Friday, 19 December 2014

MinecraftEdu - Brief Intro

A brief intro, because I've got a feeling this blog will be a little Minecraft heavy this year!

Minecraft has unbelievable potential for use in schools if, like everything else, we use it when it really is the best choice and don't try and force it into the curriculum. That said, the more you use it, the more you see how it could fit with a little tweak here and there :)

If you are going to use Minecraft, I cannot endorse MinecraftEdu strongly enough.

The added features you get make the minimal fee absolutely worthwhile. Couple that with the ever-growing resource bank and other dedicated blogs like (@EduElfie's and it's a complete win!

What are you waiting for?

Award Winning Use Of Sketchup

A while ago I dialed in to the webcast of the National Digital Learning Event to see if there was a chance we'd win the award we were shortlisted for. I was greeted with this...

Innovative use of a digital technology - we'd used Sketchup.

Sketchup - free (love that word) 3D Modelling Software.

Ok, not technically a game so probably shouldn't be on this blog  - but you could make a game from your creations if you wanted! (Plus where else would I show this stuff off?)

If you've never used sketchup, here's how it works...

1) Start with a blank canvas containing 3 axis and a horizon (so you don't end up building upside down).

2) Draw straight lines...

3)...until they meet. When they do, the shape auto-colours to show you.
 4) Create another shape inside the original rectangle.
 5) Use the 'Push/Pull' tool to pull up just the outer shape. Can you tell what it is yet?
 6) Go on adding more shapes...
 7)...pushing and pulling...
 8)...until you have...
 9)...a structure resembling a house!
10) Carry on building until the structure is complete then use the online library to furnish the house and render textures and colours on walls and floors etc.

So What Was So Innovative?

  • Each child in Y6 used sketchup to build, furnish and render a house (LOTS of maths involved)

  • Then they scanned in and imported the work they were most proud of in Y6.
  • This work was then placed around the house - art work on walls, written work on desks and e-work on screens.

  • Then they created a fly through video to showcase their work, wrote a commentary and recorded the commentary over the video.
Have a look at the video below to find out more about the project and see the finished product.

National Digital Learning Award video from Ynysowen Primary on Vimeo.