Thursday, September 29, 2016

Learning With Minecraft

Guest post by Katie Groendyke, EDU 222 student at Murray State University


Engaged in Learning? 
  • Gives way for creativity in classroom
  • Students more open about what they have learned
  • Learning in the classroom and everyday experiences (see the comparisons)
  • Helps teachers and students explore the Minecraft community made
How to get the students involved?
  • Have the students work in pairs or groups
  • Give an activity involving ways to communicate with others
  • Have a common goal for class, do a competitive activity
  • Let student work out problems in front of class
  • Students can solve math and engineering problems
Is this accessible for everyone?

No, you have to receive an email from your teacher, for the Education Edition. This way only students have access to their work and teachers as well. This not a normal game, it is for helping students branch out and express their creativity. Here is a video to help understand more of what you can do on Minecraft:

Is this beneficial for students in the classroom, why or why not?
I think this does help students broaden the creativity scale. And learning to solve mathematical problems on their own in a game is good. Understanding that certain types of this learning can enhance engineering skills, communication with others; students and teachers, and ability to create whatever they what on the screen. As this can help students I also think it can be a little too technical for them, not everything will be accessible like in the game, and students still need to be taught the basics. And to realize that this is a game and not real life.


@PlayCraftLearn. "Minecraft: Education Edition - Home." Minecraft Education Edition. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Blogging in the Classroom

Guest post by Madalyn Stillman, EDU 222 student @ Murray State University
While blogging is something that has become popular in more recent years, it has become a huge hit in the classrooms. Do you remember in elementary school when your teacher would send you home with a list of announcements that may or not make it your parents? And sometimes those announcements were very important for your parent to read. Flyers sent home may soon become a thing of the past with blogging. Teachers everywhere have started creating classroom blogs that include posts about what the class is doing throughout the week, what announcements are important for you as a parent to know, and what you should expect in the upcoming weeks, not to mention students writing and projects! Blogging is a fun and creative tool used today that can be used for so many things. Blogs give you the chance to express how you feel about certain topics or to help keep people informed about what is going on in your life. And although blogging may seem like a no brainer there are some things that you should consider before creating your own personal blog or one for the classroom.
  • Choose an appropriate blogging site for your platform. Make sure that you are choosing something that is not only user friendly but that can be found easily for students and parents.
  • Think about how you will use the blog in your classroom. Discuss with parents what will be on the blog and get their permission to post about their child or possibly upload pictures of their child in the classroom.
  • Collaborate with your students and discuss what they think is most important for their parents to know throughout the week. As the school year progresses and the students become more familiar with the blog maybe incorporate an assignment where they post to the blog.
When thinking about what all your blog should include it is important to think about what your readers may want to see the most of. They will of course love to see what their child has been working on throughout the week, but begin to think outside of the box. Provide a tab that is all about the teacher. Parents love when they are able to know their child's teacher on a more personal level and will feel more comfortable coming to you with questions and issues. Possibly provide a link that provides some simple quizzes or brain teasers that students can work on at home with their parent. And lastly showcase what is going on in your classroom. Provide a link that shows what's been happening in the classroom, how the students are engaging with other students, and create a place where all important information that parents should know.  

Telling Stories. It's What it is all About!

This semester I'm teaching a section of Instructional Technology for the College of Education and Human Services at Murray State University.  In one class period, we discussed digital storytelling and as an assignment, I asked my students to pick an iPad app and create a story.  Here are a couple examples of their stories:

How Big is the Universe?  Let's Put it Into Perspective by Joshua Hawkins.  He used Shadow Puppet EDU to create his story.  If he had chosen to, he could have added audio, but I really like the fact that he used the text and pictures to convey his story.

In this example, Bailey Porter wrote her story called Lenny and the Big Red Ball using Little Bird Tales, which is an iPad app as well as a website.  Here's a link to her story.

Another story written by Jaycee Cribbs tells about a mission trip to Honduras and used ThingLink to add hotspots with additional information about the trip and the country.  Click here to see JayCee's story.

What stories are you telling?  Why not share them?