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Minecraft: Education Edition is Here!

 Minecraft: Education Edition is Here!

Today is the day! The official version of Minecraft: Education Edition is now officially available for purchase and download!

A polished product after months of educator-testing, Minecraft: Education Edition is now available for educators, school leaders and parents to use to help children use their favorite game to learn.

Today, the final product is rolling out with key capabilities developed through educator feedback. Such capabilities include a classroom mode and new game features from other versions of Minecraft.

For those interested in purchasing, Microsoft says the "complete version of Minecraft: Education Edition . . . will be available for $5 per user, per year, or through a district-wide licensing model.”

In order to help teachers get up and running with the product, Microsoft is providing users with a Starter Kit that helps them become acclimated; users can access a series of “quick start videos” as well as a more in-depth, full tutorial experience. Sample lesson plans, “starter worlds,” and a community of experienced educators are also available on the Minecraft: Education Edition website to help teachers find inspiration right away. 

In other exciting news, yesterday Microsoft announced during a Windows 10 event that "Minecraft players will be able to 3D print their creations next year,” said VentureBeat.com.

This combination of Minecraft and 3D printing, which will be possible in early 2017, suggests that Minecraft and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning may begin an epic partnership.

Microsoft purchased Minecraft's creator Mojang in 2014, recognizing the rapidly growing potential of the second most popular game in the world (Minecraft is only second in popularity to Tetris).

Microsoft also quickly recognized the game’s potential in education. After all, educators got together and created an education version of the game years before Microsoft’s purchase. In 2011, educators created MinecraftEdu, a school-ready version that has served as the building block for the education edition being released today.

With today’s release, the education community and beyond is excited to find out how Minecraft: Education Edition will potentially change the way we use and think about game-based learning.

To find out more, check out the Minecraft: Education Edition site here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

11/1/2016

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