Imagine your teacher plunks you down in front of a computer and loads up Minecraft. Awesome, right?
Well, you may be living the dream sooner than you think. This summer, Microsoft is releasing Minecraft: Education Edition! Microsoft has acquired MinecraftEdu, a version of Minecraft specifically designed for classrooms. They have expanded the programs capabilities and are looking to offer it to customers this summer. The Edu version differs from the original game by offering enhanced maps that include coordinates, a student portfolio feature, multiplayer for up to 40 players making it easier for students to work together, personalized avatars, and world import and export features.
Microsoft is also creating a community online at education.minecraft.net, where educators can exchange ideas, lesson plans, and designs. The site also offers starter lessons for people who are new to Minecraft and a mentors page to make it easy to learn.
“One of the reasons Minecraft fits so well in the classroom is because it’s a common, creative playground,” said Vu Bui, COO of Mojang. “We’ve seen thatMinecraft 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.”
Due to Minecraft: Education Edition’s versatility, it can be used to teach any number of subjects including math, history, physics, and arts. It also helps develop skills in problem solving, teamwork, and communication. Teachers will be able to get Minecraft: Education Edition this summer, so they will have plenty of time to learn about its potential in time for the 2016 school year.
Is gaming in the classroom the wave of the future? What games do you think would be great teaching tools?