prmrytchr – thoughts around games and tech in a classroom

'The most important thing about technology is how it changes people.' – Jaron Lanier

Minecraft Books

I’ve been interested for a while in getting the children to produce their own texts in Minecraft. So far they have used signs and the chat log to communicate short … Continue reading

May 27, 2013 · Leave a comment


Just incase you aren’t redirected (or you’re reading this through rss or something) – this blog is now self hosted: the new address is Please redirect yourself and your … Continue reading

April 16, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Stories So Far: Games as Narrative Opportunities in the Classroom

In the article ‘Game Design as Narrative Architecture‘, Jenkins discusses the opportunities that games – as virtual spaces – offer for the development of narratives. Asking, in effect, `Are games … Continue reading

April 4, 2013 · 2 Comments

Portal 2, Proxies and Boring Persistence

This post isn’t about using technology for learning. It’s about one of the things that stops us using technology for learning: the technological infrastructure in schools. Valve now offer a … Continue reading

April 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Slender Man, Herobrine and The Bieberbus: Minecraft and Memes in the Classroom

I mentioned in a previous post how I had overheard children referring to Slender Man in class. This is just one of a number of internet memes that have been observed … Continue reading

March 29, 2013 · 1 Comment

Paradis Perdus – Reading a Video Game

 “We have no idea yet how people ‘read’ video games, what meanings they make from them. Still less do we know how people will ‘read’ them in the future.” – … Continue reading

March 26, 2013 · 2 Comments

Will We Allow Technology to Transform Learning?

Is the current educational climate conducive to promoting innovative Edtech use in schools? On their website, Apple show the above banner relating to iPads and the classroom. Obviously, Apple have … Continue reading

March 24, 2013 · 1 Comment

Challenging the Reader: Using Interactive Fiction in the Classroom (Part 2)

Some of my class finished their interactive stories today, created using Twine. Reflections on the children’s use interactive fiction: This was the third and final session for most of the … Continue reading

March 22, 2013 · Leave a comment

Minecraft, Spheres and the Search for Meaning in a Virtual World

So far, I have used our weekly Minecraft Club to encourage the children to build and explore the creation-based possibilities of the game. With the introduction of last week’s natural … Continue reading

March 20, 2013 · 8 Comments

Connecting Raspberry Pi through school proxy

A post to file under ‘boringly technical’,  but it’s here for anyone in the same situation. I’ve been struggling to get the Raspberry Pi to fully access the internet in … Continue reading

March 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

A Virtual Tornado – Minecraft, Griefing and Natural Disasters

During this week’s Minecraft Club I cast myself in the role of the ultimate griefer, subjecting my class’ virtual town to a series of destructive tornados. This was an attempt … Continue reading

March 15, 2013 · 2 Comments

Running and Reading

I recently read this interesting article on the motivations of runners. It reflects on running as an end in itself, as well as recounting the usual motivations relating to health … Continue reading

March 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Minecraft Books – Text in the Virtual World

I have been interested for a while in getting the children to produce their own texts in Minecraft. So far they have used signs and the chat log to communicate … Continue reading

March 7, 2013 · Leave a comment

Gamifying Stories – Using Interactive Fiction in the Classroom (Part 1)

Merging creative writing and coding to create interactive stories. ‘Interactive fiction’ has been around for years. Reminiscing recently about my early computer use I recalled how I enjoyed playing and … Continue reading

March 7, 2013 · 2 Comments

Beautiful Creation

I know it’s not very cool to ‘like’ an advert but I’ll make an exception for this – a brilliant lego magazine ad from 1981, promoting the value of creation … Continue reading

March 7, 2013 · Leave a comment

Minecraft and the Introvert / Extrovert Spectrum

‘Shyness is nice and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you’d like to’ – The Smiths, ‘Ask’ I have been listening to an audiobook called ‘Quiet’ … Continue reading

March 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Edtechnostalgia and Beginning Programming Raspberry Pi Minecraft

Yesterday I got the Raspberry Pi version of Minecraft running on my Model A and Model B. I also got a terminal window open and managed to complete my first … Continue reading

February 22, 2013 · 1 Comment

‘Bradborough: A Place in School’ (Writing about Minecraft)

‘The purpose is to make and create because this is learning…’ – Sam, Y6  Since November 2012, a group of Y6 children have been building their own town – called … Continue reading

February 18, 2013 · 5 Comments

Curriculum Critique

A personal critique of the shortcomings of the New Primary Curriculum, particularly in the area of digital media skills development, prompted by reflections on a recent cross-curricular animation project. Following … Continue reading

February 16, 2013 · Leave a comment

Animated Storytelling

During a recent afternoon session, I taught a mix of Y4, 5 and 6 children how to create their own stop-frame animations using two apps on the iPads: ‘iMotion‘ and … Continue reading

February 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Minecraft Displays

Reappropriating (otherwise known as ‘stealing’) Minecraft’s visual identity for my own teacherly means, here’s a couple of pictures of displays from my room, designed as easily updatable points of reference … Continue reading

February 6, 2013 · 2 Comments

Minecraft Edu: The Emic Perspective

’emic’ adjective \ˈē-mik\ of, relating to, or involving analysis of cultural phenomena from the perspective of one who participates in the culture being studied [] In order to learn a … Continue reading

February 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

Proteus Display

For anyone who wondered what a corridor display board full of mounted, Proteus inspired work would look like: today is your lucky day! For those who don’t wonder such things: … Continue reading

February 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Minecraft Identity

Observing the different behaviours exhibited by the children as they participate in creating their Minecraft-based community highlights some interesting patterns of behaviour and interaction. Whilst the majority of children spend … Continue reading

February 1, 2013 · 1 Comment

Dissertation Reflection – Groupwork, Animation and ICT

I have returned to my Masters dissertation recently, partly as I have been asked to summarise my experience of enquiry into a few hundred words for another project, and partly … Continue reading

January 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

Proteus as a Writing Stimulus 2

Following on from yesterday’s post about using the indie exploration game Proteus in the classroom as a writing prompt, here are the children’s final pieces of work. They spent an … Continue reading

January 24, 2013 · 10 Comments

Proteus as a Writing Stimulus

I wrote this excitable blog post the other week about an amazing virtual exploration game called Proteus. This afternoon, I was pleased to use it in the classroom for the … Continue reading

January 23, 2013 · 31 Comments

Inside Minecraft

Friday’s lunchtime Minecraft Club was interesting in that it was the first that more than half of the Y6 children chose not to attend. This would usually be the signal … Continue reading

January 20, 2013 · 2 Comments

Minecraft Houses

This was an unexpected and unscheduled session in Minecraft on a snowy Friday afternoon. My intentions for the lesson changed when most of the juniors assembled for a rehearsal of … Continue reading

January 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

Back into Bradborough

Back to Minecraft Club for the first time post-Christmas. As usual, the whole class attended voluntarily at lunchtime and continued building their town / community space. Other commitments meant that … Continue reading

January 10, 2013 · 1 Comment


“I think video games are closer to fiction than anything else these days.” – Haruki Murakami (2004) Just a quick post – I’ll write more when I have had chance … Continue reading

January 7, 2013 · 7 Comments

Principles of Effective Electronic Whiteboard Use

Over the next couple of weeks I’m leading some training sessions for trainee teachers relating to the use of the electronic whiteboard in the primary classroom. In addition to the … Continue reading

January 7, 2013 · Leave a comment


For my last run of the year yesterday I downloaded a new app – Zombies, Run. I often listen to audiobooks while running (one of the few instances of multitasking … Continue reading

January 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

2012 Music

As it’s the thing to do at this time of year, here’s a list of my favourite music from 2012. The undisputed winner: ‘Kill for Love’ – Chromatics The score … Continue reading

December 31, 2012 · Leave a comment

Super Hexagon Skills

I’ve been playing a game on my iPhone called Super Hexagon. It’s probably the hardest game I have ever played – I don’t think I’ve ever heard the words ‘Game … Continue reading

December 30, 2012 · Leave a comment

Minecraft Epic Reality

Enjoyed ‘Minecraft the Movie: The Story of Mojang‘ last night. Here’s the trailer…. There’s some quite unexpectedly spine-tingling moments involving the sheer epic scale of the creative aspects of the … Continue reading

December 24, 2012 · Leave a comment

Minecraft Edu: Bradborough so far

To recap, my Y6 class have been working on creating their own town (Bradborough) in Minecraft Edu. This has taken place over the last month during a lunchtime club that lasts … Continue reading

December 20, 2012 · 4 Comments

Reality is Broken

Finished reading ‘Reality is Broken’ by Jane McGonigal, which makes a great case for how and why games are a force for good. Some key points and quotes: Games are … Continue reading

December 20, 2012 · Leave a comment


Something I’ve been pleased to notice recently is how some children are using the ICT based tools introduced in class to work on – and share – projects at home. … Continue reading

December 19, 2012 · Leave a comment


I have revisited Wallwisher recently and it has had an update since I last used it that makes it even more user friendly. I have used it in literacy and … Continue reading

December 12, 2012 · Leave a comment

Creeper Christmas Card

Received this brilliant Minecraft Christmas card from a boy in Y5 yesterday.

December 12, 2012 · Leave a comment

Minecraft Hunger Games

Putting aside concerns of slight age-inappropriateness for a moment, I came across an interesting example of self-directed, virtual world intertextuality in class this morning. The children’s were using the iPads … Continue reading

December 11, 2012 · 1 Comment

Indie Game

Watched ‘Indie Game: The Movie’ after chancing upon it on Netflix last week. It’s essentially the story of a small number of independent game designers and the often lengthy process … Continue reading

December 10, 2012 · Leave a comment

More MinecraftEdu Reflections

So, having now run the original ‘create your own community’ session with the second group of children (Y5s this time) some potential patterns of behaviour are beginning to emerge. Some … Continue reading

December 8, 2012 · Leave a comment

Building Bradborough Part 2: Minecraft Edu

Today was the second lunchtime session in MinecraftEdu with the Y6 children, continuing to build their town. This time, some of the children (a group of about 5 boys) came … Continue reading

December 6, 2012 · Leave a comment

More notes on Scratch

Excuse the brevity of this entry – I composed a longer post making these points and then lost it! This was the second full lesson on Scratch. Children set the … Continue reading

December 6, 2012 · 1 Comment

Programmable Lights

Quick one this – made a programmable Christmas tree, using flowgo boxes and flowol. Xmas tree and lights courtesy of pound shop (battery pack snipped from lights to attach them … Continue reading

December 6, 2012 · Leave a comment

Starting Scratch

I used Scratch today in school for the first time to introduce children to programming. I taught Y4 and Y6 children in separate lessons and was surprised how quickly both … Continue reading

November 30, 2012 · Leave a comment

Minecraft: Bradborough 1. Creating a community.

This lunch time I ran the first Minecraft club using MinecraftEdu. It was open mainly to Y6 children – all working in pairs on the computers. Again I ran the … Continue reading

November 30, 2012 · Leave a comment

Kensuke’s Minecraft Kingdom

This week I used minecraft Edu for the first time in class. I created a map (based on an island seed -568745855625393363) loosely based around Kensuke’s Island from the book … Continue reading

November 26, 2012 · 2 Comments

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