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August 2015

July 2015 entries

Publishing a Challenge

The city has been built, and the pupils have left. How do we keep their work alive? How about turning their world into a MineCraftEdu challenge?

I'm currently looking at uploading their work into the MCE world library for others to download and enjoy.

Here's the video that introduces the idea...

If you use MineCraftEdu, then visit the World Library where you can find the challenge. Alternatively, click here


Secure that door

Now, this is something that I like the look of.

Using the ComputerCraft mod, with MineCraftEdu, to add a level of programming to the world. In particular, the ability to link a door to a computer to make a password protected entrance.

So, I've done just that in the quest set up for the children based on their city. Now they'll encounter this at some point within the quest (not saying where!)

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Clicking on the computer screen presents them with

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And how does it all work? With a little bit of programming of the computer itself.

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Of course, the passcode for the door could be located anywhere, and it might not even register with the pupils that it's an important piece of information...


Becoming Explorers

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Information point outside the Town Hall
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A clue located in the city library
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Clue information
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The Great Explorers Garden Maze
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The Great Explorers Diary
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The diary leads to various explorer related artefacts
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Food Dispensers found in Tisco's Supermarket

From Creating to Challenging

Well the pupils have completed the last big city build of the school year  - the hospital - so as they were desperate just to have time to "look around" the city I altered the MineCraftEdu mode from creative to Survival (no monsters / no fire / no building) to let them discover.

They wanted to know why I'd put it in survival mode, so I explained I wanted them to walk and run about, not fly into the sky and look all around them.

As they were looking around, I had an idea (based on what I had seen in the quite brilliant "World of Humanities MCE world"), to make their exploring a game - a challenge - a quest - and so began to add text to a few information points, and to a few books that had been scattered around the city creating clues to a series of challenges. 

The idea was simply;

- To start at the Town Hall and go inside to find a clue that led to another telling them where to start

- To travel to the school to find a clue in the library about a great explorer  that would lead them...

- To the city library where additional information would allow them to find the location of the great explorers home (the city library was the building recovered from the crashed build that was previously used to provide information)

- At the explorers home they had to  negotiate a maze that would lead them to the "explorers lodge" in the trees where they would find...

- The explorers diary that contained records of places that the explorer had been to so that the children could go to those places and discover objects created to the explorer.

 

They loved it. They were engrossed in the tasks, and as they wanted to 'be the first' they were darting about all over the place trying to mislead others who were following.

Being in survival mode though, they had health bars and needed to replenish energy with food. Normally in a game of MineCraft you'd just head out and kill an animal, but this was a city. People don't do that in a city, so they had to go searching for prepared food. But where would they find it? Eventually they realised that the shops, restaurants and cafés they'd built would contain it. In the form of a dispenser with a pressure plate in front of it. Stand on the pressure plate, and out pops a cooked chicken, or an apple, or a pie.

What I'm now wondering about is a booklet with space for them to record the items they find from the clues in the [ever expanding] explorers diary, along with space to write down some of the text on the in information boards (it may come in useful in the future).

Images of parts of this idea to come in the next post.


Housekeeping...

With all major parts of the build completed, the pupils are now working on those last few pieces to make the whole place look perfect.

They're adding the air-vents that are positioned above every floor around the building.

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They're creating doorways to the 'sub floors' between each main hospital floor.

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They're about to put the windows into the separate EENT unit.

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And the front of the hospital now looks like this;

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Almost there

The Hospital construction is almost complete. This is how it currently looks, with a few more windows to add, a bit of roof work to check, and the addition of the separate 'Ears, Eyes, Nose and Throat (EENT) block to finish.

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Looking over the main entrance / East block

 

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Main Entrance / Accident and Emergency

A Solution

Following on from my last post here, there has been a bit of an "uprising" by the pupils at school!  They've been moaning and moping and complaining to myself and their class teachers that their city project has been halted.

The good news about this "uprising" is that it has led to senior management coming up with a solution to the initial issue, and a request to resume the creativity sessions at lunchtimes and afternoon break times.  

So, we're back to building the hospital. And it's looking awesome. Images coming up in a separate post.