City Building Using MinecraftEDU and Mods

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Posted by Mrs Gielen | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 8, 2016

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City Plots

We are in our third year of using my custom-made map called Farmland.  Our goal for the year-long project is to give our 6th grade Computer Literacy students an opportunity to collaborate on building a city and participating in an economy. We use a MinecraftEDU server and we added the following mods to enhance the gameplay: Pam’s Harvestcraft, Custom NPCs and Bibliocraft.

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City Mayor

We wanted to create a world that, on the whole, simulates the real world as far as building and mining are concerned.   We set up basic server rules and remind students that this is a school project and they should behave accordingly.  Students are assigned a plot and can only mine the area below it.  They are also restricted to certain areas beyond the city plot utilizing the border blocks from MinecraftEDU, and must purchase building permits to build any structures on their properties.  We added four buildings to the map that house NPCs (Non-Player Character) that serve different purposes.  The first NPC is in a bank and he gives the students the opportunity to store any precious items, similar to a ender chest, as well as sell items they mine or harvest.  The second building houses five NPCs, four which are vendors who sell various miscellaneous items and the City Manager who sells building permits.  Next to the bank is a livestock vendor who sells spawn eggs for various animals.  Finally, there is a wizard vendor, who sells items used to make potions.  When the students first login, they are greeted by a City Mayor who gives them a book with the server rules, beginning tools and coins to spend on items they may need.

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City Manager

Before they can build on their plot, the students must submit, via email, a building plan outlining what their structure will be and how it’s to be build in order to get approval from their teacher.  Once the plan is approved, they must go to the City Manager, housed on the second floor of the trading post, to purchase their permit (Minecraft map and item frame).  This permit must be placed on their property at all times.  If students build without a permit, they are given a warning to either purchase one or be fined.  This year we also added a way for students to purchase either additional lots or mining plots to get additional resources.  City lots that are not assigned to a student can be purchased, as well as mining lots that we set up away from the city.

Every year, without fail, students immediately ask if they can work together with others to combine their plots and resources.  We never need to worry about collaboration because it happens naturally. The conversations during the class sounds more like the stock market, with students trading with each other on items they need or want.  Sometimes the noise level gets too high, so we either freeze students in the game (which immediately quiets them) or we tell them we are moving into text chat only mode.  We want them to cooperate and discuss plans with each other, but at the same time, we need to keep a decent level of conversation, otherwise no one is heard.

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ComputerCraft Turtle

We are never surprised at the level of excitement and enthusiasm the students have for this project.  It is the second project we do each year with MinecraftEdu.  Our first MinecraftEdu experience with the students is a map created by Mike Harvey, a Technology teacher at Falmouth Public Schools, called Turtle Island.  It is our way of introducing programming and coding to students as they learn to program turtles using the mod ComputerCraftEdu.  This map is also the first exposure our students get to using Minecraft in the classroom, and gives us the opportunity to teach students the difference between how they might play at home, to how they will play and act on our server.

Stay tuned for updates and more pictures as our city progresses!

 

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