Wednesday, February 28, 2018

STEAM / Minecraft Learning for a classroom

James (a colleague) and I had the privilege of attending a STEAM / Minecraft day organised by 'Using Technology Better'.   

Interesting Fact: "75% of fastest growing occupations in Australia require skills relating to STEM."

Pedagogy of a STEAM approach
- Start with the why (why do we use it in our classroom?, why using STEAM? Make kids think, using 21st C skills…)
- Important to find solutions for problems in everyday life and to think what we are doing

How the world is changing...

What is Active Learning?
"Students that are engaged in more activities than just listening. They are involved in dialog, debate, writing and problem solving as well as higher order thinking, e.g. analysis, synthesis, evaluation and creating" - Bonwell and Eison, 1991

Our challenge... 'Make a Ping Pong launcher'

My launcher...

James, busy constructing his...

Check out MakeCode...

We also looked at MaKey MaKey and how to introduce kids to circuits... tip: tin foil is a good conductor.

Minecraft Education:
- Minecraft is not ‘low floor’
- Why sticking with minecraft?
Case Study: Kid who struggled, not engaging, hard to communicate with. Work around an inquiry. Present this any way you want. Kid choose to present it in Minecraft. Engagement changed, started talking and explaining learning. Kid started caming to school beaming, and with the opportunity to using all the learning criteria that is available in/through Minecraft.

How to persuade the Principal?
Write persuasive letters… not calling it a game (as it isn't!)… kids have to come up with another word.

Minecraft = Engagement, Collaboration, Creative Exploration, Learner-Centered outcomes!

Student Engagement:
By using Minecraft as a platform for learning, educators can motivate and inspire every student to achieve more and ignite a passion for learning.
"Motivation is such a huge part in what ends up differentiating student outcomes. Everyone has the ability to do fantastic word at a high level. It's just, without the right teacher and the right motivation, you don't always get there." - Bill Gates

Minecraft: Education Edition is designed for students to play together - whether that's working in teams to solve a problem, or collaborating as an entire class completing learning activities.
"To function effectively in increasingly complex business structures and organizations, employees must become more comfortable with ambiguity, take initiative, and be able to work in a team-based environment." - IDC Skills Requirements for Tomorrow's Best Jobs (2013)

Creative Exploration:
There are no step-by-step instructions in Minecraft - students must try, fail, and try again to achieve the result they want. This open canvas encourages independence and self direction, where students are able to express themselves and their ideas in unique ways.
"Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. Creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status." - Ken Robinson

Learner-Centered Outcomes:
Learning-by-doing in Minecraft teaches students independence and perseverance, giving them a great satisfaction and sense of accomplishment when they can demonstrate their knowledge.
"Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment. And Education should no longer be mostly imparting knowledge, but must take a new path - to seek the release of human potential." - Maria Montessori

Examples of how Minecraft have been used...

~ "Learning is more effective when it is an active rather than a passive process." - Kurt Lewin ~