Minecraft's "digital Lego" recomended for the classroom
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Video games are often criticised in the media for their violent content, or for potential negative effects stemming from an overindulgence, such as childhood obesity and poor relationships.

But gaming can be beneficial, too, keeping gamers sharp and, now, helping out in the classroom.

Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia have started urging educators to embrace the extremely popular Minecraft game as a teaching assistant.

Associate Professor Michael Dezuanni likens Minecraft to digital Lego, saying it helps students to better engage with maths, design, art and geography.

Build ‘em up

“We’ve seen some real success with engagement, problem solving students, with design and their creative work,” says Dezuanni.

“The teachers working with those students have been quite impressed by the way students work with the game as well.”

Dezuanni also explains that the game has proven particularly successful in engaging students who haven’t responded to more traditional teaching methods.

“One of the things that teachers were most excited about, was that it involved students who weren’t traditionally successful in the classroom, so suddenly these students were successful, the other students saw them as leaders in the classroom.”

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Summer STEM Camp 2016 schedule now live!

Summer STEM Camp 2016 schedule now live!

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White Plains, Westchester, NY– The Digital Arts Experience’s (The DAE) 2016 Summer STEM / Tech / Computer Camp schedule is now live! Programs range from:

  • 3D Printing
  • Animation
  • Coding & Computer Programming
  • Electronics
  • Design
  • LEGO
  • Minecraft
  • …and more!

Still in the process of filling out the schedule, The DAE has a solid base of their “bread & butter” programs already available for registration. B…

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  Evening all!

  Today I was supposed to have a Solid Modelling lecture at 9am, but our tutor was ill so I went and got on with some work for my client meeting presentation tomorrow morning. This presentation is on my 8-bit guitar pedal. I’ve got some market research, a bit of initial specification and ideation, and an audio comparison of The Beatles’ Daytripper riff on a clean guitar and then what it would sound like on an NES.

  I’ve also been playing around with a program called Bluerender, which is a rendering package to use with LEGO Digital Designer. You can import any digital LEGO models you’ve made in LDD, and Bluerender will process them and output a (fairly) photorealistic image of the model. It allows you to change the background and ground plane colours, and some other parameters, and puts out decent-quality rendered images in relatively short times. The first three I made were all rendered in under four minutes, for a 1024x768px image, and my next three have been about 10 minutes for a 2048x1536px image.

I recreated first-generation Pontiac GTO in LDD a while ago, and I rendered it today in Bluerender. The two images of the red GTO took about 3 and a half minutes to render, and the white one only took about 2 minutes.

I made a little hoverbike café racer and rendered it at 2048x1536 pixels, which took a little longer.

  That’s kind of been it today. Tomorrow I’m doing the first client meeting for my self-choice project, and then it’s the start of my weekend!

  Until next time, ciao!

Whether a parting be forever or merely for a short time… That is up to you…