Are you considering taking one of my live online Minecraft classes? Are you unsure if it would be a good fit for your family? Here are some questions to help you consider.
- Does your child play the JAVA version of Minecraft?
Cobblestone Academy runs on a JAVA Minecraft server. Console (Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, etc.) and Ipad versions will not connect with it. Nor will the Minecraft version known as “Windows 10.” I recommend students purchase the JAVA Minecraft version and spend a few hours playing on it before they sign up for the class. That way they can test that their computers are fast enough to run the JAVA version and they can get comfortable with the controls.
- Is your child interested in the topic of the class?
Sometimes I get emails that say “my child doesn’t like math/writing/history/science, but loves Minecraft, so I’m enrolling him in your classes.” Well, adding Minecraft to a class is a bit like adding oranges to a salad. If you take a bit forkful of the salad the orange changes the taste of everything and makes everything a little bit better. However, if a child really doesn’t like the lettuce, then he or she might just try picking the oranges out by hand and ignoring the rest of the salad. I’ve had the equivalent happen in classes where a child will log on and then try going off to build his or her own thing while I’m teaching. The child gets nothing out of the class. I won’t notice the child’s absence for a bit while I’m working with other kids, and when I do notice the child will be frustrated because he or she has missed the instructions. It is a bad experience for everyone.
Now your child doesn’t have to LOVE every topic, but they have to be committed to trying to learn about it. If the class is on redstone, they have to be at least a little excited about redstone and not just Minecraft. If the class is on math, they have to recognize it is a math class and it will require following the exercises and learning the ideas. History and geography classes will require building on the assigned topic, not just recreating one’s favourite style of house or displaying one’s awesome redstone creations.
- Do you have the time, commitment and space necessary?
Live interactive classes require you to be at your computer at the right time each week. In some courses each class builds on the material learned in the previous class. Missing occasional classes is understandable and I will attempt to provide resources for students to catch up, but video recordings are not always available.
Students should be in a quiet room during the class. If there is talking in the background I will be required to mute the student.
All classes presume that the student will have time to do approximately an hour of homework each week.
- Does your child have fears regarding Minecraft?
There are areas on my server where monsters run free. While we don’t frequently visit those areas during class, I can’t promise students that they won’t occasionally see a zombie or spider. I can give students the ability to change it to daytime whenever they need. Talk to me before registering if your child might need other accommodations.
- Is your child easily overwhelmed, distracted and frustrated?
I want to be honest with you. My classes are very chaotic. They get loud at times. If your child shuts down the moment things get loud, this class probably isn’t a good fit. I’m very sorry about that.
In my classes students are asked to work on something while at the same time I’ll be talking to a different student about troubleshooting something. If your student is likely to drop everything and run off with a bow and arrow the moment I turn my back, then the classes probably aren’t a good fit.
This isn’t to say I’m not patient with those who cause a bit of chaos. It isn’t to say that your child has to be perfect. Children are children. However, I’ll have several kids to watch at a time and Minecraft doesn’t allow great peripheral vision so I can’t watch all kids at the same time and they do need some self-control or a parent monitoring.
- Do you have a fast enough computer and internet connection?
If you’re not sure your computer and internet are fast enough to allow you to participate, please feel free to contact me and we can set up a test time.
I am devoted to trying to make my courses work for my students. I will do everything I can to make this a positive experience for you and your child. However, there are times I can’t change things and I want to let you know the challenges so you can decide if the classes are right for you. If you’ve read this and I haven’t scared you off, then please, sign up!