Monday, 9 February 2015

Digging into MineCraft

Yesterday I spent a bunch of time hanging out on Skype with Liam (aka Praxismaxis aka GamingEdus) O'Donnell. All of this was in preparation for getting Donview students onto the GamingEdus multi-school MineCraft server. I first met Liam at ECOO at the MineCraft meetup social event one evening, but this was the first time I had really had a good conversation with him.

It was really exciting to listen to someone who is really passionate about how this particular piece of technology can impact students, and it was neat to hear what he is doing in his classroom and how he is collaborating online with colleagues. He was also excited to hear about the work I am looking to do around MineCraft and 3D printing.

He was very patient and helpful (which I am tremendously grateful for), and as someone who is more or less still classified as a noob, I learned a lot! I was able to learn about the white list, and how to use the PvP arena! One thing I discovered is that I still have a lot to learn about things like scripting, and plugins on the server. I also learned that the server is set out very similar to the teacher server. This was important information since I've gained some familiarity with that world so I was able to transfer my knowledge from those experiences.

The server has Creative and Survival modes, it has a super flat land, and it even has a TNT section. The entry spawn point is in Creative mode (like in the teacher server), and that's where all the portal's are for all the different schools that are sharing the server. These portals link to parts of the world spread out all over the map.

I watched and learned as Liam showed me how to move about using coordinates. We found a spot that was "black" uncharted territory on the map. It had a village in a valley below a hill, a temple off in the distance, and three different biomes close by: a savannah, a desert, and a tropical forest. Liam built the portal on the top of the hill, using our school colours blue and gold. It was pretty neat to see a clean landscape - ready to be built.

With the Donview section all set-up we're ready to roll. I'm hoping to test it out first thing tomorrow morning with some HSP students. I'm excited to see what my students and I can come up with. Stay tuned for more.