Microsoft launches Minecraft: Education Edition

Games for teaching: Minecraft Education Edition arrives

Minecraft character

The latest development in the ongoing trend to combine the fun of video games with teaching has arrived, with Microsoft announcing the launch of Minecraft: Education Edition.

A popular game among children and young people, Minecraft is a popular game that takes a ‘sandbox’ approach – allowing the user a large amount of agency in manipulating the environment around them.

The game has already proven useful in teaching students complex concepts, such as how to code, but the new education-specific edition comes with a number of features to allow teachers enahcned ability to focus on outcomes with their students.

Not only are there a range of lesson plans that arrive with Minecraft: Education Edition, but it also comes with an application dubbed ‘Classroom Mode’, which provides educators with a birds-eye view of the world in which their students are operating. These features are designed to help teachers monitor and mentor their students.

Students are able to document and save images of their work as they progress in their lessons, with functionality available to allow pair and group work as required.

Distributed under license, Minecraft: Education Edition will cost between US$1 and US$5 per user per year, depending on the licensing agreement available to the given school.

Microsoft has created a product-specific website for the new version of the game.

As an educator, what is your opinion on introducing video games as a vehicle for lessons at K-12 schools? Email our editor to share your thoughts.

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