It's always good to start again, and a new team of 20 pupils have had their first session in the world.
They had a play with the keys and getting used to moving (when they've only played MC using a console, it's a little different using a keyboard!), and then went on a walk - led by myself - from the Town Hall to a new housing estate where 20 shining plots of building land were sat waiting.
Each child has taken a plot, added a notice to let others know whose land is whose, and gone away with a sheet of squared paper to plan the ground floor of their 16x8 block dwelling.
Next session the proper creative building begins :o)
With the pupils completing the cinema design, it's time to move onto a new project. Except that there is one more thing needed at the cinema - something on the screens. They are sitting there blank.
What would be much better would be picture (or a movie playing - even better) to make it look finished.
When we first started the cinema build, I was chatting to the school technician about this and we both tried - unsuccessfully - to find a way to get an image on the giant monitor.
Well, I wasn't prepared to give up and have been beavering away since using the computercraft mod.
Today I cracked it. The reason we were failing (primarily) is that (1) the children had built the screen using the 'basic' monitor with a grey surround and (2) I connected a 'basic' computer to it. Basic, in this case just wasn't good enough. It needed 'advanced' monitors with the yellow surround and an advanced computer.
Because the computer was placed to the right of the screen, it meant that "monitor left" would need to be used to send the output to the screen correctly.
Once the advanced items were in place I needed to open the "paint" program on the advanced computer, making sure it output to the location of the monitor, and the specify an image name.
> monitor left paint image1
Once this was running I could then draw - block by block - an image on the cinema screen; With an image completed, I used CTRL + S to save the image to the advanced computer.
To make the image appear whenever I wanted it to, I needed to edit the start program on the advanced computer
> edit start
and then write a program that would call up the image from the advanced computer, and draw it on screen.
Once the edited start file had been saved (CTRL key then select SAVE), it could be run with the following command to make sure the display was sent to the big screen on the left of the computer;
So now showing on Screen1 is a blockbuster movie, while on Screen2 is a film about a plane;
Using the isometric view that MCMap creates from MineCraft data, (as mentioned in a previous post) I've created a view of the World created so far by pupils over the past few years. Seeing it like this, it suddenly becomes apparent just how much creativity there has been.
This week the pupils completed their Palace design. They placed a two block high wooden fence on the roof to add an effect that worked perfectly as the final touch.
As they had a little time left after completing this, they returned to the cinema design (they started this long before we had the annoying laptop issues) and set about finishing off screens 2, 3 and 4.
The palace project is progressing. Pupils have been working on this during their lunch and break times, and have made excellent progress.
We've sorted the access issues we had on the laptops, and now the pupils can really crack on with the building of the Palace design.
By the end of the latest club session they had completed the outline of the East face, and were well on the way to getting the other faces of the building completed;
So the footprint for the pupils new project has been laid. Along with security guards, fences and even a familiar looking column.
We're still having issues with the school laptops - meaning that things have dropped to a snails pace as we have only my staff laptop accessing our world.
However - the Pixel Art is now completed, and when viewed from high up we can see this;
Now the pupils are starting on their next idea - they want to build Buckingham Palace(!!) and so have found some images, done some calculations about window sizes and blocks needed and then started to draft out their plans on squared paper. They have even scouted around the world for a suitable location and have chosen a large open space behind the Great Explorers childhood mansion.
We've had a few issues recently with new laptops, the final build of MineCraft Edu and java meaning that the pupils have been computer-less for their sessions.
However, this just meant we had to be creative and plan out future activities using squared paper, and this time we chose to create pixel art that would be displayed in the world (once the problems are sorted).
With just one machine (a staff laptop) accessing the world, it's been a slow process getting the pixel art into the world but they're getting there. There are currently three pieces in the "Pixel Park" that they can view.
In the previous session the children were busy building the cinema they had planned out. Luke was creating Screen1, and was thinking about how to put a cinema screen on the wall to make it look authentic.
He decided to use the monitor block from the ComputerCraft mod, and discovered that by placing several together it created a bigger screen area. Trial and error resulted in the largest screen it was possible to make - 8 blocks x 4 blocks. However, a black screen in a darkened cinema room didn't work well but with the addition of grey crystal either side of the screen (that looks like a speaker system), the result works incredibly well;
And whilst Luke was working on this area, the "food court" (with counter) and ticket booth areas have both been completed too.