Evaluating and Integrating Digital Tools into the 21st Century Classroom

Posted on Nov 23 ,2016

Posted in Conferences, NYSCATE 2016

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Thank you so much for everyone who came out to my presentation at NYSCATE on Integrating and Evaluating Educational Technology. Click here for my presentation slides. All of the images for the digital tools I mentioned are linked to their website. If you would like more information on my research or The Bunz Model please feel free to contact me here.


Game-Based Learning and Gamification: Strategies for Effective Integration

Posted on Nov 23 ,2016

Posted in Conferences, NYSCATE 2016

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Thank you so much for everyone who came out to my presentation at NYSCATE on Game Based Learning and Gamification. Click here for my presentation slides. All of the images for the digital tools I mentioned are linked to their website. If you would like more information on my research or The Bunz Model please feel free to contact me here.


Minecraft in the Classroom

Posted on Nov 23 ,2016

Posted in Conferences, NYSCATE 2016

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I had heard a lot about using Minecraft in the classroom; it was intriguing but I had not really looked much into it. So, this year at NYSCATE I attended a session on using Minecraft in the classroom that was very transformative. The possibilities of this tool really are endless. Not only does it teach students collaboration and respect while they work together to accomplish a common goal, it can also be used in so many different ways to develop students understanding through the exploration of concepts and content creation. It is priced at $5/user/year but allows for the safety of only working and communicating with other students in the school. Keep in mind that the software only runs on Windows 10 or Mac.

Below are some of the concepts that I immediately made connections to in the few minutes that I played with the tool.

  • Students can use their characters to act like the different molecules or properties of solids/liquids/gas (Science)
  • Students can build a model of a cell, or explore a pre-made cell (Science)
  • Students can try to survive within the different biomes (Science)
  • Students can build a model of the different human organ systems, or explore a pre-made systems (Science)
  • Students can explore volume, area, and perimeter of shapes by building a shape with a pre-determined volume/area/perimeter or work to develop a formula using the 3D shape as a visual (Math)
  • Students can explore nets of 3D shapes (Math)
  • Students can use fractions (what fraction of this shape is made with pine blocks, etc) (Math)
  • Students can work with unit rates through giving them a budget and setting each block equal to a certain amount of money (Math)
  • Students can examine topography or create maps (Geography)
  • Students can build structures or examine historical pre-made cities (Geography/History/Science)
  • Explore a story or act out a play using your characters (English/Drama)
  • In survival mode, students have to work together to survive, create a government system, etc (Social Studies/History)
  • Students characters play different roles within a historical event (History/Drama)

As a teacher you can create models or find pre-made models and lesson plans here. There is also a tutorial world set up to help teach you how to navigate the world. You can set borders for the students characters, or set certain areas as not destroyable by the students’ characters. You can also leave players in the game that will give instructions. Chalkboards can also give students information.  The students have access to a camera that allows them to take pictures of their work and export them in a portfolio. There are just so many different things that can be done with this tool, it really is only limited by your imagination.