Friday, March 27, 2015

Tech Lab? Meet Minecraft.

Tech Lab, new this year, has become quite an experience.  I know that both Ann and I look forward to it each week, and from what we hear from the kids, they also enjoy our tech time together.

Thus far we've done one project - creating app reviews - and explored coding both unplugged and online.  Coding has been a smashing success with the kids, and all of them have taken it home to their own devices to continue trying to decode and create using technology.

However.  We have started a project that is really, really neat.

My Thinkers have been using Minecraft now since January.  They have become quite proficient (who am I kidding, they already knew more than me at day one!) and have completed some pretty incredible projects (more on those later.)

The second graders are currently studying landforms.  Minecraft has lots of landforms.  Can you see where I'm going with this?

Yes!  We spent two weeks with the teams exploring Minecraft in search of landforms.  Once they found one, they took a screenshot of the landform and saved it.  After each team had at least five landforms, we headed into part two.

Part two involved Google Classroom.  The teams created slide shows using Google Slides, showcasing the landforms they found in Minecraft.  They also answered a few questions to connect the project to their overall learning.

Not only was the project fun, technology based, and a direct curriculum integration, it was also uber engaging and totally worth repeating!  The kids had a blast, both grades, and created presentations for which they are quite proud!

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