A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

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BirgitLachner
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A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Mon Oct 10, 2016 07:53

Well, as I already mentioned in some threads, I'm teacher at a german highschool. I started to play at first Minecraft because of my now 11 year old son, who told me about it. At first I was a bit skeptical but since then me and my family is playing Minecraft/Minetest all together.

And there is also a group of (mostly german) teachers and social workers that meet at Facebook in an open group that are interested in using it at their work.

This started because of there was a MinecraftEDU-Version made by some teachers from USA and Europe. But as Microsoft bought Mojang the EDU-Version was stoped and M$ startet a Education-Version with much more financial power than the EDU-Version before. The big problem for a lot of teachers specially in germany is, that they don't have a Windows 10 System in their school that is needed to use the new Education-Version. Just as for me, because at my school we have Linux. So I started my efforts to make Minetest more public, specially as I realized that Minetest offers so many nice Mods that improve the basic system.

I created a page at the Minetest-Wiki with german informations how to use Minetest and now the first from our Facebook-Group realized an online-server with Minetest on his own.
http://wiki.minetest.net/Minetest_in_der_Schule

But the most teacher, who use Minecraft for school still stick to the old and even outdated EDU-Version because it offers more school related possibilities. Specially one Mod is the "killer" and the reason why they don't move to Minetest. This is ComputerCraft and the special version ComputerCraftEDU that is made or adapted specially for the "old" MinecraftEDU-Version.
This the thing that will be needed to let a lot of teachers convert to Minetest. I know that there are a lot of teachers how are willing to use Minetest but they are missing a good programming mod!!!

Yes I know there are some Mods but none of them are complete and offer the whole functionallity of ComputerCraft.
See:
http://www.computercraft.info/ and
http://computercraftedu.com/

I would be willing to help to create a mod like that but I don't
* have yet the ability to do that because my knowledge about creating Mods is still very basic
* have the time because of my work (where I'm very active at many other open and free projects) and my family and thus don't have the time to learn how to create such a big mod.

I would be able to draw pictures and textures because I'm very able in using Inkscape and Gimp. I would be even able to promote this Mod and bring it to many other teachers, specially in germany, and there are some teachers that are "god-like" (from my view) in creating additional features and make Minetest really interesting for Teachers. And with these teachers we will have even a good connection to a bigger part of teachers as they offer further education for teachers or write articles in educational magazines.

So is there someone who is willing to spend his time is such an important Project!?

Best Regards, Birgit.
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by TitiMoby » Mon Oct 10, 2016 14:56

pithy wrote:Does moving a turtle around help anyone learn to code?


having physical action (even virtual) is a real cool thing when learning code to kids.
that's why in my sens Scratch is so successful.

I concur, Computercraft was such a wonderful mod for minecraft.
Kids can code something that act in their virtual world.
On bonus, some of the kids are more comfortable with the idea of virtual action, it is less scary compared to playing with an arduino connected to the minecraft server.

So, that's a big yes: code in Minetest that have visible actions in Minetest will be great
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Mon Oct 10, 2016 15:03

To move it around step by step not, but using the controll structures like if, for and so on may be.

At least there are many teachers for computer science (really studied computer scientist!) that think that it is a good idea. Start with a simple visual editor and then make a step to write code to draw/built more impressive buildings.

It is a new way to learn computational thinking inside Minecraft. Players will start with a tile-based interface to learn the fundamentals of programming in a fun, accessible environment. They will be engaged and motivated to find ways to use turtles to automate and extend their usual Minecraft activities. Whether you are completely new to programming or you already have some experience, ComputerCraftEdu is an easy and fun way to learn important real world skills and get creative on a whole new level.


Thanks TitiMoby ... you were a bit faster than me ;-)
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Mon Oct 10, 2016 15:08

BTW I asked the developer of ComputerCraft what is his opinion about the possibility to "convert" ComputerCraft to Minetest. He said that he would love to do that but he needs a sponsor for that.
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Mon Oct 10, 2016 17:52

TitiMoby wrote:Maybe have a look at viewtopic.php?f=9&t=14195
I'll give it a try, it looks promising


But not really finished ... I'll hope the best, but last commitment 7 month ago.
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by TheReaperKing » Tue Oct 11, 2016 03:44

Not sure if this will help, this the ComputerTest Mod:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8399

Also I believe in the digilines and/or mesecons you can program lua in the terminal. I haven't been able to get a whole lot done yet unfortunately but I wonder if that would be a good start. I'm also wondering how much the computertest guy wants, I think I might contact him myself because I think the students programming in game would be pretty neat.

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Tue Oct 11, 2016 05:31

Hey Mike ... thanks for the hint! I'll continue in the other thread. There are very interesting informations and would be cool if the Visual-Blockly-Editor could be used in Minetest.
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by ph8jPf9M » Wed Oct 12, 2016 07:59

check out Eidy its nothing about computercraft but its about learning and teaching with minetest.
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Wed Oct 12, 2016 08:11

Yes ... you are right ... would be a perfect Mod for teaching how to code and other thinks. I'll keep that in mind!
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by xeranas » Thu Oct 13, 2016 09:52

BirgitLachner, I do not know about computercraftedu mod but it's seems provide much functionality and looks quite polished. I feel that many moders are quite busy with their projects/life thus making such mod could look overwhelming task. If project goal could be subtasked into simpler tasks/functionality we may pick one or another feature and help to implement.
But at least one person must be enough motivated to keep organize / plan / create requirements / ping for help. Having github repo with readme file (what is about) and issues/features (what functionality still missing) could help see picture better. Seeing requirements / acceptance criteria would allow to participate even for people who has no interest / knowledge about ComputercraftEdu but have some spare time and believes in project importance.
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Thu Oct 13, 2016 13:18

Yes Xeranas, I fully agree.

May be I'll try to start that and define some tasks so everybody who is willing to help a little bit can choose a task he can start or even finish the work of someone.

I already did a very little bit will upload that to github ... that will take some time because I'm absolutly new to it .... but I have an eBook about it ;-)

Regards, Birgit
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by Nathan.S » Sun Oct 16, 2016 01:33

What about programing outside of Minetest. For example writing mods, students could learn about coding that way, and still create things they can see in the game. Naturally with coding that way you don't have as instant results, but it's still pretty easy to do. I don't know of any resources in German though. I have a lot of english videos on my site, link in my signature, and RubenWardy has written a good ebook on it, http://rubenwardy.com/minetest_modding_book/
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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Sun Oct 16, 2016 06:42

Hi Nathan, please look at that, to read more about the ideas that are used in ComputeCraft ... viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8399#p236056
Even with a video that shows the steps from using a remote control to move the turtle around to write a programm in a visual editor.

Modding is definitly a good idea inside of minetest as the first step to create a node or a craftitem is very simple. You just need to copy some code, draw a picture for a tile and there you have your own block with some useful abilities. But the next steps are much more difficult and quite difficult to reach, as you need to understand how functions work and so on. It would be better to learn this in a visual way, see how loops works.
I still recommend to see the video in the other thread ;-)
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by taikedz » Tue Oct 18, 2016 02:29

Hi Birgit

Interesting proposition you have there. I checked the links you posted in other places, I didn't quite understand until I saw your YT video link

I had a play around with [urlhttps://github.com/BiLachner/TurtleMiner]your own mod[/url] very quickly, I like what you've done there :-)

Also, what is the target age group...?

To your points on the other thread:

1. Customizing the turtle will not be possible if you keep it as a node. Using a cuboid mob would be more suitable perhaps?

2. You've already made a starter remote, but I guess we'll need more than that! The interface we see in ComputerCraft is more flexible that what I expect formspecs could do.... though I am not done exploring that front yet. Manually controlling the turtle is a bit pointless, automation is what we need...

3. There's a point where choosing to type is probably better for the educational goal than trying to use blocks... I am not so enamoured with Scratch but that's maybe just me. But for the very basics, using icons for a simple, specific set of tasks makes sense. Turning, digging, placing; and taking one of those actions on a particular set of conditions would make sense to me.

But creating instructions with standard blocks could be interesting: Literally build the program by placing blocks in the world, after having laid down a "circuit board" layer. A turtle could find a nearby circuit board and "load" its information. Dunno. Just an idea off the top of my head as a way to deal with the limitations of formspecs for this... also, it could be a way of allowing students to work together on a same program?

4. As I said above, I would rather get the pupils typing, building actual Lua mods, but maybe via use of a purpose designed API...

Certainly giving them a proper editor (even if it's just Geany) would be better than depending on editing in the formspec boxes...

A pseudocode example:

Code: Select all
local myturtle = codetest:giveme("turtle1") -- this is actually a table for holding set of turtle instructions, which can be parsed by the turtle's "intelligence"

-- turtles would automatically walk so no need to tell them to do so

myturtle:if_we_find("tree"):chop() -- add to a stack of operations

myturtle:if_we_find("water"):turn("left")


When placing the turtle, you can tell it which file to load, and via dofile() it will call up that code, without needing to leave the game. Can be expanded upon.

Just ideas. It's late, I'm tired, I don;t know if I'm making sense :-P
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by GreenDimond » Fri Oct 21, 2016 03:09

taikedz wrote:1. Customizing the turtle will not be possible if you keep it as a node. Using a cuboid mob would be more suitable perhaps?

Mhh....Not necessarily true. Mesecons has pistons that MOVE blocks...same rules applied to this block and combine a command block and wallah! Turtle. Note that I am not saying this is better, I do indeed agree with the entity way of doing it. Would be much easier to code and produces less lag for the game. Just saying that moving blocks is defiantly possible.
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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by taikedz » Fri Oct 21, 2016 07:41

My contention is not about moving blocks - that is clearly feasible!

My contention is that you cannot provide players a way of customizing them easily insofar as different textures, short of defining a new node for every customization variation...!

The reference is the idea that in ComputerCraft you can clothe and decorate your turtle...
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by Kosmos » Fri Oct 21, 2016 16:43

Ohh, Minetest in school would be cool, because i'm a german student (in saxony), and i love Minetest.
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Fri Oct 21, 2016 18:22

@Kosmos ... then you need a teacher who is wilfling to use it in school ;-)

... but anyway, you can participate at TurtleMiner(viewtopic.php?f=9&t=15689) or at my page for teachers (http://wiki.minetest.net/Minetest_in_der_Schule)

@taikedz and @GreenDimond ... thank you for you discussion. It helps me to learn more and have some ideas. At the moment I use different blocks with nodeboxes and change it only a bit to have different views.
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by TheReaperKing » Sat Oct 22, 2016 00:02

This is great!! I definitely would love too to get teachers using minetest together sometime and chat about ways they are using it in school. It seems like there are more and more of us!
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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by Kosmos » Wed Oct 26, 2016 16:50

Hey, you can code mods with the studens and test them on Minetest.
(thats an other way to use MT in the school.
:)
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Wed Oct 26, 2016 18:18

yes ... I will do that! I plan to create a chemistry mod or even improve the ideas of the existing.
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by Kosmos » Thu Oct 27, 2016 19:30

Hey, it give a little chemestry mod : https://forum.minetest.net/viewtopic.php?id=4779
In wich federal state is the school where you teach? :)
 

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Re: A mod that will make Minetest more usefull for school!

by BirgitLachner » Fri Oct 28, 2016 05:33

In Rheinland-Pfalz, Kaiserslautern. But I won't use it yet in normal classes. Just for fun with some kids.
 

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