I want to make sure our students have the materials they need to succeed, so I just created a request for the Makerspace at DonorsChoose.org for Collaboration Stations. If you chip in to help our PVE students, you'll get awesome photos and our heartfelt thanks.
Thanks so much,
The goal of this project is to seamlessly blend the digital and physical worlds. In our school we have many tools that we can use individually including laptops and iPads, but we do not have many resources that can allow the students to share their screens when working collaboratively. I want to set up two collaboration stations that will each include a TV, an Apple TV, a Google Chromecast, and HDMI cables. These connections will allow students and group members to project their laptop computer, tablet, or other device onto the large screen monitor. Groups will be able to sit down around a table and connect their device(s) to the screen and share their work with each other.
In just a click, students will be able to switch which computer or iPad screen is being shared.
Having these new collaboration stations in our classroom will help with our journey to blended learning. Imagine students being able to share what they see on their screens with others. The conversation that students will be able to have about their work will help to create a community of 21st century learners.
Minecraft is a game, why is it being played at school?
Minecraft is addicting and can be an all consuming game for your children at home! I facilitate the Minecraft club here at PVE and we play Minecraft for over an hour each week. Often times while waiting to be picked up, students will pull out their tablets and other devices and start playing Minecraft PE, they just can’t get enough!
Why do we have a club dedicated to a video game? It is categorized as a sandbox game, an environment that can be molded and played with in many different ways. When we play Minecraft after school, we are learning the social values of communication, collaboration, teamwork, fairness, respect, and responsibility. We are also problem solving, participating in inquiry, using our imaginations, and being creative. We are doing so much more than just “playing” a game!
Minecraft is a powerful education tool that can be designed to fit the needs of many curriculum based assignments. Just last month our Fourth grade students read an article in Scholastic News titled “Minecraft Goes to School.”
There have been many articles written about the educational benefits of using Minecraft in the classroom. Here is a recent article about Minecraft in Education: http://www.alphr.com/life-culture/1001901/how-minecraft-is-being-used-in-education and here is another one which highlights the use of video games in education: http://pctechmag.com/2015/10/minecraft-in-the-classroom-video-games-and-the-future-of-education/ .
If your child plays Minecraft, you can also make it educational at home. Have the students design a replica of your house, our school, your neighborhood, etc… They will learn about spacial reasoning, design, and engineering. Challenge them to learn about electricity by using redstone to make circuits that power lights, doors, even elevators. There is so much that can be learned through a hands-on application such as Minecraft.
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