Minecraft is a game. A game with no ending. No levels. No rules, as such. It is a simulator game in which the player creates a world by mining resources and creating tools in order to build everything needed to sustain life.
The platform being used for this project is MinecraftEdu. This version offers a downloadable module that can allow the teacher to create a server for which the students can play, privately, in their own created world. The teacher (me) can also create assignments, set restrictions, and set limitations if desired. The "world" is completely oversee-able by the teacher in charge.
This project will challenge students to first learn about the game through completing a tutorial training. The students will have to follow directions, complete tasks, and collaborate with classmates to learn the main aspects of the game, and the instructions that will help them take over once they enter their own created world.
Once the students have completed their training, they will be sent in to The Minecrafted Classroom. Upon first entering, they will be in a blank canvas. A vast landscape of nothing more than trees, water, and open fields. The students will then have to work together to create tools in order to build shelter, plant crops, and raise animals in order for the class to survive. They can also explore, mine, and design their own creations for whatever purpose they see fit.
For the duration of the project, the students will work in teams. Even though they will work at the computers independently, each working their own character, they will collaborate and meet with team members before entering The Minecrafted Classroom.
The teams will form to create a group of Miners, Architects, Construction Workers, Farmers, Landscapers, and Care Givers. Each team responsible for their own aspect of the game.
Throughout the project, teams will change and the students will have a chance of experimenting and trying out different jobs and teams.
Each team will have a project manager, a collaboration coordinator, and team representatives. There will be meetings between the groups in order to examine and determine the best course of action for each team to take on.
Once the students have created a settlement fit for the sustainability of the class, their vision will then be able to expand. The students will work together to build villages, towns, cities, and even countries. They will create their own civilizations, form trade agreements, and possibly defend their territories. They will become doctors and scientists, creating medicines and natural chemicals. They will use mathematical reasoning skills to determine area, perimeter, buying and selling, budgeting, and measurement. They will have to read and write assignments, treaties, list of rules, and other narratives to provide information to their classmates while in the game.
The learning potential is endless.
This is just a brief overview, but there will be MUCH more to come.