HAINS COMPUTER WORLD (Minecraft)
I have always wondered what it would be like to shrink down to the size of an ant and walk around inside a computer system (without getting electrocuted and dying, of course)!
I created a Minecraft world where my learners can engage with hardware devices that they learn about in Computer Applications Technology and combine that with input and output (they’re supposed to learn this from CAPS).
They begin their journey at the keyboard and move on from system to system, answering questions and gathering information along the way by using their cameras and notebooks in the game.
I have built the following devices (among other objects):
- Mouse (inside and out)
- System unit (inside and out)
- Hard Disk Drive
- USB Drive
- Audio speaker (including a music-listening room)
- Multi-function printer (inside and out)
Each “station” is connected via powered rails and a cart which transport the learner. There are specific tasks which require the learner to gather information by exploring the structures I have built and they have to take a selfie or photo at each location.
At the end is a final task where they then go through to a challenge to see if they were paying attention to their environment as I hid certain clues around the world for this part!
When they are done and have found their way to the final stage where they are congratulated, they then go on to a special area where they then build their own structures/devices to demonstrate their understanding of the Information Processing Cycle (with regards to hardware – input/output and processing devices)
This is the first time I have ever done anything like this and I am curious to see if it will work and what the results are going to be. Will this help my learners when answering questions about C.A.T. theory? Will they have gathered an understanding from the engagement in the game, rather than just reading from a textbook? If the results are positive, I will try more projects like this.
The TIME aspect is the major issue here as it takes a VERY long time to build. However, once the building is done it can be used over and over again and even added to by the learners themselves! So, the benefits outweigh the time input.
I am using Minecraft Education Edition. You will need to download it to use the world. Your learners will have to be comfortable with moving about in the world using their keyboards. If you don’t have a licence for Minecraft EE, you can still download it and use it for up to 25 logins per user, I think.
Go check out https://www.techteachers.co.za/minecraft for more information.
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