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I thought the lesson in Minecraft was a creative way to engage students with technology while keeping them motivated to learn a new lesson in the classroom. In the beginning, most seemed hesitant to work in Minecraft because there was a stigma that the game was for children (myself included). However, there was so much to explore in the game that each class, students were excited to sign on and continue to work on their lessons. Students in the class were coming up with ideas for lessons that never seemed possible to complete on a video game. This was a great learning experience because now I am thinking of how this could be implemented in a French or Spanish classroom setting.
I changed and developed a greater learning experience during the process of building my lesson. At first, I thought that building the world would be easy and seamless, but trying to accommodate to the needs of everyone in my group was frustrating. Overall however, this project showed me how any and all technology could be used to motivate and interest students to learn about a topic that might not seem too interesting. I mastered how to do simple tasks in minecraft, and this exact process will happen in real life as well. As I grow older, there will be more technologies that I’m unfamiliar with that I will have to integrate into my classroom in order to maintain the interests of my students. I learned to be more open with unfamiliarity and that will the help of colleagues that are more advanced, simple tasks could turn into entire lessons. Minecraft showcased Egypt well as it was easy for students to see physical differences in structures. There was also room to integrate activities such as boat racing in Egypt. This interactivity can’t be found in a lecture on Pyramids or while watching a documentary. Also when seeing the other groups’ videos and lessons, it showed me how there are multiple ways of approaching each lesson. Not one group was the same and there was a wave of creativity when seeing the different ways each group chose to design their lessons.
The use of minecraft in the classroom deepened everyone’s understanding of the technology itself, how other technologies can be implemented in the classroom, and the various problems that could arise in a classroom. Some pros were: We were able to construct a mock lesson and for a lesson plan while using a new technology in the classroom and we worked in groups and divided the work into equal sectors. Some disadvantages, however, were the negatives that come along with using technologies. Though the software was free, many students experienced difficulty downloading it to their laptops. Also, getting everyone connected to the same server took time out of class where we could have been building or discussing issues. However overall, the experience was great and it taught me what to expect in my years to come as a teacher.
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