The assignment for this week was to play two selected worlds for at least 3 hours and I felt like I spent almost that much time just figuring out how to play the Agent Trials. The only way I figured it out was after some classmates posted about it. If not for those posts, I am not sure I would have been able to figure it out. I did, though. I downloaded the Code Connection and then used Tynker. I followed all the tutorials and completed all 8 challenges. To be honest, I wasn’t timing myself on how long I played, but I know I went well over the 3 hour requirement. After completing the challenges, I thought those alone would be a great learning experience as an introduction to familiarize students with using an Agent in Minecraft, coding, and with computational thinking. Using the Tynker tutorials for Agent Trials would be a great place to start in the classroom. The expected outcomes or objectives would be for the students to learn how to successfully complete all 8 challenges. By doing so, they would also be expected to learn how to code basic commands for utilizing their Agent. Then, I would have the students write a reflection about their experience with the 8 challenges. The reflection would also include answering various questions such as which was the favorite/least favorite, which was the hardest/easiest, which took them the most time, and how comfortable the students now are moving forward. At the completion of this, I would give students an opportunity to create something of their choice in the sandbox.
One of the other worlds that I played was the Starter Town. I played in both the creative and survival mode. It might be my experience, but I definitely preferred the creative mode. You have an already stocked inventory with everything you need and it is just a much calmer atmosphere. In the survival mode, I kept getting killed by the bad guys. A majority of the time, it was a guy shooting arrows at me. In the creative mode, I rode the train around the town and saw all the amazing buildings and structures. From a classroom/learning perspective, I think exploring the Starter Town in creative mode would be a great start for beginners. The expected outcomes would be for the students to collaborate and learn how to navigate around the town and use their inventory to build a house/shelter. Using collaboration, either partners or small groups, I would have the students explore the town by setting up a scavenger hunt for them. I would ask them to find specific buildings or places and take screen shots when they found them. I would then ask them to build a house/shelter in order to get comfortable using different materials from their inventory. This would create a fun, learning atmosphere for the students who will more than likely come in with varying ability. It will also allow for collaborative work, in a game-like atmosphere, among the students.
Overall, there are a lot of possibilities in both worlds as far as learning objectives. However, I think it would be important to start with a beginner type task in order to make sure to reach students of all levels. Many will come in with more knowledge/experience than these tasks require, but there will be some who come in without any knowledge/experience. Being a beginner myself, the tutorials have been the most helpful. Exploring on my own is okay, but I would much rather go through a tutorial so I have some idea of what I am supposed to be doing. If I were to revise anything about the worlds I have played so far, it would be to offer a tutorial of all possibilities in order to learn how to be successful. Then my students, and myself, would have a higher possibility of success, along with an increased comfort level, when venturing out on their/my own.