The tech giant Microsoft released ‘Minecraft: Education Edition’ for schools around the world this Tuesday, November 1. Microsoft and Mojang want classrooms to be more creative environments, and ‘Minecraft’ has proven to be a valuable tool for teachers and kids alike.
The launch of ‘Minecraft: Education Editon’ follows the acquisition of the MinecraftEdu organization by Microsoft back in January. At the time, the company planned to release the educational game in the summer, but last September it said the launch date had been delayed until November.
‘Minecraft: Education Edition’ is virtually the same game millions of people know and love, but it adds didactic features on top to create innovative learning experiences. The license for the game costs $5 per user per year, but there are plans for school districts who wish to embrace gamified teaching.
‘Minecraft: Education Edition’ introduces Classroom Mode
The full version of the game released this Tuesday is significantly different from previous builds thanks to a defining element: the addition of Classroom Mode for entire class groups. Classroom Mode in ‘Minecraft: Education Edition’ grants teachers with centralized controls over the participating students and the lesson they are teaching.
This project management tool was not included in the earlier versions of the game during Alpha nor Beta testing, or even the Early Access mode for over 30,000 students back in June.
In Classroom Mode, teachers going through one of the many lessons in ‘Minecraft: Education Edition’ will get access to the open world’s settings, while also being able to communicate with kids through group and private chats.
‘Minecraft: Education Edition’ lets students and teachers create
The newly released ‘Microsoft: Education Edition’ is a different game than the standard version of ‘Minecraft.’ This edition provides set guidelines for teachers and students to follow within its signature open world.
‘Minecraft: Education Edition’ introduces basic notions of academic life to young children with Lesson Plans focused on subjects like Geometry and Fractions, but these lessons soon get increasingly complex for more mature students.
For teachers and students who want to think outside the box, they can always prompt a new world as a blank canvas and just start creating. There is also the option to create your lesson plans if those provided by Microsoft do not suit your classroom’s needs.
‘Minecraft: Education Edition’ is readily available in bundle packages for school districts, or for $5 individual yearly licenses. Students and teachers who want to play the game in class will need to install the latest version of Windows 10 or MacOS on their computers.