Beyond the barrage of hyperdoc resources that I’ve been sharing recently, I’ve been finding more success in using Minecraft with my students in Fluco Game Designers. Even though there were many failures at first, I’ve finally gotten it off the ground and moving right along.
I solved the LAN issue that we were having with students. This involved me researching server space rentals and talking to some folks more knowledgeable than I. I learned a few things along the way. The biggest though was that cheapest isn’t always the best. Thanks to some smart feedback, I learned that cheaper sites tend to oversell their space, and cannot always provide the features they promise. I went with MCProHosting for this reason. They were a mid-range option, but I had good found good feedback and reviews on their service. I would be able to get up to 25 students on the server at a time for $10 a month.
We have now used this service for nearly a month, and it has been fantastic! I have not had any issues with MCProHosting, and would recommend it to any colleagues who are unable to buy the Education Edition through Microsoft, but do have access to the regular PC version. The students have all been on at once, typically around 20 on our busiest days, and there has been very little lag. I do make sure the students stay close together in a decent radius in the world so that also helps.
Their first task was to build a Minecraft base or home. I did not give them any requirements as to looks or materials, except that of redstone. I do feel that I would modify this task in the future because the redstone component didn’t get completed with some of the students, and others really rocked it. The designs that were created were rather varied, and added a lot of intrigue to the world. I’ve added some pictures below of their designs.
Our next task is a collaborative project. I believe I have decided on a collaborative village/city build. I am going to go into the server and create fenced off areas. The idea is to have students in groups of 4 that must develop their design within the space allotted. I believe that if I gave them an open space, they would end up running into each other’s builds and trying to build more than they can handle. I did the fenced space for my Minecraft Makershop last summer, and it definitely was a positive when it came to building plans. The students didn’t bite off more than they could chew.
For this project, I don’t believe the hardest part is going to be the building. I have a gut feeling that the hardest part for these students will be the collaborative piece and learning how to design together. I will probably use some ideas from Hyperdoc 6 of my Makershop unit and redesign it for these students, just in case some do decide to take Makershop in the summer during Kids College.
Until next time, happy building!