Who says that Minecraft and education cannot ever be mixed? Definitely not Microsoft.
The tech giant has developed a new version of Minecraft called Minecraft: Education Edition which offers classroom tools intended for the students to learn through their own accounts. It hopes that schools will not just let them play with the famous blocks video game but support them through integrating it in the class.
It started when Microsoft purchased a mod in January of this year aimed at making it an educational platform. They hurried a beta testing this summer, hoping that the education tools will be furnished in time for the start of school. Unfortunately they missed the date for a few months. But they are on a roll. Minecraft: Education Edition is now available on both Windows 10 and macOS for $5 per student for a year’s subscription.
Students who have played Minecraft before will find this new version to be almost the same with the original. It’s not entirely different from the regular Minecraft. The big difference with the Education Edition is the presence of tools that makes it easier for the teachers to navigate and operate as a learning tool, and some new in-game items like a camera and a chalkboard.
In the app, the educators can see where the students are on a map, give students different resources, and teleport people to different locations.
Teachers can use the app as a material for the students to explore a certain setting in a book or a historic structure. They will have to build the different worlds themselves though, which takes a lot of time especially when the teachers create instructive worlds lesson after lesson.
The Education Edition will only be successful if the teachers will adapt to creating lesson plans in Minecraft and share them to the students. Although this is a cool, interactive way to teach the new generation of students, the biggest adjustment will have to be among the teachers.