Analyze the 2 Worlds You Played

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.

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