Earlier this year, I approached Rose Bard, a language teacher in Brazil about doing an interview about how she uses Minecraft with her students. As we discussed arrangements, I found out more about the game world Rose had created for her students to access and use… and then it struck me – why not do the interview in Minecraft?
It took a bit of experimenting to find out how I could capture the game and record Skype audio at the same time (I managed it eventually but not perfectly which is why I am a little quiet) but it was great to see the detailed world Rose and her students had created for themselves.
It was even better to hear about the way in which this world had come to exist. This was not a curriculum-driven project or a top-down imposed activity. It was something that had grown organically from a teacher taking an interest in her students and wanting to learn more about the game they were all into to in such a big way.
Here is a prime example of how games can be a great leveller when used as learning environments. There is no hierarchy of ‘teacher as expert’ with students in need of new knowledge and skills. Instead, the learners can take the lead, first of all teaching the teacher the basics of the game (see my article “Learning to Play the Students’ Way” on the Store page for an example of this). In terms of language, this emerges from the game and the teacher is on hand to help the students with the necessary vocabulary, phrases, structures and pronunciation to relate their in-game experiences.
It was also encouraging to hear where Rose plans to take this next by working with the ICT department to bring Minecraft into school as a learning tool and using it as a way to both learn and teach coding skills. Rose – I wish I was a student in your class.
Anyway, enough from me. Here is the interview from my YouTube channel:
Part One: The Quickfire Round
Part Two: A Magical World
Like what you see?
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EVO 2017 Minecraft MOOC
Rose will be part of the moderator team at the next EVO Sessions (January 2017). You can find out more about the Minecraft MOOC and how to register from this link.
Rosemere Bard has been an English teacher for almost 20 years with a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She’s currently pursuing a B.A. in Computer Science for Education and a specialization in Instructional Design. She works for a regular school with its own language institute. She’s been exploring authentic (digital and non-digital) games for language learning lately, and is interested in simulation, role-play and play.
Follow her blog at https://rosebardeltdiary.wordpress.com/