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"How Do I Learn from You All?" Students Negotiating the Risk to Learn via an In-Class Gaming Community

"How do I learn from you all?"

Students Negotiating the Risk to Learn Via an In-Class Gaming Community

Alice Lesnick, Wendy Chen, Thomas Lord, and Alexandra Wolkoff

Blended Learning Conference, Bryn Mawr College, May, 2014

SESSION OVERVIEW

"The possibilities that exist between two people, or among a group of people, are a kind of alchemy. They are the most interesting thing in life."  Adrienne Rich, Arts of the Possible

  • Who we are: Alice, Alexandra, Wendy, Thomas

  • What is Minecraft and why does it matter? Broad play, wide ripples [Thomas, Alice]

  • Facets of Minecraft as/in Education: 

    • as a way of learning about ourselves as learners -metacognition [Alexandra]

    • as a way of engaging and recognizing learning as an interactive experience -- including collaboration,  hierarchy, power [Wendy]

    • as a sustained experience of radical open-endedness, emergence -- linked with very specific practices and skills [Thomas]

    • as a channel for educational transformation [Alexandra]

  • Importance of scaffolded reflection and guiding theory to support and inform the learning community [Alice, Wendy]

  • QUESTIONS and DISCUSSION

Student Reflection (for more, please see the comments in the course blog to the left)

"I would have to say that to sum up my experience in a sentence, minecraft definitely was a space "to imagine what's possible." It was an assignment where the line between work and play blurred.

In a society that is sometimes always governed by rules, minecraft offers a space to traverse the void between freedom and structure. Some of us wandered without being tied down, and some of us tried to give ourselves purpose by setting self-directed goals. . . . It was a chance for us to make our own rules and yet some of the rules of reality continued to seep in and manifest in the game. It became a figment of civilization."

Selected Resources

“Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs are Playing Minecraft Today”

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130807171044-5853751-tomorrow-s-entrepreneurs-are-playing-minecraft-today

“Why Minecraft is Great for Gifted Kids”

http://www.giftedparent.org/2013/02/why-minecraft-is-great-for-gifted-kids.html

“Minecraft Partners With United Nations For Urban Planning”

http://www.readwriteweb.com/hack/2012/09/minecraft-partners-with-united-nations-for-urmoban-planning.php

A NY Private School Teacher blogs about teaching with Minecraft

http://minecraftteacher.tumblr.com/

“Virtual Worlds and Other Technology Helping Kids with Reading”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/08/09/minecraft_virtual_worlds_and_other_technology_can_help_elementary_schoolers_with_reading_writing_and_digital_citizenship_.html

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