MinecraftEdu: it's a name almost as old as the Minecraft community itself. Originally created by TeacherGaming, in collaboration with Joel "MinecraftTeachr" Levin, MinecraftEdu has been seeing more and more classrooms across the world, over 10,000 schools in over 40 countries! Hugely in demand as an educational tool, MinecraftEdu is a modified version of the core game, specifically tailored to be used as an instructional aid by teachers, and it is MASSIVELY popular with faculty and students alike. In fact, it has reached such a critical mass that Microsoft recently announced they will be picking it up, officially!
Over the past few years, educators around the world have been using Minecraft to explore subjects that might not spring to mind when you think of our block-based game. Since 2011, MinecraftEdu - a version of Minecraft built for the classroom - has been used in over 40 countries. Lots of people have learned loads of things since then.
Microsoft has acquired MinecraftEdu and is building upon its proven success to create a new version of Minecraft that’s dedicated to learning. The new title will be available as a free trial this summer. All existing MinecraftEdu customers will get the first year of Minecraft: Education Edition free of charge.
Via resources like education.minecraft.net, Minecraft: Education Edition will be shaped by collaborative effort by an entire community of educators, not so different from how Minecraft itself is shaped by the players! The site will host lesson plans, and give Minecraft: Education Edition users somewhere to discuss ideas and provide feedback.
Education Edition will be available as a free trial this summer, to give it a test run and iron out any potential wrinkles in the system.
One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground. We’ve seen that Minecraft transcends the differences in teaching and learning styles and education systems around the world. It’s an open space where people can come together and build a lesson around nearly anything.
Since the introduction of Minecraft to the classroom, educators around the world have been using Minecraft to effectively teach students everything from STEM subjects to art and poetry. It’s this versatility that excites many educators about the potential.
Rafranz Davis, Executive Director of Professional Development and Learning, Lufkin ISD:
In education, we are constantly seeking pathways to explore learning beyond the confines of a textbook. Minecraft allows us that opportunity. When we see our kids enjoying the process of learning in this way, it’s a game changer.
You can learn all there is to know - including how to collaborate with the project - right over at education.minecraft.net!