Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The first tourists in outer Space! (Reflection)

The first tourists in outer Space! 
Year 7 designed and conducted Tours of Mars
Mars Tour Reflections
The students had an amazing experience as tour guides to students in year 456. The classes arrived in the lab ready for their tours.
They watched the simulated Mars landing of the space pods built by the year 7 students and then were allocated to a tour guides. The guides took them on a virtual tour of Mars showing them all the fascinating structures and landscapes of the new colony. The tourists were immersed in the wonder of the design and skill of the Martians and all they have created on their new home planet. They were shown how to build simple structures using the virtual world software and how to move the avatars in world.
All the tourists then viewed the real mars landing of the NASA Curiosity Mars rover, and saw an actual space landing. They were really impressed by the footage and all the science behind travel to Mars.  

The year 7 students did a magnificent job as tour guides they were articulate and clear. They showed patience and enthusiasm for their tours. They knew their stuff! Giving explanations and back ground to all they were asked, excellent commentary of their planned tours.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Leaving the Earth Short Film

Recently film maker Greta Tucker, apart of the Doveton Live team, made a short documentary about the Leaving the Earth project.  It was fascinating to listen to the students respond to questions about their learning and level of enthusiasm for the journey.  It is worth commenting on how they have connected and invested so much imagination to this course and how they describe the experience.  It is a reality even though it is a virtual reality.

We will post a link to the doco when all the clearances are completed.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Reflection Sessions 28-29

Reflection Session 28- 29
What an amazing leap in engagement after the holidays. The kids are ready for a new challenge and we have begun to plan our end of year exhibition.
Film making seems to have sparked an interest.
We are beginning with the planning for the end of year exhibition showing the process and journey of the leaving the earth Project. All students used Final Cut Pro for the first time. They imported videos, stills and audio from their server folders. They are using the features of the software to put in text, titles transitions, effects and sound effects.
 We needed to work through the editing process with more depth in the coming sessions.

They had the choice of working individually or in pairs. Pairs had to be negotiated and both had to be from the one tribe. it was abut a 50/50 split of pairs and individuals.
 looking forward to the next few weeks :)

Work Plan Session 28-29

Term 4

Session 28-29

Exhibition preparations begin
Student will be required to
Plan an end of year Mars exhibition

The digital exhibit pieces

Collate and collect samples of the journey and personal experience for Leaving the Earth
Students can share resources, or make new ones.
Look into the server files for texts and documents made by your tribe over the year. 
Year 7 Time Capsules
Tribe folders

What to include:
Flags still shots and plans for buildings, space pods.
Put all of this info into the presentation.
Include the tour your tribe planned and take your parents on the tour.
Slide show
Include Text format

Sound  and Pictures

Software used
Final cut pro
Crazy talk

It is hoped that by the end of the term we will invite parent to the classroom to view the exhibition
the films made by the student. tentative date set for week 10 of term 4.

Parents will view the individual films of the students journey and also be tourist on mars participating in the prepared Mars tours.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Reflection session 26 - 27

We are so pleased with the students first go at the video logs.
They made a great effort to be constructively critical of themselves and their teams.
Their first entry focused on the way the teams worked and if they felt they had built a good tribal work ethic.
They were able to see that their ability to manage their work load and allocate tasks was improved as the sessions progressed . Many reflections also identified that teams were effected by the focus of their members.
They saw that when they all had a clear plan and set roles or tasks that they were able to keep to them and meet set goals.
the wider majority of the logs all said that working in their teams was the preferred way of working as compared to individual task.

My favourite quote was from Nadia 7C,
"We didn't get everything finished but we tried hard and I am proud of them."

We look forward to seeing how these reflections evolve.

Work plan Sessions 26 -27

Sessions 26 -27
Work plan
Video Reflections Log - the what, why and who?
Weekly Mars Reflections Video log
Students need to use correct naming conventions for storing the files in the server folder.
They will use
NAME Reflection #
Saved into the serer folder  - Mars Refection Videos
To make the video they will open the word document Reflections Video log, that has the focus questions on it. They can note take and record and points of interest on the desk top or white board as cues for their reflection.
They will then use
Photobooth and choose video setting
 they will record their reflection

We need to ensure they are responding to the focus questions appropriately and using the time to reflect on their own learning and the impact they may have had on the project.
 It would be beneficial to also reflect on the effectiveness of the team, how they gelled, how they delegated, negotiated, goal set and reached milestones throughout the project.
Each week we will be answering specific focus questions to build a reflection log of the Mars project. These reflections will form the basis of a film or digital representation for our end of year exhibition for our families to view our Leaving the Earth - Mars work.
We can’t wait to share.

Reflection 1. Tribes equal teams
What did you enjoy about teams?
What was the hardest part? Why?
Did you see changes in the way your team worked over the project? eg s
Did you see an improvement in team work over the year? eg s
What would you do differently? Why?

Was this team project successful? A few examples.

Reflection Session 25

Rehearse your tours.....
Tribal Delegation and Contribution

This rehearsal session really helped teams to identify members of their tribe who perhaps did not get their allocated tasks finished.  They realised they could not deliver a half finished tour, when tourists were relying on them to deliver an exciting experience.
We saw many tribes discussing the possible fixes for the missing parts and in fact we also saw some tribes giving support to members who were struggling to get their delegated/assigned tasks completed.
We discussed with the whole class that when delegating tasks and goal setting that it works best to match skill to the individual "jobs" so that each tribe member is working at their capacity and also using their skill set.
One question that was raised was, what if there was no one in the tribe with that skill set or if that perhaps the person who would be best at it was busy with another task?
The tribes then decided that 2 heads were better than one and that in the tribes they would mentor each other, give support to members that were not as "skilled' or trouble shoot as they went. some worked in pairs.
They all agreed that being part of  a tribe and doing nothing was not on.
These "non doers" let their tribe down and had a negative impact on their tribe. The tribe had a responsibility to support and encourage its members and to try to change the behaviour of their low contributors by making sure their skills were better matched to their tasks. However in the end these tribe members would be cast out of they didn't pull their space socks up. (This worked a treat!) :)

Work plan session 25

Session 25

Work plan

Tourism Industry
In preparation for tour upcoming tours we need to be ready.

Rehearse the Tours
In pairs Role play the part of the guide and the tourist, run through the script and the locations pre-planned by your tribe as the set tour.
Test the regions and markers.
Read the planned script for each location.
Make any necessary alteration to the script to suit your guide style!
Get feedback from your pair partner.

Repeat. Get it perfect! J

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Taking tourists on a Virtual Tour of Mars

With a colony now established on Mars the Year 7 students are bring on the Y4-6 students to take them on a Virtual Tour.  Each tribe has created a tour based on the places and objects that mean the most to them.  Tourists have the right to select from a wide range of tours which are advertised on posters in their class room.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Virtual Urban Myth

All good societies should have an Urban Myth.  I have not seen one appear in any of our Virtual World societies until yesterday.

Students are creating virtual tours of Mars to take the 4-6 students on an incursion in the next two weeks.  As a result they needed to find six places which they liked on Mars to take their younger charges.

There was a level of frustration when a group of students from different tribes could not find the Giant Apple.  I had not seen a Giant Apple (which I was quickly corrupted when I referred to it as the Enormous Apple) nor had Chrisi.  The more it was talked about and the more other students became involved and the more convinced everyone became that there is or was a Giant Apple.

There is no Apple.

What we think it might be is a technology tribe built an enormous iPone as a monument with the apple logo on it.

This amy hav been the start to our urban myth.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Work plan Session 23 and 24

Tourism Industry
The purpose is to develop an industry that the colonists can use to add to a potential economy on Mars. Also this will enable them to share the work they have been doing while introducing other students and teachers in the school to the Virtual World program.

Come to MARS!!

 Excursions to Mars – discuss
What is possible?
What makes a good tour /excursion?
How do we engage our visitors?

Organisation is the key!

What could each tribe share with visiting students??

Plan an Excursion to Mars
Tribes are to design an advertising poster inviting 456 classes to a tour of Leaving the Earth - Mars

Your tribe will become tour guides taking tourists on a journey around the new Martin settlement.
The tour
Select 6 major stops (highlights that you tribe will take tourists to see.
 Each stop must have an accompanying commentary: Tribes must write the scripts for the tours

-who built it (which tribe)
-what is the purpose of the structure
- Symbolism of any patterns or colours
- Any changes or adaptations to the structure
- Whether it was a tribal or community space

Design a brochure (app smash) that shows what the tour designed by your tribe will offer tourists to Mars.

Include Text and photos.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Work plan Sessions 18 - 22

I'm back from outer space!!!
Four week away on leave and I am back on Mars and looking forward to a bright future.The tribes have all made their first move to a government system to run the planet and new colonies. It was unanimous that Democracy was the preferred system. below is the plan of the session and how each class came to this decision.
(We did have a few students who thought they would be good dictators or great monarchs, but they were out voted!)
Session 18 - 22

Monuments to Martian achievements

Government development (safety law and order)

Session 22

Review and highlights of last 4 weeks

Students will individually vote on the system of government that will be implemented

 Choices are:




Record the decision.

Team share 3 minutes

In teams list what attributes a leaders should possess. What are you looking for in a leader?

Key words - in line with school values
Respect Empathy Belonging Resilience Excellence
plus leadership reliable responsible organised kind caring etc.

Key Policies

Policy (record all the responses)

Equality Trust faith hard work etc

Nominate 3 candidates from the class to be a leader in the classroom

Consider the attributes of each of the nominees
next week - As a whole class elect a rep for the cross tribe UTC

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guns, Germs and Steel

Today we started moving the students from tribes to Governments.  We looked at three types of Governments we explored were Democracy, Monarchy and Dictatorship.

We also used the theories discussed in Guns, Germs and Steel to highlight why societies move to more formal styles of Government and why that might happen.

Some students thought that a Dictatorship might be fun until they realised it is only fun if you are the Boss..

We also looked at the idea that while tribal Governments worked for a small number of people, they, the class were not in fact in contact with the other two Grade Seven classes and that they were completely unaware of what decisions the other tribes were making.

After this discussion we left the students to ponder where they were going and the future Government they would form.

Students went into the Virtual World and continued building their National Monuments and public buildings and spaces

Lights Camera Action

Currently there is a document being made about our students working in the Virtual World. As a result the film crew turned up to film one of our classes.  It was a slight distraction that turned in to a media class. The students wanted to know about the cameras, sound recording devices, light, cranes, and dollies.  They were excited at being asked to do multiple takes of dialogue and action.  There was the realization that "this must be the way reality TV is made."

Everyone wanted to get in a shot. Everyone wanted their 30 seconds of fame.

The students were excited to learn that that were doing "proper" interviews next week with lights and  a director.

This process is extremely important to creating authentic outcomes with students voices.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Creating A Monument

Today students explore National Monuments, why they are built and what they symbolise.

We then asked the students to design a monument that represented their tribe and a symbolise something that is important to them.

Some teams created rockets to celebrate the journey to Mars, other created monuments to celebrate the technology they brought with them.

The middle picture is a bit of and homage to the Russian Monument to Space Travel which we show the students in class.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Sand Storm Cometh (Or the hard drive died)

Half way through the holidays I was informed that the Virtual World hard drive had died and there had been no proper back up implemented.

Two weeks work was lost.

Sand Storms on Mars are incredibly destructive. We told the students that a two week sand storm had destroyed some elements of their outposts and they needed to work in their teams, allocate tasks and do a fast rebuild.

Everyone was happy and now we are back on track.

Monday, June 23, 2014

United Tribal Council Meeting


7A called a UTC meeting to make a decision about the use of air space above tribal lands.

There was a suggestion that tribes not build over farm space as blocking the sun would impact their food plant growth. Also that building over the lands of another tribe is not allowed.

 The UTC decided in a vote 4-1 to

First step when building is to seek out vacant land on mars and build it there.

Nominate their own and donate their own lands as an international space. One tribe is doing this so their tribe can access this space easily.

 Each UTC delegate returned to their tribe and informed them of the council’s decision.

Reflection Session 17


Seems natural to show Philanthropy

Noka tribe showed philanthropy today. They donated part of their tribal lands as a National Park. They removed their tribal boarder on this areas and replaced them with the international land markers. They did it without a second thought. They did not look at it as a loss, they simply viewed this landscape as an area they can still use and enjoy but that they would be able to share it with the greater community, this would make it more enjoyable. They still have the role of maintaining it and keeping it safe, clean and in good order. Their friends from other tribes can enjoy it too as it is now an international space as designated by the United Tribal Council.

Team work is working!

Over all the tribes are working in a more cohesive and cooperative manner. As they work through the planning designing and process the importance of the delegation of tasks amongst the tribe to achieve the team goal becomes a more important. They know that their team will be most successful if they all work in a focused and supportive way. They are only as good as their weakest link! They are holding their tribe mates accountable and using checks, measure and encouragement to keep their tribe on task.

We are hearing more of the language of teams:

How are you going with the zone you are working on?

Do you need help with the placement of the markers?

Hey you are doing a really good job, I like the zone you are working on.

I have an idea, (idea outlined)

Do you agree should we do this?

Let’s ask the other tribes to see if they like it before we start. (They then sent a delegate to each tribe to ask them a question. He returned from is survey with we have 5 yes and three no, so they went ahead with the idea.)

We are seeing greater evidence of values of the tribes working together respect and belonging to not only their tribe but the wider first Martian settlers.

Work plan Session 17

Session 17

United Tribal Council International shared spaces on Mars


 Teams will begin the building of their international spaces as allocated to them by the United Tribal Council. Review the international spaces and their intended purpose. How will these spaces help improve or change the lives of the new settlers on mars?

The teams will reflect on their deigns. The build projects were allocated by the UTC. The building tasks within their teams for each portion of the building project.

Each tribe is accountable to their greater Martian community to compete the build of the international space by the set date. They will be given 2 session to build.

 2minute tribal meeting to reflect and refocus tasks and set goal for the session.

In World

Move to the allocated space in world and lay the foundations for the build.

 15 minutes stop and fly over world, each tribe to report on the build so far.

Return to building

Monday, June 16, 2014

International Spaces - Planning and Design Meetings

Design and plans for 7B international community spaces as delegated by the United Tribal Council
Tribe designing and planning discussions
Petani's  Fun Park Plan
 Aasidier's  National Park Plan
 Perawot's Emergency Disaster Shelter Plan
 Szef Kuchni Exchange Hall Plan
 Seizon Cha Hospital Plan
Design and plans for 7A international community spaces as delegated by the United Tribal Council
 Tribe designing and planning discussions

 Noka National Park Plan
 Krouh Peit Park Plan
 Jishu Pool Plan
 Magira's United Tribes Education Centre
 Tribe Designing and Planning Discussions


United Tribal Council meeting minutes 7B


Suggested international spaces

Giant slide

National park


National park 

Committee suggest the following international spaces
School x 2
National park x 1
Library x1

Science lab x 2
Pool x 2

Civic structures to be built by 7B

MAGIRA United tribal education centre - School/science lab/library 
JISHU pool include giant water slide, rubber ducks, chill out zone.
NOKA national park, include picnic grounds, snack bar, preserve a part of mars in its natural state
KROUH Piet park, skatepark, earth like landscape, picnic spot, play equipment.

Where to build them
Central locations
Not closer to one tribe than another
UTC markers Green glowing cylinder

United Tribe Council Meeting Minutes 7A

International space use suggestions
Seizon cha represented by  Jackson

Perawot represented by Naiomi

Aasidier represented by Caleb
Communal showers

Szef Kuchni represented by Kerryn
Food market

Petani represented by Mellisa
National park
 Free cinema

Most desired (combines all tribe ideas)
Food market/ shop - exchange hall (swap meet)
National park bio sphere to replicate earths nature.
Fun park
Emergency  disaster shelter

Final decisions and allocation of tasks
Fun park - Petani
Exchange hall - Szef kuchni
National park -Aasidier
Hospital  -Seizon cha
Emergency disaster shelter - Perawot 

Work Plan Session 16

Session 16

Civic Structures

United Tribes Council UTC

Each tribe will nominate a representative to take part in a council meeting and vote to decide on the civic structures that each of the tribes will begin to build.

The reps will also decide on the land area to be used for the structures.


The tribes must discus and choose their reps

Suggest 2 areas of land that could be used for civic structures

Reps will attend a meeting of the UTC

Chaired by teacher to begin with

In world

Remaining tribe members continue to place and set out their tribes

UTC reps meet and decide the civic structures


Design the buildings selected. Each tribe is responsible for a separate civic structure they have been allocated by the UTC.

In world

Build the design they have planned on the land allocated to them for this purpose.

Text to Earth send a brief update message to earth today’s entry is a task manager list per tribe.

Video Log record your tribe’s video diary for this session. Today’s video is a report on the tribes international space build on behalf of the UTC.

A tribe discussing what they will build on Mars

Prep Students Art Project

Nina's prep students drew aliens and made spaceships in art.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Designing the layout of our new tribal land

Session 15 Common Lands

Session 15


Discussion point


Common spaces for all tribes to share.

What could they be used for and why would tribes need common lands to share?

 List three purposes of these allocated spaces.

How can we decide on the land space for this purpose?

List and record in a team text using text editor.

Virtual World Activity

Continue from last week.



Tribes discuss the layout and design of their Martian Village

Dwellings, communal space, food, water, oxygen etc

Plan the dwellings. Will the whole tribe live in pod or replicate and make more dwellings.

Make agreements with in your team and allocate the roles of the village construction.

In World

Complete the boarder marking if required

 Construct and lay out the Martian village that your tribe will live in.

Allocate roles to each tribe member.





All Students

Text to Earth send a brief update message to earth
Video Log record your tribe’s video diary for this session

Work Plan Session 14


7B complete session from last week. Stake your claim.

Focus Dwellings


Tribes discuss the layout and design of their Martian Village

Dwellings, communal space, food, water, oxygen etc

Plan the dwellings. Will the whole tribe live in pod or replicate and make more dwellings.

Make agreements with in your team and allocate the roles of the village construction.

In World

Complete the boarder marking if required

 Construct and lay out the Martian village that your tribe will live in.

Allocate roles to each tribe member.




Building can only be done using the prims they have in their inventory or by negotiating with other tribes.

All Students

Text to Earth send a brief update message to earth

Video Log record your tribe’s video diary for this session.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Building a brave new world

Chevvy loves the creation of his tribes new world on Mars.  He takes pride in everything that is to be created to make a sustainable world.

Here are some photos from his tribes land.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Creating a New World

The students in this tribe have decided to connect all their buildings together. They hope to move from one place to another in their village without wearing helmets in a biosphere type structure connected by walk ways. They used markers to draw, discuss and label the design ideas before they began their in world build.

This same tribe have also pondered the possibility of taking over all the Martian lands, as in their words
"There are no laws that say we can't!"

In another class group 2 tribes have merged. both out of necessity and generosity. The discussion in this group moved quickly to power in numbers.
We'll keep you posted on the power struggles and community developments.
Looking forward to more rigorous discussions between the new settlers!!

We landed on Mars with nothing but our Pod

Scientifico tribe arrived on mars with nothing through lack of organization.  Now they are trying to negotiate with Sanso to get some plants.

Initially Sanso were happy to freely support and help the other tribe.

It was questioned whether this is sustainable.

The two tribes are now negotiating a deal which may see some repayment in the future.

The options could be combining, sharing of power, domination, land sale or as suggested by a staff member, breed them out, they are weak and they may bring both tribes down.

The up shot of the negations was about skills and the equal power sharing. But in the end it was truly out of generosity.

The two tribes combined and decided rename to Sancien.

All the other tribes applauded.

They have yet to realize that the new Sancien is an enormous voting block.

More Threats Of War

Another tribe announced today that they may need to go to war to get more land.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The need for defense

I haven't had a chance to think about this but already one tribe built a tank to defend itself.

Also heard was this comment from the same tribe.

"Why can't we just take over the whole world there are no rules to stop us."

Borders and the fight for land

Now we have fences and borders and arguments. We have power, control and the underclass who missed out.  We have the land Barons and squatters and noise about rights.  We have calls for a global take over and a call for rules of some sort and a thingy like we have in Canberra.

Monday, May 26, 2014

This is a link to our Minecraft Blog

This is a link to our Minecraft Blog

Messages Home re Land Grab

The land grab and messages home

Beau - hi dad we have just put up the border

Bella - Mum,
My tribe and I just claimed a massive piece of landing. I’m missing you already.
Love Bella xx

Massi - hey mum i perfectly all right were making gigantic fences but busy now talk later later

Kerryn - Mum,
My tribe and I just claimed a massive piece of landing. I’m missing you already.
Love Bella xx

Vannida - HI MUM!! today was a tiring day today!! and i miss you and the family so much! :( xx take care! :D