Saturday, December 13, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Summary of Week

This was the week before Givercraft went live with students. We had 2 handshake meetings. There were questions about servers. We received a new password to allow students and teachers into the world. Some teachers dropped the project, due to not having time to read the book, not feeling ready for the project.

I created another survey and asked teachers for questions or concerns. The data was looked over and answered to teachers. One question was on how to take a screen shot and the other was on editing and inputting on a wiki page.

I have looked over the wiki pages and have seen students start to write on them. I went over all of the spreadsheets and made sure they were ready for teachers to input grades on. After this week, I will go to every spreadsheet and take the data and input it on our Givercraft spreadsheet for the project.

This will be a lot of work. There are over 30 spreadsheets on our file. I'm excited for this week. The times do not match with my work schedule, so I'm going to try to log in whenever I have a break to see how the students are doing. Thank you, to everyone for their extremely hard work. We now can watch our creation evolve and see how the students appreciate it.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Week Summary

It's a week away until Givercraft begins. It's an exciting time. This week we had the first teacher test session. It went extremely well. During the session, I helped build a house, teach how to make a craft table, cook food, dig, get tools and supplies to build and how to fly. There were 3 different test sessions. Due to my work schedule, I was only able to make the evening session. Lee, mentioned to only have one session next time, not 6 hours worth. It was a lot.

I enjoyed seeing all of the fantastic buildings the teachers created during their session. I think everyone has a good idea and feeling with using MinecraftEdu. We had a few teachers that were having downloading issues, we gave them the new java to install. Hopefully this solves the problem.

To prepare for Givercraft, this week I uploaded spreadsheets to each teacher's page to keep data for grades, levels of each standard and badge levels for Scenario 1 and Scenario 2. Due to the amount of spreadsheets I was uploaded, I created a new email address, to only have this task on my new email address. I also created a survey that was sent on Thursday evening asking the teachers demographics about their classroom and why they signed up for Givercraft. I have started to receive the results. A lot of technology is being used in the classroom, which is wonderful to see. I gave the teachers the weekend to complete the 10 question survey. Monday, I will look at the data and process it for our article that will be published in an online journal.

My plan this week is to upload the rest of the sheets for scenario 1 and 2 and analyze the data from the survey. I will also help any teammates of mine that need some assistance. I also, think we have a Handshake meeting this week with teachers. I will try to attend one of the sessions. A lot of the times are during my work schedule, so it's difficult to attend all of them. My immediate plan, is to get over this sickness. After the antibiotics, this morning I'm feeling as it's coming back! Oh no!!

I don't need any help with my tasks. I think we are almost ready to launch Givercraft. It's so exciting to be a part of something that has never been done before. I look forward to hearing about the students opinions about the project and watching their journey. What an amazing way to make learning fun and keep students engaged.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Week!

Besides it being Halloween this week. I have accomplished many tasks.

I compared all the screen shots of the Minecraft building to the rubric we created for Givercraft. I made sure each teacher would have an example of a level 1, level 2 and a level 3 to use while they were assessing their students work. I also have created spreadsheets for teachers to fill out and send back to me, after they have assessed their work. I will take this data from the teachers and input it onto another spreadsheet that I have created for our Givercraft project. This spreadsheet will keep all of the data from 2,000 students! We have actually gone over the number of participants we thought we would have. Which is very exciting. I also researched many articles with Lee's help and wrote up a literature review on my search. I have participated in many meetings this week with the team and responded back to teachers who have signed up for Givercraft.

I'm excited to start this project. I think the students and teachers will love this idea. I wouldn't be surprised if this idea spread like wild fire around the world and a lot more teachers were integrating minecraftEdu/games into their classroom lesson. What a fantastic way to make learning fun! Game on, everyone! This next week I will be creating a survey for teachers to complete. It will have the demographics of their class, technology level, ability and types of integration with technology they use in their classroom. I'm interested to see the results.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Open Learning in K-12 Lit Review

After finding information regarding Open Learning in K-12, with Lee's help, Thank you! I have started to notice that a lot of the information is the same. Open Learning is a new concept only 4 -5 years old. It's a MOOC (A Massive Open Online Courses). It can be private to only access with a password or it is opened to everyone. It is not a credit course as of yet, students receive a grade and feel accomplished for learning information about certain topics. Students enjoy MOOC's they are able to collaborate, learn in a social environment and not in a classroom, create blogs, videos and learn from one another. It's also a great way to integrate digital literacy into a classroom.

Roberts, V. (2014). What Can K-12 Learn from MOOCs?  Retrieved from
This is an article that Verena Roberts wrote about what K -12 can learn from Moocs. It explains how MOOCS are an open learning environment. Letting others collaborate with each other, learn from each other and not attend a lecture class. It’s an opportunity for everyone to learn from each other and share resources with each other. Roberts explains “What K12 can learn from MOOCs isn’t simply that a large number of people can move through courses simultaneously. Rather, the lessons involve building and supporting online learning networks.”

Wilcoxon, K. (2011). Building an Online Learning Community.   Learning Solutions Magazine. Retrieved from
This article explains the three elements to building a learning environment. The three elements are teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence. What is the climate setting for the learning, how do participants identify with the group, communicate in a trusting environment and develop social relationships. The last element is how learning is confirmed.  It’s important to remember online learning environment is direct toward learning in a social environment not socializing.

Fasimpaur, K. (2013). Massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are already changing the face of higher education, are starting to create new opportunities in K–12 retrieved from
MOOCS are primarily used for informal learning. Students can choose what topics to focus on. MOOCS are sometimes only available to students in the course and can access it with a password. Other MOOCS are open to everyone at anytime. It’s a way to learn from others and socialize in a learning environment instead of a classroom. MOOCS are here to stay and continue to grow into bigger and better learning environments. “Learners of all ages could learn together based on individual passions rather than through set institutional norms. Using social media and building networks was the way to engage learners.”

Roberts. V. (2013). Hybrid Pedagogy a digital journal of learning, teaching and technology. MOOCifying K-12: Relationships, Collaboration, Risk-Taking retrieved from

This is an article Roberts wrote about the MOOCS she created with her students. She is a parent who was frustrated by the lack of digital literacy integration in her children’s classrooms.  She created many MOOCS and had the students explain how they wanted to complete the MOOC. All students said, they did not want the MOOC to be a “social network and to stay away from Facebook.” Instead they wanted to create blogs, videos to explain their understanding, collaborate, communicate with each other and learn together. With her K-12 MOOC’S Roberts found that it’s important to “discover the importance of relationships, peer feedback,  modeling, support, scaffolding, collaborations, risk taking and digital identity in open online learning environments.” She also mentioned that students explain the specific “MOOC course/content is not what is important or receiving a badge for completing the work, but the nature of the learning and experience is what keeps the students engaged.”

Hill, P. (2012). Four Barriers That MOOCs Must Overcome to Build a Sustainable Model. E-Literate. Retrieved from
MOOC’s are not a creditable course yet. Students can take them and receive a grade and accomplishment for completing the tasks. This article explains the four barriers that MOOC’s must overcome for future generations to become sustainable.
§  Developing revenue models to make the concept self-sustaining;
  • Delivering valuable signifiers of completion such as credentials, badges or acceptance into accredited programs;
  • Providing an experience and perceived value that enables higher course completion rates (most today have less than 10% of registered students actually completing the course); and
  • Authenticating students in a manner to satisfy accrediting institutions or hiring companies that the student identify is actually known.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Summary of Week working on Givercraft Project

This week I finalized the scenarios, tasks, rubrics and badges for the project. The scenarios were pretty much done at the end of last week. Scenario 2 was changed and tweaked a bit. The rubrics were a lot of work. I found more common core state standards we could allign with each scenario. I created the rubrics that teachers will use to assess their students work after each scenario. I worked with Tiffany on brainstorming prior tasks for other scenarios with the extension project for a classroom that is Japanese immersion.

I had a google hangout with Mia discussing ideas for the celebration at the end of the project. We decided that the teachers will be given a packet that they can download onto their computer. Inside the packet will include all of the information about the givercraft project. It will include all of the scenarios, rubrics and badges they can give to the students. We will discuss this week whether we are sending the badges to the students, uploading them to their wiki page, or having the teacher give them to the students after each scenario. We also came up with ideas on how to share the students progress with the class and school. We decided that each teacher could have a wall of badges in their classroom or on their bulletin to share their students success. Everyone would be able to see this and it would encourage other students to set goals and work to achieve them.

We talked about creating a highlight reel. The reel will include students screen shots and journal entries from the scenarios. It will include level 3 work only and explain the givercraft project. We will be able to use this highlight reel to share with everyone and explain what our project was, how the students were successful, who was on the givercraft team and what schools participated. We thought the highlight reel will be a nice addition to our paper.

This morning I worked with Lee on trying to figure out where the document I created had gone. There were multiple copies made. Lee and I copied and pasted, moved documents and made only one final document for the scenarios, rubrics and badges. We moved this document into a published document folder. The published document folder has all of the documents that are ready to be uploaded onto our givercraft website. We will discuss this week during our meeting, what the process will be to moving and changing documents in our MOOC Givercraft Folder.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Summary of Givercraft work

  1. What have I accomplished since the last meeting
  2. *Since the last meeting, I have accomplished finishing the tasks and scenarios 1 and 2 and both extensions. I reviewed the rubric and added level titles, so it is easier for the teachers and students to know what the expectations are. I worked on the Celebration idea document in Google Drive and collaborated with Mia on the ideas we have. I haven't seen any new information in the document, so I think this is completed. I will review over the weekend and check in with Mia. I created more badges for the extension scenarios. I read over the planning document overview and completed the challenge for Wednesday evening Minecraft activity. I explored the world that Tiffany and Thomas built and wrote back feedback to them. I didn't have very much feedback. I appreciated how the world was built, gave certain amount of areas for the students to explore and allowed the activity in Minecraft to be easy for teachers to manage. 
  1. What do I need to accomplish before the next meeting?
  2. The only thing I need to accomplish before the next meeting, is to make sure the celebration idea document is finalized. If anyone is having trouble with finishing something, I can see how I can give assistance by the Sunday deadline.

  3. What obstacles have I encountered?
  4. * I had a difficult time designing the badges at first (trying to find the right picture for the scenario and designing them), but with practice it started to become pretty easy. *The other obstacle was not having internet for a week while finishing the scenarios and doing them on my own. I found after I shared the document and received feedback, the outline and vision started to become clear. It was a lot easier to write the scenarios after this, especially with internet! These are the only obstacles I have encountered. Working on this project has been very time consuming, but filled with a lot of learning and fun.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 5 Reflection

This week has been the most confusing, stressful week of all. First, my husband and I moved into our new house and our internet isn't working. The earliest a technician can come and fix it is in the middle of next week, so driving across town to find internet is quite stressful. Our small group has now become a larger group, where I think this was a great move it's now we're inventing the wheel. We have created a planning document on google drive, which has let everyone voice their ideas and opinions. I think this is important to keep everyone on the same page and communicate with one another. We all have been assigned a task to focus on. From the reading's this week, I learned some excellent strategies for a successful project. After reading the blogs from this week the overall strategy that I think everyone feels is important is communication, focused meeting questions and specific tasks delegated to one another.

I also have experienced how minecraft can be very successful in schools. During our challenge this week, we were put into two groups. One where German Leaders and the other were Advocates for Women. We had a small section to read (history of Germany) and then we had to build, leave citations from the text in treasure chests and create Germany how it would be after the destruction. While building, I saw slightly how this could work for literature. After watching the overview Dr. Graham created and shared, I saw how building in Minecraft can be used for a diorama, books and signs can be used for evidence in citing the text. The building showed evidence the students (us) read the text, used the text while citing and understood their role. During the overview and immediate feedback Dr. Graham, mentioned students could do a write up after building and using their screen shots in their presentation. It's amazing to me how we can take a game and turn it into an excellent tool to use with literature, history...etc Take the lectures, excess worksheets away and turn it into a fun learning experience for students. Game on! Mia and I have had phone conferences and google hangouts to work together on our specific task. My goal for next week is to start the game design process and get the ball rolling. I will add information to the planning document, keep working with my peers and create our MOOC for the 6 -12th graders.

Friday, October 3, 2014

How has your team approached and documented the design of your game?

As I start to answer this question I’m puzzled as how to answer this question. My team no longer exists, we are now all one big team working towards creating our MOOC. While this is frustrating, confusing and stressful, I found this weeks reading to be very insightful in how to help design, organize and create our successful MOOC.
After reading a lot of strategies to help us design a successful game, the most important strategy is the learning objective and assessment. What is the learning outcome going to be? (Kapp, 2012) What do we want our students to learn? How are we going to assess and understand if our students are learning?
Where this week has been stressful for many other peers and after talking with Mia about our new game plan, I wanted to find strategies that we could put into place to help us create a successful game.
I started to research project management and found many strategies that will be beneficial to our team. (Ury) 1. Fully scope the project before you start. 2. Assemble a project team and assign tasks according to strengths. We have completed this with the MOOC document and assigning tasks by strengths. 3.  Prepare a reverse timeline, (identify when each critical step in the project needs to be completed).We haven’t done this yet I don’t think. I think we need to do this before we start getting to close to the deadline and launch date. 4. Perform as many functions as you can simultaneously. Before we can build, we need to know exactly what the design is supposed to look like and the objective 5. Have regular update meetings to share information and last focus on what matters most (Ury). I think for us to design a successful game we need to have strong communication with each other.  Our team needs to clearly define work tasks, and properly assign them (Geland, 2011). This is critical to success. We also need to decide as a group what our objective is. What we want our students to learn and how we are going to guide them to this outcome.
As we create our MOOC, we need to think of the equipment the students will have and make sure the game will work on their computer. We also need to have a document that is user friendly (Longman) to any teachers who have questions or need to give students extra support. We have a lot of these strategies outlined and created for our MOOC. I think we need to decide on one objective, define our standards and start designing our game.


Kapp, K. M. (2012). The Gamification of Learning and Instruction : Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

 Longman,A. (2004). Project management: key tool for implementing strategy. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from

Ury, A (2014). 7 Essential Strategies of Successful Project Management Retrieved October 2, 2014, from

Geland, B. (2011). 5 strategies for successful project management. Retrieved October 3, 2014, from

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 4 Reflection

This week has by far been the busiest. First I have had many parent conferences, google hangouts and regular meetings. Then my husband and I received news that we could move into our new house this weekend! So, many hours this weekend has been put to moving boxes, furniture and settling into our new home!
I found this week that I have become more familiar with using Minecraft. I am starting to learn about the privileges in teacher mode. I think it’s important when creating our MOOC to know sides, student and teacher. This will help us understand how to create our MOOC to better suite our students. I am starting to build a lot quicker and find strategies that help me in Minecraft. I have found there are a lot of tools to observe if learning is occurring. The most important tool is ENGAGEMENT. Our district has announced that this year they are only looking for student engagement with teachers evaluations. Our principal will evaluate us on all domains, but pay close attention to student engagement. If students’ are not engaged, then what was the point to the lesson?
This is the same for Minecraft and Minecraftedu, if students are not engaged, will they want to build or play Minecraft? Will they want to explore and learn new strategies or work with other peers? The answer is, no. Students need to be engaged. When students are engaged, learning will occur. The other tool I found most important is assessments. Assessments can be tests, observations of students learning, questions to students and rubrics. Thomas had a great idea of having students be assessed by levels. Students who achieve a certain level will be graded on the following. Every student learns differently. It’s important we assess our students from their ability. Mia had a suggestion of giving a dedicated area in Minecraft for students. This lets students work with their peers, focus on a certain task or goal and allow the teacher to observe the students.

I’m looking forward to discussing with my group this week on what we want our students to focus on. I think once we decide on an objective it will be easy to have standards and goals for our students to focus on when playing in Minecraft.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Essential Question Week 4

What tools can we use both in and out of Minecraft, to create a convincing case that learning occurred? 
The first tool we can use in and out of Minecraft to show learning occurred is by observation. When a student performs a task or skill correctly, then we know the student has learned (Kapp, 2012). This can be also by assessments, but the best way is to observe the student. During minecraft, I had a difficult time building the first time. After practicing I started to get better. While in Minecraft this week, I observed myself understanding how to access my supplies more practical, flying, learning how to build quicker and being more efficient. I also observed and watched my peers demonstrate how to build quickly. This helped me learn how to use the tools I had to build and answer any questions I had. 
Another tool is encouragement this gives “positive feedback that focuses primarily on effort or improvement rather than outcomes” (Evans, 1997). It’s shown that if a “person can be encouraged to perform an important act that is counter to the person’s own attitudes, a change in the person’s attitude can occur. My attitude when I first started playing minecraft was pretty negative and being very frustrated. While having the opportunity to play in Minecraft each week and have peers that schedule times to play, and give assistance while playing has been helpful in learning the game. It’s important to give feedback to students on their progress, how they did and what they can improve on. It’s important to encourage students, set goals and help them achieve their goals.
            Have students role-play is an important tool. We learn by experience and by doing. Students should have a role in the game. They will have higher thinking and work towards their challenge.  If a student is in a game and only playing, learning is probably not occurring. To have learning occur, students need to be focused, working with other peers incase they need assistance or extra support. Not every time should students work with peers, but most of the time teamwork is important to have learning occur. It helps students see other views on things and to have higher level of thinking. To show that learning has occurred is when students can connect what they’re learning about to every day life or to other subjects.

Kapp, K. M. (2012). The Gamification of Learning and Instruction : Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Evans, T. (1997). THE TOOLS OF ENCOURAGEMENT. Retrieved September 25, 2014, from

Breslow, L. (2008). HOW DO WE KNOW IF STUDENTS ARE LEARNING. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from