Today we had a the third installment of the Minecraft Code Club. We reviewed some network diagrams and talked about how Minecraft works over the Internet. For the most part the kids got the concepts which I was just overjoyed with. We then looked at a couple of plugins and showed how we can modify the plugins to make the computer do whatever we want.
I was hoping to show them how to compile code today, but that didn’t work out. The kids were full of energy on a Monday and we had a bunch of other items that more than filled up all of the time. We will definitely do that next time. I was so happy that the kids remembered the metaphor I used that a plugin was like giving the computer program a needle. A couple of them even asked how you give the program a needle. Good times. We will definitely compile some code next session.
To all Teachers out there, I would like to convey two heartfelt messages:
1) I will steadfastly support reduced class sizes. Being in a class of great but energetic and inquisitive Grade 4’s gave me a little taste of how your days are. You want to help all of them, but there never is enough time. At the end of the session, I believe everyone had fun but I just thought how much better it would have been if I could have got all of them quick answers. At one point I was hopping between 3 tables that were having issues. They were so energetic and I never want them to lose that passion to frustration. I am going to volunteer to have a couple of follow-up days to just answer questions and have some one on one time – they deserve it!
2) I don’t know how you do it! We just worked on the exercises for 30 minutes and I was exhausted. The preparation you must do to be able to engage and inspire kids for an hour or an entire day has got to be considerable. The patience you are required to manage over 20 kids with differing styles and competencies is amazing. I discussed with a co-worker that a consultant can have no better test of their facilitation skills than a class of Grade 4’s.
To my Information Technology co-workers, if you think clients are tough on errors that occur in demos, you should try managing ‘glitches’ with a group of Grade 4’s. They were as demanding as a room full of vice-presidents – probably more so. But they were also more grateful when something did work. So I guess it all balances out.
To all the Teachers out there. Thank you.