You might have heard about Minecraft from your kid. You might even be unwillingly acquainted with it because it's all your kid wants to talk about. Now, it’s not just infiltrating your household, it’s also invading your child’s school. And, that’s not such a bad thing.
Microsoft is releasing a new version of Minecraft to be used in classrooms called Minecraft: Education Edition. This came after they bought MinecraftEdu which the yet-to-be-released version is built upon.
For those unfamiliar with the super popular video game (played by over 30 million people worldwide), Minecraft is basically a versatile and open platform where players get to build their own virtual worlds using blocks. They also get to interact and play with each other online and occasionally fight ghouls.
It’s nothing short of amazing because the game contains literally hundreds of elements that players can use to build and enhance their worlds. There’s basically no limit to what you can create in Minecraft.
Now, let’s talk about MinecraftEdu. It’s basically a school-ready remix of Minecraft previously owned by TeacherGaming. It allows teachers to use Minecraft worlds to teach students in a variety of subject areas like math, history and physics by creating sets specifically for the lesson. There are also ready-made “lesson worlds” for teachers to use.
MinecraftEdu can be accessed by a whole class at the same time, meaning students can explore the worlds while interacting with their classmates and the teacher in-game. MinecraftEdu is currently used in over 40 countries.
And last January 19, Microsoft acquired MinecraftEdu from TeacherGaming. Following that move, Microsoft is going to release their version of Minecraft for classrooms called Minecraft: Education Edition.
“Minecraft: Education Edition is built on the experiences we’ve had with with MinecraftEdu over the years so there will be a lot of similar features,” according to TeacherGaming.
Minecraft: Education Edition will have enhanced maps with coordinates. This way, students and teachers will be able to better navigate the Minecraft world together. It will also have a Student Portfolio feature where students can save their works and progress.
The enhanced multiplayer will be able to accommodate up to 40 students exploring or building a world together. For teachers, there will be a library of lesson plans to help them apply and integrate the game into their lessons.
“There is no limit to what students can learn in the game, and no limit to how the game can extend classroom learning,” says the Minecraft Education site.
Minecraft: Education Edition will be available in mid-2016.