Category Archives: Computers

Time Out for Minecraft!

It’s been pretty crazy watching the world of MInecraft taking over so many households, including mine!  Kids can spend hours and hours in front of their computers and/or tablets creating virtual worlds that they can take part in with others inside the game.  At first, I just couldn’t believe kids could get into a game with such bad graphics.  Then, the realization set in that my own son was swept up in it, and there was no turning back.  As I watched Malachy play in Creative Mode and how he created different worlds and structures, how he watched YouTube videos to see how others used their inventories to create “new” items, I saw some of the positives in this game.  We limited his playtime, but we saw how it took over his drawings, his writing, his conversations, his Lego Building, etc.  There was even a New York Times article talking about the obsession and some of the benefits of it.  I was living it and witnessing it with my own very eyes. 🙂

Recently, LaunchPadToys came up with an awesome Minecraft contest using their Toontastic App called Toon Academy: Minecraft.  It’s like they read his mind when they designed this contest!  After telling Malachy about it, I knew he would go for it.  He’s already gotten so much support and encouragement from the online community, thanks to social media.  Very cool!

His video presentation demonstrated to me all the vocabulary and skills he was picking up through the course of his play.  It also made him really think about how to convey his message to others in a way they could better understand why he’s so passionate about Minecraft.  It took a few takes, but it was all him, and he put hard work into it.  It’s what engaged learning is all about.  Impressive.  Contest ends on Thursday (October 17th), so we’ll just have to wait and see… 😉

Time Out for IM…

Malachy on AIM...

Malachy started Instant Messaging before he was 3, mostly with his uncle and grandparents. In a previous post, he actually assumed my identity! 😉 His uncle thought he was chatting with me.
He always loved letters, so he naturally loved the keyboard and typing away. When he got older (can’t believe I just typed the word “older”), he learned that the Mac could use the Chinese Pin Yin system and type out Chinese characters. He LOVED that, too! He can now type on his own, and he will sometimes switch back between English and Chinese, just for fun. When it’s Chinese, he’ll just insert random characters. Sometime, he’ll ask me what he just typed in Chinese, and I’m like, “I don’t know. Go ask Mommy! 😉 ”
Tonight, his uncle was feeling a bit down, so before bedtime, I suggested that he call his Uncle Chris. He tried calling twice, but it was so loud on the other end, and it hung up twice. So, first, he left his uncle a voice message telling him he shouldn’t be upset and that people are just talking, etc…
Then, while Malachy was on the computer, his uncled IM’d from his Blackberry, so I had Malachy take a break to IM him. I sat on the couch while he typed away. I gave him suggestions on what he could type, but he typed what he wanted. This is what he had to say… At first, he didn’t finish the word “UPSET,” so I told him he could retype it. Instead, he thought he should just add the letters on the next line. Later on, I showed Shien and she asked, “What’s GN?” I told her, “Good Night. Your son decided to just type GN on his own…” Ai ya! 😉