educational

Minecraft Is Now Officially Educational

Mojang has announced Minecraft: Educational Edition, an official version of Minecraft designed for school PCs. The special edition packs a lot of extra schoolhouse-exclusive content:

  • Enhanced maps with coordinates for students and teachers to find their way around the Minecraft world together.
  • Student Portfolio feature, where students can take photos and selfies to show their work and learning.
  • Enhanced multiplayer, where a classroom of up to 40 students can work together toward a greater world in Minecraft.
  • Login and personalization, where students have personalized avatars and feel more engaged in the game and teachers can know who each player is.
  • World import and export, where teachers and students can create and save their worlds in the game.

The notion of using Minecraft to teach isn’t new, but this is the first time Mojang has released its own product dedicated to the task. Previously, an independently-designed teaching aid called MinecraftEdu was whipped up by second-grade teacher Joel Levin in 2011. MinecraftEdu eventually gained the support of Mojang and was such a success, it led to an indie games studio devoted to adapting educational versions of popular PC games.

“One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground,” says Vu Bui, Mojang’s chief operating officer. “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.”

Minecraft: Educational Edition is intended to replace MinecraftEdu and will be free for a year to classes that own existing versions of the software. It will launch this coming summer, and should be greeting students on most school PCs come the fall.

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