PBL & Active Learning in Minecraft:EE

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2. PBL & Active Learning Connection

“Active learning is generally defined as any instructional method that engages students in the learning process.

In short, active learning requires students to do meaningful learning activities and think about what they are doing” (Source).

Step 1: Engage with Problems

Craft an engaging scenario or problem. You need not limit yourself to problems or issues that arise in your community. Use local news, as well as news sources online such as Dogo News, Newsela, or Newseum. Combine tools like Summarize This or Read & Write to to help transition students to make their research process visible.

When selecting a video or news story, search for one that is aligned to the TEKS Standards.

Step 2: Explore Student Thinking with Videos

As we explore student thinking, you can quickly make thinking visible with video. Encourage students to “think, plan, investigate, and organize collected information” with either Flipgrid.com or LetsRecap.com.

Both offer opportunities for students to share their reflections and research take-aways.

Encourage students to snap pictures in Minecraft: Education Edition (MCEE), write a short description of those, and then export the images. This makes it easy to collect the information into a slide show and have students record audio reflections describing what they learned as a narrated slideshow.

Step 3: Explain Learning Take-Aways

In this step, students can use a tool like Shadow Puppet EDU, Toontastic, Google Slides with Screencasting tools, or Powerpoint and Office Mix to create some type of media (e.g. audio, narrated slideshow, video) that shares their learning.

The main goal is to externalize their thinking and learning process in such a way that helps others understand it.

Step 4: Elaborate with Paper Slides

In this step, have students apply their new insights and framework to a new idea. One approach involves creating a narrated slideshow with paper slides, where students storyboard their application of a newly developed problem-solving process to an existing problem. Their illustration of the problem helps them see what is happening, bringing order to chaos. Then, video record a paper slide of the process as students explain their thinking.

Step 5: Evaluate with Quizziz or Kahoot!

In this step, students are expected to take evaluation to the next level. Rather than the teacher creating a Kahoot! or Quizziz type assessment, students reflect on the process they have gone through and then create an assessment to offer others who are learning from them. The assessment serves as a reflective measure for the solution developers and for others who seek to learn from the solution or apply it.

Activity: The Three Little Pigs

A little pig family has found itself under attack by a pack of wolves in the neighborhood. Not being architects, the pigs are at a loss of what kind of home they want.

In your team, please create several models of houses that pigs can live in comfortably. Your constructions should reflect a variety of budgets. As architects/builders, you will design new homes for the pigs. Be prepared to share some facts about the pig home(s) you construct.

Note: Include a bed, chimney, doors with levers, fence, and 3 pigs and 1 wolf (or more)