Givercraft Report – client software and other issues

This week our meeting discussion (October 6, 2015) was focused on reviewing the study guide, reporting our individual progress updates and discussing the course training site.  The study guide that Scott edited was completed and we felt that in addition to the training site, the sooner teachers have access to the information and materials, the better we will be able to address any question and implementation issues that might come up.  

We also talked about resources that might be useful during Givercrat and Scott and I shared some previous issues we had in other MinecraftEdu experiences:

  • Sometimes we struggled to resolve issues if teachers were unable to accurately report the types of technical issues they were experiencing,
  • We will typically receive requests during the experience for tutorials or guides about specific MinecraftEdu functions, features, or gameplay strategies
  • It can be confusing for teachers when we have used a variety of tech tools to facilitate discussions, polling or surveys, data reporting, file sharing, training resources, etc.  We will need to use the existing resources on the teacher training site and the Google Community as much as possible to keep information and communication more streamlined and use other tech tools and platforms as needed.

I had posted a welcome message in the Google Community this past week and was pleased to see that several teachers responded with introductions and expressed their excitement about returning to Givercraft this fall.  

Some tasks that I need to work on this week, include asking Dr. Graham to reset the MinecraftEdu game world, finalize any MinecraftEdu sections on the teacher training site before sending it on to teachers, to start thinking about what our teacher practice session could look like next week.

Update:

The MinecraftEdu server was updated and now we need a new client that will have to be sent to teachers!  Major props to Dr. Graham for helping to create a new client version and making sure the gameworld had been reset to a default world.  We have scheduled two teacher practice sessions each week, one on Tuesday evenings and one on Wednesday afternoons to accommodate teachers in different time zones.  However, with the new client software, there is a chance that teachers will not have installed  the client prior to our practice session.  

One teacher also reported that she has been unable to connect to our server so we are communicating with her to see how we can resolve the issues.  She has an interesting situation because she had previously participated in our Givercraft experience and has since added their own server.  This means that she also has her own client software that could potentially be in conflict with the use of a different client version.  I suspect this will be an issue more with their school filtering protocols then with the version of MinecraftEdu being opened, but I cannot be sure so we will wait to hear an update from the teacher.  

Scott and I had experienced some issues with installation that we suspect are related to Java or previous Minecraftedu files or versions that we have on our computers from the previous experiences.  We finally figured out installation but it remains to be seen what other teachers will report on their end.  We will monitor the Google Community and email communications to see if teachers experience any technical issues with downloading, installing, and testing the new client software.  

The madness begins!!!

Any thoughts, feelings, opinions, suggestions?

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