Reflecting on a week of gaming, differentiation with parents, and learning new tech tools!

This week the challenge was a fun experience even though it was a repeat activity for me.  I was able to meet up with my teammates @DuncanSSD, @iamindlgak,  @ak_agryga, and @mmickelson01 in the game and get to work; using the Hangout chat was also a good way to communicate a little easier than in the game.   Last time when I did this challenge, we all used the game chat, so it was interesting to see the dialogue from the other team and how they were strategizing.  This time with very minimal action in the game chat, we really didn’t know what the other team was doing unless we went over there to check it out.  I thought about this in the context of my research and for differentiation – how will the teachers set up guidelines for communication between and among teams of students but also with other classes that are in the game.

I had a fun time hosting the Twitter session with @taleit; we used a Google Drive document to brainstorm our questions and with @ak_leeg’s advice, added some questions to help others reflect on their time in the MinecraftEdu challenge.  It was good timing to have the twitter session the next day because everyone had a lot of feedback and sharing to reflect on the highlights and frustrations from the game or the challenge.  Following @ScottRoleff’s lead from the previous twitter session, I was able to take notes on a Padlet board for our group, and later @ak_leeg created a Storify version, so cool!  Discovering new apps and programs has been a valuable part of this course and I’m learning about a lot of tools from my peers!  This week the games on each blog were a fun way to interact with others and learn about even more tech tools for differentiation (and gaming)!  I had fun unscrambling words, playing the game of life, matching minecraft blocks, and putting a puzzle together!

A couple of highlights for me from the readings and other blogs this week:

  • Open communication with parents is important but being proactive helps to establish a relationship with parents that builds trust and collaboration.
  • Partnering with parents can help us understand their concerns and give us insight into each student’s progression of learning before they were in our class.
  • Teachers, parents, and students have a role in differentiation; helping each group see the other perspectives is an important role for teachers.
  • Sharing evidence of learning through differentiation can help parents to understand why it is so important in your classroom; parents also build on what they learn from teachers to continue supporting their children onto higher grade levels.

Despite a host of technical difficulties this week (including two power outages), I was also able to help others with tech support for getting MinecraftEdu to work.  Adding what I’ve seen this week to our previous experiences last fall with tech support, there may be some areas we need to provide more resources or create new videos to help registered teachers get everything working properly.  Good thing @tmellen004 is a pro at creating MinecraftEdu video tutorials!

Any thoughts, feelings, opinions, suggestions?

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