A review of my colleagues' posts this week has been, once again, tremendously humbling. This class is not at all what I was expecting, and the ease with which my colleagues have bolted through the pixelated-cloudy skies of the Minecraft world have left me baffled, breathless, and frustrated. A couple of posts I reviewed had screenshots of absolutely beautiful and detailed Minecraft world creations, as well as explanations that may as well have been straight from a NASA technical manual -- with comments about teleporting and zones and MC stuff that makes no sense to me.
I should be trying harder to figure it all out. I have been reading articles my colleagues are linking in their posts, and there is so much interesting literature and anecdotal "stuff" out there about how MC is being used in the classroom. I am in awe of the creations captured via screenshots and posted on the #minecraftedu Twitter feed. But I just can't convince myself that my time is better spent learning to play Minecraft than it is investigating other tools for differentiation that I could share with teachers in my district and feel pretty certain they will result in measurable student learning gains.
It is comforting to see that there are others in the class who are also MC newbies and who are trying to find their way...but I have missed some critical connections with colleagues and just can't seem to find my way back into the fold. It has been a tough week, but all of it is certainly helping me to think critically about differentiation, gamification, and how all of the parts and pieces come together in different ways -- depending on our professional interests and bents -- to create unique learning environments for students.