For once I actually don't know where to start a post, given that, I think this post may be a bit all over the place so I will apologise for that first up.
My class went through the quest today, they were mostly focussed on the task, every time I look at the engagement in a MinecraftEdu class I try to think about giving them a worksheet and how much focus I would see in that style of task and despite the repetitive nature of this quest I still think I generally got much more focus and work out of the students than I would by doing a more traditional task.
For the first time in a while, perhaps because I am tired and grumpy, I had to 'kick' 2 students off the server so that I could have a discussion about their behaviour in-game. One was just completely unfocussed and off task, despite several requests to start his work he was still running around doing whatever he wanted. This particular student is fairly high on the autism scale, so I wonder how this sort of 'shift' in learning space is affecting him, whether it be for good or not good is something I still need to work out. I know however he does love Minecraft, so the 'threat' of being unable to be involved seemed to be enough today to get him back on track.
The second student was spamming chickens around in the gallery, other students were requesting that he stop, however he continued. So I kicked him from the server and sat down with him, discussed his behaviour and how it was impacting on others. He then rejoined the server and completed the tasks in a much more positive manner. This kicking I think is very similar to sending a student out of the room for inappropriate behaviour, then discussing 'the why' with them and inviting them to come back in and behave in a more appropriate way. This is what I would do in any other class for inappropriate behaviour and sits quite nicely with the way I teach and manage my classes.
The task was still too long for the students to complete, although one student managed to complete all 13 sculpture calculations, however he is self-motivated and is able to ignore distractions. He did not get into discussions with other students, even about the work. So while he completed the task, he did not engage in a lot of the work related discussions going on in the room as students natively began to work in groups.
I deliberately didn't mention working in groups or whether they had to do it on their own, however it was very interesting to see some students begin on their own, only to realise that the person or people sitting next to them were completing the same task so they started to compare counts and work together. I think this sort of collaborative working is an awesome way of improving student knowledge.
I still think that having the visually appealing and simple to read instructions with screenshots of what their book should look like was a great help. I read through it with the class prior to them beginning the quest and then was able to refer students to it when they asked a question. There were no really low literacy students in my class today, so the need for an audio recording of the instructions was not there, but it is certainly something I think I will try to include next time to cater for more students at their ability level and prevent those sorts of problems holding them back from displaying their true understanding of a topic.
I think that is enough for now. If I think of any other key points to share I will, but thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment below.