The biggest motivator for the Minecraft 4 Romans class was Stage III Family Night. This evening event is the culmination of the big unit study of the year. This year was Ancient Rome. The homerooms each focused on different aspects of Rome and put together a display of the student work for the families to tour.
We started the evening with Sandy’s Dance Performance students, who had used Ancient Rome as their theme inspiration. The kids chose music and choreographed their own group dances, complete with costumes. As always, it was completely charming and child-centered, and it was wonderful to see their beaming faces as they took their bows.
Then came the Minecraft 4 Romans video. Most of the 48 students who took the class were able to use Screencast-O-Matic to record a tour of the individual houses and apartment buildings they designed and built in MinecraftEdu. Some of the videos were more than five minutes long! My job was to edit them down under 15 minutes total. The math was undeniable–that meant an average of under 15 seconds each.
The first rough cut was over 30 minutes long.
I won’t bore you with the angst I went through when I realized what had to happen. Or the number of hours I spent on it. And honestly? The editing process created a video that was far more watchable. I was able to introduce the video as a “teaser,” and then invited the families to stop by the computer lab during the Stage Tour and let their children give them a live walk-through. It was busy all night, so I think it worked.
I wish I had been able to walk around and see the homerooms do their presentations. The creativity and investment of the kids is always worth seeing and celebrating. But by all accounts it was a successful evening.
After all of that, here is the video. I’m so proud of what they were able to accomplish–but more about that in a future post.