10 februari 2015

Technical drawing

I'm on my second week of my "Technical drawing" course, 30 lessons in total. My colleague have had his group to make a lot of blueprints on paper. Unsurprisingly I have another approach: Minecraft and Lego, more particularly architect Lego from the early 1960's. I run the course on a vanilla creative server as mods, in my experience, mix up the students proportions. They are so busy cut a block into pieces that they forget what they suppose to build. 

So why Minecraft?
Well, even though I sometimes doubt I still believe students of today learn in another way than we're used to and my goals, with this course can be summarized in three points
  • scale, 
  • proportion and 
  • 3D models

I also want to encourage creativity, problem solving and collaboration.

We have practiced to convert 2D projections to 3D models and now practice how to scale something, like (minecraft) Steves head in 1:1, 1:5 and 2:1 and just because you're allowed to use a game it won't necessary be the best way to solve the problem. But when doing it in the sandbox it becomes more apparent when you make a mistake in your thoughts.

I have not had to moderate the server ever even though it been up for 1,5 years and even if I have had 4-5 classes there and a permanent population of teachers and their kids (all under 7 years) but with this group of students and technical drawing there have been lots of problems within a week. Why do you have to kill something? Or blow away whatever you want with TNT?

We tackle problems in different ways and we solve problems in different ways, I don't want to change that but I'd like 16-18 year old students behave mature and adult and not as they are rascals :P

So I had to have a talk with them today. I did show them a picture of a classroom from the 1950's and another one from the 21st century. I asked which one they preferred, and all wanted the future classroom. Fact: teachers don't like to step out of their comfort zone, they don't like changes, they rather want the 1950's classroom so I told my students, when I try to bring the teaching into the 21st century, try to respect my attempts to change it.

I think they understood, they stopped complaining about the vanilla server and started doing tasks. 

So, is it really the facts that teachers do not like the changes?
If we generalize, most are reluctant to leave the comfort zone.

One colleague, almost 10 years younger than me, said: 
"Games in teaching and everything like that, it's certainly good but ... what do you do if two students (of 20) ain't interested in your way of teaching???"

And that piss me off!
Just because they do not dare themselves, they do not have to shoot us down before we tried. There is only another question, which in turn are greeted by silence and teeth grinding...
"How do you resolve it yourself when you have two students who listens and 18 who play games, watch YouTube or just chill out?"

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