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Microsoft Acquires Educator-Created Version of Minecraft to Expand Game’s Influence in the Classroom

Microsoft Acquires Educator-Created Version of Minecraft to Expand Game’s Influence in the Classroom

Microsoft, owner of the wildly popular game Minecraft, has acquired the educator-created version of the game, MinecraftEdu.

Currently used by upwards of 5,000 teachers in 40 different countries, the platform has helped to make Minecraft an educational tool in the classroom.

Microsoft announced its intentions to use its purchase to launch Minecraft: Education Edition, which will be free for a year to users who already subscribe to the existing MinecraftEdu, said Polygon.com.

"Minecraft: Education Edition will be supported by a new education-focused community at the official Minecraft site, where newcomers to the teaching aid can connect with experienced users for advice on incorporating into their lessons,” the article said.

The move is set to only increase the influence Minecraft has in the classroom, making it even more accessible for educators looking to tie it into their lesson plans.

According to a brief on Minecraft.net’s site, the new version will be more effective in a classroom setting because it will include a student portfolio feature, enhanced multiplayer options, and a library of lesson plans to apply the game to specific classroom needs.

"Much like the game Minecraft, Minecraft: Education Edition is designed to be a versatile and open platform that can be used to teach all types of subjects, from math and physics to history and language arts. There is no limit to what students can learn in the game, and no limit to how the game can extend classroom learning. Minecraft players also develop skills in collaboration, problem solving, communication, digital citizenship, and much more,” the site says.

Microsoft plans to launch a free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition as early as this summer. Pricing information for the full version is not yet available.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/19/2016

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