For the last two years I’ve been using the same Minecraft server for the classes, and while I’ve added maps to the server during that time, I haven’t removed the one we started with. It’s a choatic terrain filled with all sorts of things my students have created over the time, and for me, filled with memories of all the awesome students I’ve been lucky enough to teach. Of course since we’re in Minecraft we can always just teleport over to the edge of what’s built and start building something new, no one needs to explore the choas unless they want to explore it.
Each year as my classes end I tell them and their parents that they are invited to continue using the server. Students can remain as guests for as long as they continue to abide by the server rules. We build a little community. Some students continue to play and build on the server quite a bit though most just drop by occasionally or drift away to other pursuits.
Each year I think how fun it would be to invite those who are interested to return for occasional “minigame parties” or group builds. This year I have an additional challenge. I’ve started teaching shorter term classes with Outschool.com, and I want to be able to invite those students to participate too, even though I don’t have everyone’s email.
So, in the interest of greater communication I am turning to Facebook. I have created a facebook page titled Cobblestone Academy. I realize most of my former students don’t have facebook themselves but I’m hoping that the adults in their lives could help them check occasionally for upcoming events on my server. The facebook page will not just be for former students, though some invitiations mentioned there will be restricted to those already on my server whitelist. The facebook page will also provide information for those just curious about my classes or about using Minecraft for educational purposes in general.
On Cobblestone Academy facebook page I will be posting:
- links to upcoming classes
- minecraft related educational resources
- pictures and updates about what is happening on the server
- invitations for current and former students to attend special events
My children, some students and I have been building a big “Cobblestone Academy” on the server. When it is finished I’ll set it as the server spawn location, so that it will be the first thing new students see. I’m hoping to have the rooms introduce some of the topics covered in the classes I teach.