons, just learning, experimenting and playing.
I hope to post at least my Minecraft experiences, as well as other experiences related to education that may be of interest to others.
Thanks for reading!