Minecraft and Geography

The trimester is getting cranked up in earnest and Team Summit is working hard to set the pace.  Last week we had our first Minecraft session and after creating a server charter/constitution, students were set free in the Minecraft world.  They had two goals: 1) create a landmark to help with navigation and 2) to begin building a shelter using the local resources.  Both of these themes fit nicely with our introduction to the themes of geography — particularly place and interaction. 

Additionally, students are required this to write about their gaming experience on a weekly basis.  This week, we are asking that students incorporate the themes of geography into their paragraphs.  The hope is that students will connect their study of geography with the gaming experience.

The news that Microsoft was purchasing Minecraft caused some consternation as can be noted here: Players Wary of Microsoft.  There is some concern that the free flow of information and “mods” might not survive the buy-out but we will see.

Last week students also finished their initial work on their Personalized Learning Plans.  7th graders created their site and write a short biography while 8th graders completed an evaluation of their Phase 1 work.  After conferencing with the 8th graders, I’m fairly convinced that the PLP can be a great tool for learning.

That’s it for now; we’ll try to get a post in mid-week to update our progress.