Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Using @PlayCraftLearn and @SeeSaw to showcase Design Thinking #MakerEd

I'm excited to showcase some student examples from the project that I created for my design class. These examples come from students in grades 6-8. First, I'd like to share the steps that were taken to get to this point in case anyone would like to mirror the project. Note: We are on a block schedule, so I see students for 75 minutes every other day, so feel free to adjust the timing to meet your needs.

Step 1:

I ask students to build be a house in Minecraft. They are not allowed to ask me questions or work in groups. They have 20 minutes to build me the best house I could ever have.

Step 2:

Students showcase their builds and I provide honest feedback on what I do like and what is not for me.

Step 3:

I asked students if they could do a better job if they asked me questions and they said they could. I gave them about 10 minutes as a class to ask questions to help them better understand what I would like in a house. Then they were allowed to build another house or edit the one they had already built.

Step 4:

Once students have built the second house, I pass out a form similar to the one created by the Stanford d. School for the Wallet Design Thinking Challenge. You can find it here. I go over the full design thinking process with students and we discuss how creating something for someone without asking them is a terrible way to create. We walked through the full process to understand each part of the design thinking path.

Step 5:

Once the students have a strong understanding of the Design Thinking pathway, I give them the Vacation Home assignment. They are asked to pair up and design a vacation home that is perfect for their partner. They need to use a copy of the Design Thinking handout to guide their process.

Step 6:

After completing the interviews and drawn rough drafts, students can use Minecraft to create the vacation home.

Step 7:

Once the students have built a vacation home they like after a couple of days, they present it to their partner and get feedback. They have half a class to change anything they want and share with their partner for one last time.

Step 8:

Once the final piece has been shared, students are requested to take at least 3 photos of their build and write a minimum of three sentences in a caption that explains what was built and why it is was built of their partner.

Step 9:

I provide feedback on the private SeeSaw posts in the comment section where we can have a dialogue on what they created and how it might be improved. (I have shared with SeeSaw that I wish the projects could be shared publicly for other students and the exchange between student and teacher would remain outside of the public view for our eyes, and parents eyes, only.)


That is the process of using Design Thinking and Minecraft to build a vacation home for a peer. Here are just a few examples of what students have submitted.









These are just a few of the builds that students have created for this project. Not having grades did not mean students were not going to try. Not having homework did not mean that the students would not work on this at home. Students put in more effort because they were free of grades and worked on the project at home because they were engaged in the creative process. 

By bringing Minecraft Education Edition and SeeSaw together, students were able to engage in the Design Thinking process and showcase their work in a space that allows to have a dialogue about their work and document that for their portfolio. The focus is always on growth and learning. Using Minecraft and SeeSaw together help make that possible 

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @TheNerdyTeacher and check out my Instagram for more creations from students. 







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