Sunday, 15 September 2013

Common Ground for Social Isues

We all have students that struggle socially. Every school will or does spend countless hours on counselling, mediating and disciplining students for social problems and issues. Yet we chat, often accept a fleeting apology and then send them back out to the playground battlefield for the next war.

Finding a common ground to develop a connection with these students could be a great place to start. Getting away from the real world, stepping out of reality, having a buffer of an avatar representation in social interactions can really help situations.

Minecraft can be a place where students in these situations can go that can be a controlled environment that easily and deliberately places students in the situations they struggle with. They can interact and work with peers and teachers alike without the face to face contact that can often be daunting and confronting for them. Arguments, disagreements , stealing, bullying, anger and many other emotions will still happen but if used positively these situations can and have been used to improve understanding and assist moving forward.within Minecraft and then hopefully the real world.

Adults don't have to have an advanced knowledge of Minecraft. Learn together, let the student teach . Don't complicate the start point too much. Have a simple construction task to start and then let the leadership change. Dig a tunnel to meet each other. So many ideas are possible to create a teamwork situation for 2 or more students.

Hindsight is a wonderfully frustrating thing. After a discussion with a colleague in Melbourne about his approach to Minecraft, I now regret not launching Minecraft at my school under this umbrella of social interaction counselling.

Anyway, that's my ramble, let me know if anyone has been successful with this kind of approach or has any great teamwork tasks.

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