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More Information About Minecraft: Education Edition Released

More Information About Minecraft: Education Edition Released

Today, Microsoft announced new details about its highly anticipated Minecraft: Education Edition.

Now available exclusively to teachers around the world for testing purposes, Microsoft announced some exciting new details about what to expect from the product.

First and foremost, Microsoft announced that the program is usable for classrooms of up to thirty students and can function for individual use or group sessions, indicating room for flexibility which many classrooms need.

It also revealed more about how teachers will be able to guide students through lesson plans using the game.

Minecraft: Edition Edition will feature something called a “Non-Player Character,” or NPC, that allows educators to " act as a guide for students in the game, giving instruction, providing more information, and also allowing educators to insert an active web link to additional references.”

To communicate learning goals, the game offers teachers the option to use chalkboards of different dimensions that can be placed throughout the game to guide instruction by conveying learning goals or suggesting challenges.

While students are learning with the game, they are able to use the camera and portfolio option to easily document their work for teacher review later on.

Because the current version of the game is available for educators only and is still in a development phase, Microsoft says to expect even more useful tools based on educator suggestions come fall. Possible additions include things like a chat window for easy communication and a Classroom Mode interface for educators.

Microsoft is heavily involving educators in the process because the very idea behind Minecraft: Education Edition was started by an educator.

A group of educators led by Joel Levin and Aleksi Postari developed MinecraftEdu and with little promotion were able to rapidly launch the product into the hands of thousand of teachers.

After Microsoft purchased Minecraft from Mojang, it then set out to purchase the company that owned MinecraftEdu, Teacher Gaming LLC.

From that point forward, Microsoft began expanding on what teachers had already created to produce the ultimate classroom-friendly version of the game.

To see if it’s succeeded, find out how to download the beta version of the game here.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

6/9/2016

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