Minetest Could Be An Educational Tool

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Minetest Could Be An Educational Tool

by Inocudom » Post

http://minecraftedu.com/page/
Hoodedice found the topic above today. As it explains, Minecraft is being sold to schools at $15 for educational purposes. For most schools, this would not be a problem, but it might be for some. In that case, suppose that less fortunate schools could use Minetest as an educational tool instead. What are people's thoughts on this matter?
Last edited by Inocudom on Tue Feb 18, 2014 17:56, edited 1 time in total.
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by Novacain » Post

okay, first, why the heck are they using mincraft in a classroom? and how can it possibly be educational?

second, if they are using minecraft, why not supply minetest as the >>FREE<< alternative. I know if we got it into classroms (especially one on say, programming ;)) we would get more mod developers. also, given the ease at which you can mod minetest, I see an actual potential for education on at least one front. what can minecraft offer: mobs. what don't you really need for education: mobs.
Advertisement wrote: Introducing Minetest, the solution to all your educational gaming needs. you can introduce it to your programming classes, and then have them develop the education mods you desire!! introducing the MathBlocks mod, GuassianCurveGen mod, and many others you can use to help facilitate a real world example of the principle you are trying to teach!
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by rubenwardy » Post

You would need to have a think on how it can be used for this.

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by Krock » Post

School = learning, thinking (mostly)
MineCraft = playing, and that's it already

I don't see any use in the classroom for this.
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by Novacain » Post

did no one see my point of how it can be used in a programming class to give something to program with? great introductory tool. other than that, it's just people looking for an excuse to make kids lazier.
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by hoodedice » Post

The main point that everyne is missing here is - Minecraft did it. Minecraft found a way to enter into classrooms. What stops US from doing the same?

The only reason I wanted to talk it over with Inoducom was that we as a community are very much limited towards development to be able to assisst anyone interested in such a project. We need a nearly dedicated team to be able to help out people with making mods and stuff, and debugging and networking etc. Can we do that?
7:42 PM - Bauglio: I think if you go to staples you could steal firmware from a fax machine that would run better than win10 does on any platform
7:42 PM - Bauglio: so fudge the stable build
7:43 PM - Bauglio: get the staple build

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by Inocudom » Post

hoodedice wrote:The main point that everyne is missing here is - Minecraft did it. Minecraft found a way to enter into classrooms. What stops US from doing the same?

The only reason I wanted to talk it over with Inoducom was that we as a community are very much limited towards development to be able to assisst anyone interested in such a project. We need a nearly dedicated team to be able to help out people with making mods and stuff, and debugging and networking etc. Can we do that?
One specific goal that will have to be achieved is teaching kids how to think, how to create, and how to learn. Most schools teach kids what to learn, what to create, and what to think. Very big difference there.
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by Novacain » Post

Inocudom wrote:Most schools teach kids what to learn, what to create, and what to think
actually, I would say that is exactly what schools do. they tell you exactly what to think, exactly what to create, and exactly what to "learn." our school system (US) is more about conformity than about increasing intelligence and problem solving.
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by hoodedice » Post

Novacain wrote:
Inocudom wrote:Most schools teach kids what to learn, what to create, and what to think
actually, I would say that is exactly what schools do. they tell you exactly what to think, exactly what to create, and exactly what to "learn." our school system (US) is more about conformity than about increasing intelligence and problem solving.
-.-

Study for a semester in India. Please. If you call the US system conformist, I have to laugh at you, I really do.
7:42 PM - Bauglio: I think if you go to staples you could steal firmware from a fax machine that would run better than win10 does on any platform
7:42 PM - Bauglio: so fudge the stable build
7:43 PM - Bauglio: get the staple build

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by Novacain » Post

hoodedice wrote:
Novacain wrote:
Inocudom wrote:Most schools teach kids what to learn, what to create, and what to think
actually, I would say that is exactly what schools do. they tell you exactly what to think, exactly what to create, and exactly what to "learn." our school system (US) is more about conformity than about increasing intelligence and problem solving.
-.-

Study for a semester in India. Please. If you call the US system conformist, I have to laugh at you, I really do.
well, that is what they are trying to push with the "common core." I'm not saying they are the most conformist, but they certainly don't teach kids how to solve problems in unique ways.
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by maier.nathan » Post

I am focusing on how minetest is educational immediately to kids I know. Here is a great place to do that. Then maybe taking it to institutions and "unschools." I know several kids who have taken to minetest and Minecraft. They all have parents who are candidates to help us.

One kid constantly tells me what a good builder I am. He crafts alot and goes after the occasional "mobf"ster [sometimes me.] He constantly watches that British guy on Youtube who does Minecraft shows. He seems to get alot out of that and builds things similar those shows asking me for mods like Minecraft. I am trying to get him into the mods I'm into and ask him for his input, but I know this will only push him from what I think is helpful.

Eager to be a mine-tor,
Nate

BTW he is also really deep into Legos and Dinosaurs. (mod ideas?)

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by Morn76 » Post

maier.nathan wrote:He constantly watches that British guy on Youtube who does Minecraft shows. He seems to get alot out of that and builds things similar those shows
Have you shown him my Stampy map yet?

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by maier.nathan » Post

Morn76 wrote:
maier.nathan wrote:He constantly watches that British guy on Youtube who does Minecraft shows. He seems to get alot out of that and builds things similar those shows
Have you shown him my Stampy map yet?
I haven't seen him yet, but I'll definitely set it up for him.


So maybe maps with kids in mind with certain themes like dinosaurs or crafting food. Basically, I want alot of the creativity that I see in minetest to reach kids and connect with their imaginations.

-Nate

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by hoodedice » Post

Thank you very much for your valuable contribution Nate.

However, I'm looking at something that goes on a larger scale - I want schools to use Minetest, if at all, for teaching instead of spending money on proprietary solutions. The main purpose of this thread was to see if there was enough spark and commitment in the community to let this project move up. I think that we are pretty laid back at the moment, and everyone is busy with their lives. However, I request everyone to give it a try, see if your local school wants to adopt video gaming for educating kids, and ask them to consider minetest.

On how it can be used, here is my two cents - Apart from the elementary kids using minetest to broaden their creativity, this could also be used in middle schools to teach basic coding to 8 to 13 year old kids. Minetest's modding API is very easy to pick up, and yet is just as expansive and robust as many other APIs I've seen (I've not seen many).

I am actually waiting for Necrosomething to post here - That guy has some neat ideas for expanding minetest.
7:42 PM - Bauglio: I think if you go to staples you could steal firmware from a fax machine that would run better than win10 does on any platform
7:42 PM - Bauglio: so fudge the stable build
7:43 PM - Bauglio: get the staple build

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by Novacain » Post

hoodedice wrote:this could also be used in middle schools to teach basic coding to 8 to 13 year old kids
this is about the only possible way I can see minetest as being "educational"


and minecraft can't do that, so why are they still using it?
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by hoodedice » Post

Novacain wrote:
hoodedice wrote:this could also be used in middle schools to teach basic coding to 8 to 13 year old kids
this is about the only possible way I can see minetest as being "educational"


and minecraft can't do that, so why are they still using it?
They use MC to teach stuff to elementary kids, that's what. You still aren't getting it? Check the link in the OP
7:42 PM - Bauglio: I think if you go to staples you could steal firmware from a fax machine that would run better than win10 does on any platform
7:42 PM - Bauglio: so fudge the stable build
7:43 PM - Bauglio: get the staple build

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by Morn76 » Post

maier.nathan wrote:
Morn76 wrote:
maier.nathan wrote:He constantly watches that British guy on Youtube who does Minecraft shows. He seems to get alot out of that and builds things similar those shows
Have you shown him my Stampy map yet?
I haven't seen him yet, but I'll definitely set it up for him.


So maybe maps with kids in mind with certain themes like dinosaurs or crafting food. Basically, I want alot of the creativity that I see in minetest to reach kids and connect with their imaginations.

-Nate

Maybe you should get his input on what exactly he is building (mostly games I guess?) and which mods are needed or lacking in functionality at the moment. Some of my personal gripes for the Stampy map so far:
  • carts: Do not turn, weird acceleration/deceleration behavior (e.g. they become slower when moving downhill?), sometimes stop for no reason, need too many power rails.
  • boats: Water elevators do not work, so there is no fast way to get to the top of rides.
  • drowning related: As you go up in a stream up water, you cannot move sideways a little to breathe without falling down.
  • simple mobs: Great mod, especially with the fix so mobs can move uphill, but it needs more nighttime baddies at the surface and other dark spots near the players. Should have cows, chicken, and pigs too. Bonus point for rideable pigs and sheep that can be dyed.
  • dispensers: I've found a mod for them on GH, but textures seem to be missing. (I suppose dispensers should really be a standard part of mesecons.)
I wanted to look into some of these things and maybe fork a mod or two. Because these issues are really holding back Stampy's Fun Land in MT. :-)
Last edited by Morn76 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:53, edited 1 time in total.

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by hoodedice » Post

carts: Do not turn, weird acceleration/deceleration behavior (e.g. they become slower when moving downhill?), sometimes stop for no reason, need too many power rails.
For any NPC mod or moving entity to run properly, you need to have a system that is fast enough. carts do turn left at intersections. Check for any broken tracks or any shenanigans. The problems you desccribe are similar to what my brother experiences on his older computer.

Need too many power rails? How fast are you trying to go?! If the carts go too fast, then again you may experience problems.
drowning related: As you go up in a stream up water, you cannot move sideways a little to breathe without falling down.
Turn the mouse =|
simple mobs: Great mod, especially with the fix so mobs can move uphill, but it needs more nighttime baddies at the surface and other dark spots near the players. Should have cows, chicken, and pigs too. Bonus point for rideable pigs and sheep that can be dyed.
Nice idea! But again, this is not Minecraft.
I wanted to look into some of these things and maybe fork a mod or two.
*High Five* Go ahead! I'm very interested in these mods and if you can improve them, then it'll be dang awesome
7:42 PM - Bauglio: I think if you go to staples you could steal firmware from a fax machine that would run better than win10 does on any platform
7:42 PM - Bauglio: so fudge the stable build
7:43 PM - Bauglio: get the staple build

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by Morn76 » Post

hoodedice wrote: For any NPC mod or moving entity to run properly, you need to have a system that is fast enough. carts do turn left at intersections. Check for any broken tracks or any shenanigans. The problems you desccribe are similar to what my brother experiences on his older computer.
I mean if you ride in a cart, you always face the same direction. So first you go straight ahead, then after the first curve, you face sideways. So basically player orientation needs to be changed at the curve.
hoodedice wrote: Need too many power rails? How fast are you trying to go?! If the carts go too fast, then again you may experience problems.
Well, you can try this out on my Stampy map. If you go from the mine cart station near the house towards the lighthouse and igloo, the cart always stops in a bend near the lighthouse. And I have plastered the track with power rails and mese torches. Purely horizontal mine cart tracks (e.g. in the basement of the toy shop) work as expected, so this is mainly an issue with tracks that slope up and down.
hoodedice wrote: Turn the mouse =|
I'm not sure what you mean by that.
hoodedice wrote:Nice idea! But again, this is not Minecraft.
MT doesn't have to become MC, it just needs better mobs. mod_animals is nice but a bit overengineered and therefore too slow. Simple mobs is a better direction I think. Jc_farming supposedly has cows, but so far I've only seen chicken. And it might clash with farming_plus.
hoodedice wrote: *High Five* Go ahead! I'm very interested in these mods and if you can improve them, then it'll be dang awesome
Yes, I will look into these things. I just wish this forum would stop the gut reaction, "ZOMG, now we are becoming Minecraft"-style posts whenever someone proposes a feature only vaguely similar to MC. This is getting so old. Getting inspired by some of the good gameplay ideas in MC is not the same as turning MT into another MC. I see it as trying to make MT a better, more fun game e.g. for my map, which happens to be inspired by a MC map.

I wish I hadn't forgotten almost all my Blender knowledge. UV texturing and armatures in particular. Well, actually I never knew much about armatures in the first place. I've never used Blender for character animation. Only technical stuff like some models for FlightGear and such. I've downloaded Pavel's wonderful simple mobs .blend files and I'm trying to figure out how this works.
Last edited by Morn76 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 14:05, edited 1 time in total.

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by Krock » Post

Hybrid Dog wrote:mc is a well known game, I think, so maybe schools want to get popular with this
For me it looks like MC tries to have more addicted players which pay them much, much money.
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by twoelk » Post

commenting on the original subject:
Novacain wrote: ... and how can it possibly be educational?
Krock wrote: School = learning, thinking (mostly)
MineCraft = playing, and that's it already

I don't see any use in the classroom for this.
I am a little irritated by comments as these. It's like saying how can a pencil and paper be educational? All you can do is make black marks, nothing to learn from that achievement!

Why does Minetest or any other software in itself have to be the object that is to be studied? What do you want to teach? Not perfect coding and how wrong design decisions at the beginning of a project get big issues in the end?

Consider Minetest just a tool for other content. I have seen young players calculate how many brickblocks they need for a project and how much clay they must burn to get that amount. It's wonderfull how some kids absolutely alien to math concepts suddenly do something usefull to them with math. Similary there are many geometric themes that a 3D CAD application disguised as sandbox voxel game can be used to transport or present information as a payload of having fun playing a game. Have you ever watched young players grasp the concept of the areas protection mod and not realizing they are learning about a 3D cartesian coordination grid long before they are going to get this in math classes?

For higher adventures in math related things such as recursive iteration for example study the Menger-Cube on the VE-C server or the large trees on said server using the L-tree system. Indeed that server also has some fine examples of a working keyboard or traffic lights among others. Saying that you may notice you do not need to dive into the source of the engine-code or program a mod to get first expierience in coding. Ther are the LUA-controllers and other mods that add logic elements to the game (think pipeworks, logic-gates and such). So you can actually see the results of what you code/build without leaving the game. Not to forget the "Roads" server with it's 3D represention of a fractal object.

Of course you can learn other things unrelated to math such as city building with a working traffic system, sewer system or power supply. It should not be too hard for a teacher to design projects that incorporate solving some problems that might resemble real life issues to some content. Building a nice settlement could include planning the layout of the town as whole as well as trying to design a building that could function in real life. As such Minetest could also be used to study certain design concepts. Think of all the castles on every map for example. One could compare these to layouts of real historic castles and discuss the differences and thus understand the underlying military concept.

Or forget the 3D objects alltogether, just give them a difficult task and make the group dynamics the object of study and let them learn about leadership, teamwork and planning a complex process.

You can even learn things not that easy to grasp although everybody knows about them and thinks they "understand". Playing on an international server does confront one with people of different culture concepts, language and time zones. It is something different just to know these things exist and then to feel the impact these things actually have on communication and other things such as the different idea of what a "house" is.

I think a clever teacher will find many ways to utilize such a tool if they are willing to accept the idea of course to use a "game" as a teaching tool, just as they accepted pencil and paper long ago.
Last edited by twoelk on Thu Feb 27, 2014 18:21, edited 1 time in total.

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by Morn76 » Post

hoodedice wrote: *High Five* Go ahead! I'm very interested in these mods and if you can improve them, then it'll be dang awesome
BTW, so far I've forked minetest-particles, throwing, and minetest-hatches for my map (https://github.com/mdoege?tab=repositories). Not exactly huge changes, but it's a start. The particle burst is now, umm, much burstier, if that's a word. And teleportation arrows (which is what I need throwing for) have become almost as wonderfully glitchy as ender pearls in MC. :-)

Maybe I will put some of the smaller mods into my worldmods/ directory later to make things a bit easier with all the forks. Long live MT's modding capabilities!
Last edited by Morn76 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 18:40, edited 1 time in total.

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by Krock » Post

@twoelk:
I didn't read the complete post (lazyness) but paper and pencil (and chewing gum) are used to notice something, to write, to learn it. I'm sure, voxel based games could help learning with calculating stuff, leaning english (or french/german/chinese) over the chat.
You also can earn knowlege of 3D-rooms and learn logical things with Mesecons and Pipeworks (as you already said). Bigger projects with binary systems could be good for leaning too and help for a better teamwork. But how about PvP and killing zombies? Seriously, I think I'll never need to fight against a zombie in the real life.
Optimal would be a teacher-controlled plan, and the students need to finnish it on a flat, creative map as fast and perfect as possible.
Okay, it could be an "Educational Tool".
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by twoelk » Post

Krock wrote: ... but paper and pencil (and chewing gum) are used to notice something, to write, to learn it. ...
Oh so you did understand the comparism. Good. I just tried to make clear something may have many more uses as a tool than as direct object of study and maybe the use as tool is even far more important as can easily be seen with the pencil as example.

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by Evergreen » Post

Novacain wrote:
twoelk wrote: I am a little irritated by comments... -snip-
I would think they would have pointed out that kind of stuff on there website. but I still don't see how mineCraft (aka, mobs and such) is educational. I can understand how minetest can be. it has an easily moddable interface, and plenty of mods that can provide learning experiences (building a technic reactor for one). But at the same time, I feel that this would work better as an after school special. if a school is going to use it, then minetest is by far better than minecraft.
I agree. I think Gambit said "Minetest is science, Minecraft is magic." I think that is completely true, to have fun in minetest, it takes more than just screwing around in creative mode. That would get boring very quickly in Minetest.
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