Givercraft Journal – 2nd Meeting

In our meeting this week, Scott and I used a Google Doc as our Planning Document to capture our collective notes about our process and progress and to keep us organized as a team.  We discussed several important aspects of the teacher training course based on the existing course website that was created by the Spring 2015 OLTAK cohort.  During that course, we had initially used live training sessions that were recorded; each session included an overview of teacher responsibilities, an explanation of the Teacher Guide for implementing the Givercraft experience, and MinecraftEdu game sessions that allowed us to demonstrate teacher tools and controls with teachers in the game.  Later as we evaluated that approach to teacher training, we realized that  course or training site was needed to give teachers a more interactive forum to learn what they needed.  

For our purposes this fall, we examined the teacher training site and decided which elements we would keep and what topics or information would need to be updated for the current cohort of teachers.  We felt it was important to maintain the formatting of the existing site for consistency and ease as well as future Givercraft/Survivalcraft experiences to add on to what we had created.   As for the Givercraft Teacher Guide, we also wanted to keep the same format and change only the information that needed to be updated.  We decided that I would review the existing Givercraft Guide and pass it on to Scott, who would be responsible for editing and formatting our version of the guide.  We also recognized that the scenarios in the unit plan would be worth examining again to ensure that they were still relevant and to determine if we had other suggestions for revising them.

Another tool that we decided to keep from existing Givercraft experiences was the Google Community that had been created for the previous Givercraft and Survivalcraft experiences.  This would serve as our forum for communication, polls, resource sharing, troubleshooting, announcements, and any other purpose that would encourage and facilitate dialogue between and among the Givercraft team (us) and the Givercraft teachers.  We realized that utilizing an existing community that most of the teachers had already joined would be less confusing and we could utilize discussions and resources that had been shared in earlier experiences.  In our discussion, we also agreed that I would be the primary contact for teachers during the enrollment process and for any individual issues that did not need to be addressed in the community forum.  I also emphasized the need for transparency and that I would copy the Givercraft team on communications with teachers so they could stay updated on individual teacher progress and respond to any questions or issues if needed.  We also agreed that if teachers contacted us about issues or questions that would benefit the entire cohort of teachers, we would encourage them to post their questions again on the Givercraft Community for the benefit of discussion and sharing of ideas.  I think this is important because it will set the tone for how we will communicate with teachers and how we expect and need them to contribute to the community.

We also discussed at great length, our expectations for enrollment and participation by Givercraft teachers and created a tentative timeline to ensure that we would have time to complete our tasks and for teachers to prepare for their respective experiences.

Givercraft Timeline

Upon registration, teachers will join the Google Community and post a brief introduction of themselves and their school.

Week 1

  • Teachers will create student usernames and passwords and submit this information on a class roster
  • Teachers will create a wiki site (or similar tool) for students to post their work

Week 2

  • Teachers will complete the Teacher Training course online
  • Teachers will download, install, and test the Minecraftedu client software

Week 3

  • Teachers will join an optional practice session with the Givercraft team in MinecraftEdu
  • Teachers will complete any other tasks that were still pending
  • Teachers will create a class zone in MinecraftEdu using teacher tools and blocks

Week 4

  • Teachers will join an optional practice session with the Givercraft team in MinecraftEdu
  • Teachers will test students account logins on students computers
  • Teachers will create additional communities outside of their class zones if needed

Week 5

  • Teachers will join an optional practice session with the Givercraft team in MinecraftEdu
  • Teachers will confirm their game schedule on the Google Calendar
  • Teachers will complete any other pending tasks

Week 6 (November 2- 6, 2015)

  • Teachers will implement Scenario 1 according to the Givercraft Guide for Teachers
  • Students will post screenshots, reflections, and other evidence of learning on their wiki pages (or similar tool)

Week 7 (November 9 – 13, 2015)

  • Teachers will implement Scenario 2 according to the Givercraft Guide for Teachers
  • Students will post screenshots, reflections, and other evidence of learning on their wiki pages (or similar tool)

Week 8 (November 16 – 20, 2015)

  • Teachers will implement Scenario 3 according to the Givercraft Guide for Teachers
  • Students will post screenshots, reflections, and other evidence of learning on their wiki pages (or similar tool)

Week 9 (November 23 – 25, 2015)

  • Students may finish up their work in the game and take final screenshots or evidence of learning as needed
  • Teachers will evaluate student products of learning, based on the rubric and submit to the Givercraft Team

Week 10 (November 30 – December 4, 2015)

  • Teachers will complete a satisfaction survey created by the Givercraft team to reflect on the experience and student outcomes
  • The Givercraft Team may use a selection of student products of learning to create a Highlight Reel

To articulate our team member roles and responsibilities moving forward we decided that we would all be responsible to model participating in the Google Community and communicate information and resources to teachers.  I would be primarily responsible for the enrollment process and supporting teachers to download, install, and test the MinecraftEdu client.  We suggested that Aleta might want to be responsible for moderating the Givercraft Wikispaces site, for creating the satisfaction survey that we send to teachers, or even to compile and review student assessments that teachers will submit at the end of the experience.  Since she was not able to meet with us, we decided to let her examine our meeting notes and decide what tasks would be most interesting to her.

It feels great to be able to create a timeline that helps us determine if there will be enough time for teachers to adequately prepare themselves and their students.  From this point on, the Google Community will be a great tool for us to keep teachers updated on our progress, their tasks, and to facilitate discussions about implementation.  I’m planning on testing the MinecraftEdu client this week and reviewing the previous Givercraft guide before passing it on to Scott.  Registration and enrollment has been going well so far and since we only have about seven to nine teachers interested, it does not feel overwhelming to manage communication with them all.  Scott committed to testing the MinecraftEdu client as well and to focus on editing our training website.  He has not had to use the Weebly platform as much and he was interested in trying it out.  Since I had been on the previous team that created the training site, I am grateful to have another set of eyes to evaluate the content and design.  I’m also looking forward to our first class meeting and interacting with my peers about the practicum experience.

Any thoughts, feelings, opinions, suggestions?

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