Young people these days love Minecraft. It’s an engaging platform for creativity, collaboration, and endless exploration. It’s a language that almost speaks for itself when someone gets their hands on it for the first time. It’s no wonder that when adapted for use in the classroom, it can be a powerful tool for education.
Minecraft developer Mojang and parent company Microsoft have officially announced a collaborated effort with TeacherGaming, resulting in an official version of TeacherGaming’s flasgship platform titled Minecraft: Education Edition. This new product is based on MinecraftEdu, a mod for Minecraft that began development in 2011 when a group of teachers in the US began adapting the game for educational purposes and sharing their resources with other educators internationally.
MinecraftEdu bolstered various innovations for learning and new teaching styles with comprehensive lesson plans, maps of famous structures for exploration, group tasks for building environments for a wide range of subjects such as science, architecture, art, programming, and the list goes on. The platform also allow schools to order classroom licenses with support, and even subscribe to the cloud-based version of the platform for easier server hosting.
Regarding the differences between MinecraftEdu and the new Minecraft: Education Edition, the latter’s FAQ page states that it incorporates “all the learnings from the EDU edition, and built its key features into the Minecraft: Education Edition. We also added new features including login and personalization, the student portfolio feature, a second screen experience for teachers, and the ability to save student progress.”
As an added bonus, all existing MinecraftEdu customers are eligible for a first year of Minecraft: Education Edition free of charge. The new platform will begin its release as a free trial this winter.